20 December 2010

It's almost here!

Along with the rest of the world, we're counting down the days to Christmas. Which, in reality, isn't the fun all in the anticipation?

Forgive me for reliving a few of our favorite anticipatory activities.

Day after Thanksgiving... out came the Christmas tree, on came the music (I think Jeff will scream if he has to hear Christmas music even one day past the actual day), and we ventured to one of our favorite places to start the season off right.

Have I shared how much we love This is the Place National Park? I'm kidding. I know I've talked about it (and talked and talked), but in the last 6-7 months, we've made a LOT of memories there. We added another evening of memories when we went to enjoy Candlelight Christmas the night after Thanksgiving. It was the first time we'd been, and I dare say (which I don't do lightly, because I have a problem with committing) it's a new tradition. We all loved it.

Jack signed the "nice" list. Mostly true. Jeff was lured into signing the "naughty" list though, since the candy was better for the "naughty". Go figure.

We spent the evening wandering from house to house hearing stories, making crafts, and dancing around the Christmas tree, to live music, I might add. We enjoyed a live puppet show...

...drank hot chocolate

...and couldn't get enough of their amazing carolers. They wandered around the village, so we were lucky to hear them a few different times. The kids were a little more interested in their craft at this moment, but I could have listened to them all night long. And I loved the costuming.

We drove home to the kids singing "Up on the Housetop". Or at least the words that we actually know of it. It was such a nice, low-key evening, that reminded us of the simplicity of Christmas. Everyone was happy.

Or, should I say... we were all happy, until we discovered that our picture with Father Christmas was BLURRY! Very disappointing. Although, we felt everything else was so perfect, we could let this one go.

My favorite part about Christmas shopping... Amazon. Love it. Anyone else giving their UPS man a present this year? I've seen him more this month than some of my neighbors!

We've enjoyed two different evenings on Temple Square this year. One evening was to listen to my niece's choir sing. It was a lovely evening, only to be enhanced by Mimi and Papa taking our kids home to bed, and Jeff and I enjoying an evening at the Symphony. Oh, I love a good date with the hubby.

Alice... during our most recent light-seeing evening/one hour I got to see Jeff that day. She finally let me put mittens on her. Well, one.

I just finished playing in my favorite Christmas concert series yet. Oh, what a joy it is to play my violin with such accomplished musicians! I feel a bit unworthy to be surrounded by such high-caliber people, but at the same time so grateful for the opportunity. Jeff's been a rock this week in letting me run off to rehearsals and concerts.

He stayed up one night to help Jack finish off his poster project... (Jack was dressed up for "famous person day")

... he took the kids to Jack's school Christmas concert... (they're beating along to a very lively version of Feliz Navidad.)

...the ward party last night (please note Jack's version of a shepherd's crook)...

... and all month he's been a single parent for most of the church block. Talk about amazing.

Then, Jeff lets me come home and tell him every detail about how fun it's all been. Wish I could say MUCH more.

These are two of my favorite girls in the orchestra. Talk about high caliber people... these girls are leading the pack.

It was a busy, exhausting, fun, and spiritually fulfilling week of Christmas spirit. Now, I get to actually be HOME and enjoy downtime with those I love more than anything.

We hope you enjoy these fun last few days of anticipation! Merry Christmas!