Monday, February 2, 2015

holiday traditions

well, I obviously didn't meet my goal of having all the holiday posts up before the end of January.  *sigh*  oh well, better late than never, right! right??

If you have been following along here for even a little while, you have probably already figured out my love for traditions.  Ever since having Lilly, I have become mildly obsessed with holiday traditions (not just Christmas traditions, either!  I'm a sucker for a good tradition, any time of year!)  I started to write up a separate post about each holiday tradition we did this year, but it was getting a little ridiculous, so I thought I'd just group them all into one instead.  This is more for me than it is for you, so next year I can look back and remember the traditions I need to make sure and continue. Oh, and for the memories! :)

{25 books of Christmas} this tradition lasted the whole month of December.  Pretty simple concept - 25 Christmas/holiday/winter themed books, wrapped up, and each night Lilly opened one and then read it before bed.  Lilly LOVES books right now, so I knew this would be something she would enjoy.  And I was right - every night after her bath she would run into the kitchen and look at me, point at the tree, and say "boooook??".  Too cute for words.  It wasn't too difficult to execute, either, we just went to Savers and Goodwill a few times and loaded up on used 49 cent books. :)  I'll definitely be replacing some of the books next year, and will get rid of a few duplicates that I didn't catch, but otherwise I think this one was a success!

I used the fact that we were sitting by the tree opening a present in jammies every night as an opportunity to take approximately 1.346 billion pictures of Lilly by the Christmas tree.  Naturally.  I never got the "perfect" one, but I got a lot of cute ones of her in various stages of tearing open wrapping paper, reading books, and an occasional stand-by-the tree.  Good enough!  I should have actually broken out the big camera, but I just used my phone.  Photographer mom fail.

{cookies at mama t's} this tradition has been around much longer than Lilly has.  But this was the first time she got to participate. :)  Every year my cousins and I decorate cookies at my grandma's house.  We have extended this into our adulthood (along with easter egg hunting...), but now we have a kid to play along! 

She started by helping Aunt Terri make the frosting.

And then she worked very hard on eating, er decorating.  It was a bit of a challenge to get her to understand that we don't have to eat alllllll the sprinkles.

Lilly's masterpieces!

All of the cousins and our cookies!

{baking with mama} we also did some baking of our own at home.  This tradition is one I'm essentially passing along...I will always remember spending one day of my winter break every year in the kitchen with my mom, baking cookies, and watching Holiday Inn.  It was our thing.  So, this year Lilly and I had 2 days of baking together - I think we'll add in the movie next year. :)


Once again we had a slight problem with actually placing the sprinkles on the cookies.  
But they still turned out quite nice, I must say!  Lilly was very proud of her handywork. :)

And of course, once Christmas eve rolled around, we were sure to leave a plate out for Santa!  I need to step up my game next year and actually have some carrots on hand for the reindeer.

{visiting santa} the final tradition on the list is our annual visit to Santa.  we started this one last year with Lilly and her cousin Lexi, and it is definitely going to be a yearly thing.  We took them to Bass Pro again to see Santa, and the girls had a blast running around together.  Lilly was much more interested in all the other activities this year as well (which was a good thing because we went on a much busier night this year so had a while to wait!).

Also like last year we used our time in line as a chance to set up a couple photo ops for the girls.  As you can see from the first picture, Lilly has entered that lovely toddler stage of making the weirdest face ever when a camera comes out.  She is a true photographer's child, what can I say. :)

After quite a while the girls finally got their chance to sit on Santa's lap.  Compared to last year, Lilly did great.  The pictures tell a different story, she was pretty much just stone-faced for both of them. ha!  But that's better than the look of pure terror we got last year.  I'm pulling for year 3 to actually get a smile in the santa picture. :)

This last one is my favorite...I like it better than either of the ones that the photographers captured and printed.  I just happened to be snapping away on my phone as they were getting settled...this one is just priceless to me.  She is completely starstruck. :)

Aaaaaaaaaand, there you have it!  This year's holiday traditions in a nutshell. A very long, wordy, nutshell full of pictures. :)  I haven't included anything relating to the actual holiday days, because those will come in a post of their own with the Christmas recap.  I swear I'll edit those pictures and get that posted...eventually. :)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

{365 project} ~ January

Last year, I downloaded a "photo 365" app and took a picture every day of the year, which was then saved in a calendar on my phone each month.  I loved the concept, and it is so fun to go back and look through each month's worth of photos.  I posted each month's calendar on Instagram last year, but this year I think I will post here.  On Instagram they were just such tiny pictures, and here at least they will be a little more visible (although still pretty small, sorry!)  

The app I'm using this year says it will make a photo book for me at the end of the year, which also sounds pretty fantastic to me!  So anyway, I am hoping to actually stay on top of posting this monthly, and creating a fun little series of posts full of memories to look back on. So let's kick this off - here's January!