In the run, and I do think I mean run this year, up to Christmas, we've been out and about doing various and sundry Christmas activities to get ready for the holidays and celebrate the season.
It always seems to get here before I know it--a phenomenon that is more pronounced living out here versus Ohio. I keep wondering why, but I think it's because there aren't any malls, no hustle and bustle, no chaos. I love the lack of chaos, but then again, I sort of lose track of time.
And, of course, I absolutely loved our trip to Branson, but I've decided that from now on, I'm not leaving my house between Thanksgiving and New Year's because if I do, I feel like I fall behind in some critical area. Like cookie baking. And the cookie baking is very, very critical to my state of mental health during the holiday season.
Plus, I just like to sit around in my house and look at the Christmas tree and listen to Christmas music as often as possible. So basically I'm not coming out of the house until 2010.
Besides, I'm still reading Eclipse and I can't be bothered to get dressed.
So, here's a little pictorial showing what we've been doing since returning from Branson. . .
The annual Santa parade. I've given up trying to take pictures of the parade--too dark--and have settled on taking pictures of the boys.
Finn was invited to a Christmas shopping event put on each year by Make A Wish. Last year we didn't go because it was right before we left for New York. This year I drove Finn to Denver and he Christmas shopped for all of us in a special store for kids only. I know what everyone's gifts are, except mine. I can't wait until Eamonn opens his. Tee hee. Finn shows off the shopping bag he decorated.
Finn with his personal shoppers. So many people volunteered to help the kids shop at this event. Sweet, sweet, sweet.
Like any good kid event, Make A Wish had face painting. This is face painting in the Big City--spray paint.
As for our Christmas tree, we made plans to cut a tree on forest service lands again. You can buy a permit for $10 and trek out into the wild to kill a tree.
Looking up into the Aspen trees. I think Aspens are one of the few trees that might look more beautiful without their leaves. All the silvery bark. . .
We found a place to park and got ready to hike. I took pictures of the boys in case we got lost in the wilderness and they needed to put our faces on milk cartons or something.
There were a few breaks for snow angel making
More angel making. . .
General messing around in the snow.
Measurements were taken. This one was determined to be too big.
After crashing around in the underbrush for awhile, we found the perfect tree. . .
. . .and we began to murder it.
Eamonn: "You know, this would go a lot faster if you stopped taking pictures and helped me cut."
At last, it succombed to the Woodsman's blade.
Oooooo, isn't this just like a scene from a L.L. Bean catalog? Isn't this great?
Eamonn: "Oh yes, this is exactly like an L.L. Bean catalog. Where is the camera crew to lug this fricking tree for me?" Do L.L. Bean models sweat?
Get. Out. Of. My. Way.
Do they take rest breaks in L.L. Bean catalogs?
Hey! Where's the car?
Clark Griswold straps the tree to the top of the car.
While Clarke was busy, I found this little manmade shelter in the woods. There were cute animal footprints in it. I'm so easily amused.
Cool. Check this out. It's a picture of the great horned owl we saw on the way home. Isn't that stunning photography????
Tara and I started our cookie baking. We only got one type of cookie done though. We felt like our Cookie Mojo was a little off. However, I taste tested one today and it's awesome. Tara is putting the jam in the Norweigan Holiday Cookies.
A rare-for-Colorado packing snow has allowed for:
Snow fort building
And snowman building
And last, but not least, a little quality time on the mountain. My first day skiing at Beaver Creek this year. I forgot my helmet and goggles, just in case you think I'm some daredevil. . .But seriously, how gorgeous is that? (The scenery, not me--haha)