New Christmas Tradition

I love Christmas jammies. Maya loves Christmas jammies. Every year she gets super excited about the pajamas she gets to wear on Christmas Eve. I also love giving the girls new Christmas books. New books to add to our collection that we can read every year when the Christmas stuff gets brought out. However, giving the girls their Christmas jammies on Christmas Eve means they don’t get to wear them much. And, giving them a new Christmas book as one of their Christmas gifts means they don’t get to read it much before it all gets put away. So, I decided to remedy that.

This year I am starting a new Christmas tradition. Saturday morning, the first day of Maya’s Christmas break, the girls will come downstairs to find a very special present under the tree addressed to them. They will open a letter attached to that gift and find a special note from Santa saying that he sent one of his elves on a very special mission to deliver this package to them so they could begin Christmas break by getting cozy and reading Christmas stories as a family. Inside the girls will find a special pair of Christmas jammies for each of them along with a new Christmas book!

I can’t wait to see Maya and Anna’s faces when they see that gift under the tree. I can’t wait to curl up in our warm, cozy jammies and read them their new book. This is a new tradition I’m really looking forward to 🙂

Christmas Funcation

Another Christmas vacation is coming to a close. Lorne went back to work yesterday and Maya heads back to school on Monday. I’m always amazed how quickly the holiday season comes and goes. It feels like we spend so much time preparing for it and it is gone in a blink of an eye. But, at least we made the most of it. This year, since we weren’t busy with traveling for the holidays, we made it our goal was to do something fun every day of our vacation, make it a funcation. And boy did we have fun. We did so much. The days flew by in a blur of smiles, laughter, and fun.

We kicked off our funcation with a trip to the Seattle’s Children’s Museum. The girls had a ton of fun exploring all the different activity centers. Maya’s favorite seemed to be the dress up and stage area (no surprise there!) and Anna loved the under 3 area since everything was just her size (well almost). They both had fun “shopping” in the pretend grocery store.

After spending most of the day in the Children’s Museum we headed outside to check out the fountain in Seattle Center. Maya and Lorne tempted fate by standing awfully close to the water, luckily no one got wet (that time anyway). Anna and I had fun watching and laughing at them every time they almost got wet.

Day 2 was spent in the mountains sledding. The nice thing about living where we do is that we get the best of both worlds in the winter. Our temperatures of fairly mild and we don’t have to deal with the white stuff on a day to day basis, but if we get a hankering for a little fun in the snow we just have to take a short drive into the mountains and there is tons of it. Anna wasn’t too sure about the whole sledding thing at first, but after a few trips down the hill she was having a blast and asking for more. Spent a couple of hours sledding and playing in the snow. It was great fun.


Christmas Eve and Christmas Day offered their own fun. The girls had a great Christmas and got spoiled as always.

After spending a couple days indoors busy with Christmas stuff we decided to head out for a hike on Boxing Day. We checked out the cute little hike close to us that is perfect for kids. They have story boards set up along the trail and you read a bit of the story at each board. The story is about a little field mouse who takes a trip into the forest and what he encounters along the way. It was adorable and Maya had a lot of fun.

Thanks to an awesome joint gift from the girls’ Aunt Kathleen we spent the next day at the Seattle Aquarium (family membership!!). It was packed but we still had a great time. We can’t wait to go back.


Our fun the next day took us back outdoors. We did another nice little hike around a lake at a state park not to far from us. Maya wasn’t as into the hike this time and spent a good deal of it whining, but, we stopped periodically for her to create little performances that we filmed and that seemed to make it a bit more fun for her. Anna slept through most of the hike.

Germs found their way into our home the next day, it was bound to happen given all the time we spent around small children, so the rest of our funcation was pretty low key. We had a quiet little New Year’s Eve celebration complete with appetizers for dinner and sparkling cider all around. New Year’s Day we took a nice drive around the city to check out the mountain views since it was a clear, sunny day.

