Happy (belated) Easter!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Easter yesterday!  I spent the day playing with Ian and Jon and enjoying candy and the other goodies Ian received in his Easter basket.  Easter is such a happy and joyous holiday- and the weather yesterday only served to highlight that fact and put the whole family in a wonderful mood.

It was so fun to see Ian explore his Easter basket and marvel at the items the Easter Bunny delivered.  We didn’t go too crazy, and definitely avoided a huge pile of candy, but he was supremely excited with what he did find: books, hand stamps, bubbles, 2 little water guns, sidewalk chalk, 2 small bags of candy, a chocolate bunny, and “Frozen” (the movie). 

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He was especially thrilled with the hand stamps and the bubbles, and we spent most of the gorgeous afternoon blowing and catching bubbles outside.

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I also was the reluctant recipient of an assortment of hand stamps.  It was a little ridiculous how excited he was to have HIS VERY OWN hand stamps, but hey- if he’s happy, I’m happy!  And that $3 package of stamps and ink was WELL worth it!

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We also tried our hand at dyeing eggs (via the shaving cream and food coloring method).  It was EXTREMELY messy, and I haven’t cleaned the shaving cream off yet to see how our eggs turned out, but it was a lot of fun.  So even if our eggs have absolutely zero color, I’d still consider it a success.  We got to do a project together that we both really enjoyed.

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Later in the evening, we snuggled up together on the couch and watched “Frozen” while Ian ate some of his chocolate bunny.

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All in all, it was a wonderful Easter. 

How did you spend your Easter?  Does the bunny visit your house or do you have some other tradition(s)?

Getting our Christmas Tree!

My husband and I have now celebrated 6 Christmases together as a married couple. Each year we have bought a live tree, carefully selected from the myriad of trees and options abundantly available each winter.  For the past four years we’ve bought our tree from a nice little nursery down the road from us.  No matter how many places we visit, we always came back to that one nursery because they always have the absolute BEST trees.  Nice shape, good price, fresh.  

This year, we decided to try something different.  We’d always thought it would fun to go to a Cut-Your-Own Christmas tree farm.  I did a half-hearted search a year or so ago online but didn’t really find anything.  Maybe I just didn’t know what I was looking for, or maybe I just was intimidated by the idea of going someplace new.  Regardless, we’ve never made it work.  This year, however, the Cincinnati Moms Blog published a list of Christmas events in the area… and included in the list was a section for Cut-Your-Own Christmas tree farms.  It was fate!  I scanned the list for a farm nearby, and one that was also open on Nov 22nd (since we were going out of town for Thanskgiving and wouldn’t be able to get our tree until Dec 6 if we waited- which doesn’t give much time to enjoy it before we head to visit family for Christmas!).  As luck would have it, there was one farm that would work, so we decided to check it out.  We reasoned that if it didn’t pan out or we couldn’t find a good tree, we could always default back to our favorite little nursery.

We pulled into the tree farm and were blown away by HOW MANY trees there were.  There were tons; the selection was pretty overwhelming.  It helped that they had the trees organized/grouped by variety so we were more easily able to focus our search, but it was still a lot to consider.  

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Ian loved running through the field and darting in and out of the trees.  Trying to keep track of him while also looking for the perfect tree was a bit challenging, but we made it work. 

We finally narrowed it down to 2 trees. 

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Tree #1

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Tree #2

We called Ian over and asked him to pick the one he liked better.  He looked at both trees and carefully considered his options before pointing to one and exclaiming “THIS ONE!” 

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Tree #2 for the win!

With Ian’s seal of approval, we flagged down an employee and got our tree claimed and cut.  The employee was a kid, maybe 11 or 12 years old (and that’s being generous), but he was friendly and chatty and had us cracking up on the inside.  He told us he was working here to save for college (admirable, but interesting!).  So I asked him how long he’d been doing this and he told us “my WHOLE life!” At which point I had to stiffle a grin and a chuckle.

After the tree was cut, we headed back down to the main house to pay for it and get Ian one of the free cookies.  It was about 50 degrees, so we decided to pass on the free hot chocolate, but it was a nice gesture!  The employees helped us load the tree onto the top of our Flex and tie it down, and then we were soon on our way.  We got home, unloaded the tree, and set it up in the stand.  We agreed to wait to decorate it until after Thanksgiving, but it was so nice to have the tree in the house and ready for us when we got back from visiting family in Delaware!

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Us with our tree!

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Tree decorated!

Do you get a real tree each year?  Or do you go artificial?  If you get a real tree, do you cut your own?

Happy 4th- better late than never!

I realize that it is not the 4th. It’s not even the 5th. Yes, I know…I’m a full three days late in wishing everyone a happy 4th of July. But it’s just that we’ve been busy, and had family visiting from out of town, and I just really couldn’t pull myself away long enough to put together a blog post. So here it is finally. A little late, but that’s ok…better late than never!

My parents came into town for a visit this holiday weekend, and it was so wonderful to see them. Being 10 hours away, we don’t have the luxury of popping over whenever we’d like. It’s a shame for me (since my family is fairly tight knit), but it’s also unfortunate for Ian not having easy access to his grandparents. So it’s always exciting when there is an opportunity for a visit.

While they were here, we went to some parks, attempted to go to a July 4th carnival (but didn’t realize it started at 6pm…we were there at 11am), watched a local small community parade, visited another carnival that actually WAS open during the afternoon, wandered around a bookstore, played outside, and ate lots of good food. Not to mention the World Cup matches we watched together. All in all, it was a great visit. I only wish it had been a bit longer.

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So what did you do for the 4th of July?