It all began Saturday with the Nutcracker. Oh, how I LOVE this show. I remember the first time I went to it with a school friend and I wanted so badly to be a ballerina fluttering across the stage. That never happened, but I have made sure to see the performance every year since. I've had the opportunity to see it here in Bozeman, in Portland and in Detroit...I've loved it every time. Lucky for Matt, we had girls so he no longer has to be my date. It is now a tradition that I do with my little ladies. Amy and her daughter came along as well...it was such fun.
It's always such a great production here because the Symphony plays all the music. Live music and ballet??? Now, that's some holiday cheer for ya.
After the show, it was just a couple hours before the downtown Christmas Stroll. Another Bozeman tradition...they close the streets and it fills up with vendors, activities and of course Santa Clause! This event is usually freezing...we bundle up the kiddos head to toe, take a quick stroll and head home. This year it was SO warm! I kinda wished it would snow to feel a little more like the season, but loved that we didn't freeze our tooshies off. The stroll is so great because you always run into old friends, Santa lights the decorations and of course hot cocoa for the kids and hot toddies for the adults.
|Just chillin, waiting for Santa|
|Totally physco Christmas photo of the kiddos, but for some reason it cracks me up!|
|Checkin out the Nativity scene|
Today was my favorite day. It was tree decorating day. This is one of my favorite holiday traditions. I think it became my favorite our first year of marriage. Matt and I lived in Portland at the time and it was the first year for me to be away during the holidays. We were going to be home for Christmas, but I found myself feeling sad being so far away from all the usual holiday things. One particular evening I was feeling especially homesick. Instead of letting me feel sorry for myself, Matt told me to grab my coat. Next thing I know we are in a parking lot where Boy Scouts are selling Christmas trees. We weren't going to get a tree since we wouldn't be there, however it was exactly what I needed. After we threw the tree in the back of his little red Sonoma pick up, we went to Target for decorations, lights and a Christmas CD. (I still have the CD and most of the ornaments from that first year). Last stop was to pick up some pizza and beer and then back to our little apartment to decorate my homesickness away. It worked. It meant so much to me. Every Christmas since then, Matt and I go get a tree, decorate and make sure we end the evening with pizza and beer. Thru the years we've added the girls and how we get a tree varies. Sometimes we go in the mountains to chop once down, some we bought at the grocery store, when we lived in Michigan I went to my first Christmas tree farm and once we totally overpaid...75 bucks for a freakin tree. However the tree gets to our house, once there we turn on the holiday tunes, get out the decorations and top the evening off with pizza. This is why it's my favorite. I can't help but go back to that first Christmas and know Matt would make every holiday as special as I needed it to be. It may not be what he is used to, but he accepts I am holiday crazy and he'll rock it with me. I love him for that.
Getting the tree usually involves lots of mountain snow and sledding. This year it involved lots of mud, wind and rain...
|Normally, we'd be sledding down that hill|
|This photo gives the illusion that Matt helps with the tree. However, he is putting up one of the 3 or 4 ornaments he puts up each year.|
|Yay...I love our scraggly tree!!|
Stockings above the fireplace...
And of course the grand finale...
|That was our stuffed pizza...girls each made their own little ones!|
I end with something we saw when we pulled into the grocery store today...it was just too cute to not snap a photo and share.
Those eyes kill me. It's the start of a new week. Make it a good one.