I’d say our mission of making this a fun filled Christmas vacation was accomplished. Everyone had a great time and we got to check out several new spots in this still new to us city of Seattle. Maya has lots of fun stories to share with her friends when she heads back to school on Monday.

It’s Beginning to A Lot Like Christmas


The tree is up and filling our home with light and beauty (and endless fun since Maya and Anna have been playing with the ornaments daily since we put the tree up 3 weeks ago). Beautiful lights outside bring a little holiday cheer to our neighborhood. Presents are wrapped and hiding in the closet. All the ingredients are purchased for a what promises to be a very yummy Christmas dinner.

I love this time of year. All the holiday cheer. All the smiling faces. Finding the perfect gifts for everyone on my list. I’ve always loved this time of year, but seeing it and living it through the eyes of children just make sit that much better.

I hope you’ll have a wonderful weekend and enjoy all those last minute preparations. If you are traveling, safe travels.

Christmas Vacation 2011

On December 17th we woke bright and early to start our Christmas vacation. We loaded the car with all the stuff necessary to travel with two small children (which is A LOT), and headed up to Canada to spend Christmas with our families. The girls kept themselves busy as we were getting things ready so we could head out the door.

The drive went so much better than I ever could have imagined. Given that Anna is not a fan of being in the car I had visions of us driving for hours and hours with a screaming baby in the back seat. Instead, Anna surprised us all and did really well. She fussed and cried occasionally, but for the most part entertained herself very well in her seat.

We spent the first week of our Christmas vacation with Lorne’s family. Maya had a ton of fun playing with her Uncle Cliff and Aunt Emma. The girls were totally spoiled and except for the fact that Maya, Lorne and Anna were all sick with the Christmas Plague of 2011 we had a wonderful time.

Christmas Eve we said goodbye to the Mitchell clan and headed to my brother’s house to spend the final week of our trip with my family. We hadn’t seen my family in a year and a half so it was so wonderful to spend time with my mom and my brothers. Maya had a blast playing with her Nana, her uncles and her cousins. Anna wowed everyone with her constant smiles and laid back ways.

After a fun filled two weeks with our families we packed up the car with all the stuff our girls got for Christmas, boy were they spoiled, and headed back home. Christmas vacation 2011 will go down in the history books as the year we all battled the neverending Christmas Plague of 2011 and the year Maya decided to talk about poop, toots and stink endlessly 🙂 Good times!


Let the Holiday Traveling Commence…

Tomorrow morning, bright and early (well not too early) we will be hitting the road. We are making the trek up to the Great White North to visit our families for the holidays. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone. I am not, however, looking forward to the travel part of it. But, since they haven’t invented a teleporter yet I guess I’m stuck with the travel part of it *shrug*.

Since we’ll be traveling with a baby who still enjoys eating every 2-3 hours we’ve decided to break the 14ish hour drive into 2 days. Breaking it up is nice in that neither day will be too crazy driving wise. But, at the same time, it is nice just to get it all over and done with in one day. I’m hoping Anna does well on the trip. She has, recently, started tolerating her carseat a little better. She certainly doesn’t like it by any stretch of the imagination, but she doesn’t cry as much now and can entertain herself a bit with her toys back there. Hopefully there isn’t too much crying so we can all maintain our sanity. The night in the hotel could get interesting too. Hopefully we all get a little sleep.

Today I’m busy packing and organizing, 100% sure I’m going to forget something. Hopefully it all fits in the car!

Yesterday I took the girls to see Santa since I had been procrastinating and needed to get it done before we left. Maya had a blast and talked Santa’s ear off. Anna was determined not to crack a smile for the lady taking the picture and burst into tears moments after the first picture was snapped when the lady tried to tickle her. Oh well, at least the first shot was a good one 🙂

I hope you all have a great weekend. Please keep your fingers crossed that our weekend of driving, driving and more driving goes smoothly.