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Our Christmas tree was a process this year, as it seems to usually be. Step 1 is to cut her down. Step 2 is bringing her into the house. Step 3 is lights. And then step 4 is decorating the tree. We only ever seem to manage to get steps 1 and 2 and maybe 3 done in the same day. And honestly, this totally works for me! Trimming the tree always feels like a lot, so it really is nice for that to have its own day. I taught my boys to be soft with the tree and to say, "pretty tree," but it's not been unseen for the "soft tree" stroking to turn into pulling on limbs. All in all, I've been very impressed with their restraint. The tree has remained largely unscathed. Presents will not be placed under the Christmas tree until at least the 22nd, likely later, because I just don't trust those little dudes.

We were so lucky to have a fun chocolate making day with Conor's mom. It's really fun to make chocolates and doesn't take nearly as long as I always think it will. Eating the chocolate is obviously the best part!

All year long, if we're driving through a forest, I always like to identify the trees that would make great Christmas trees. It's so fun to head out into the woods to hunt down a tree. And of course, because lots of trees grow on hillsides it can be a little complicated to find one. We tried out a new location this year and I was very pleased with the scenery. We found a great tree (most were far too big). It looked like a reasonable size in the forest, but when we got it home, we could really appreciate how large it is. We probably cut it down/back by half, but it looks so good and holds the ornaments up better than other trees we've had. I'm very happy with it! We sure liked being out in the snow in the gorgeous mountains with family and good friends.

What a day! I love Thanksgiving. We started our day off with turkey pancakes (tradition) and the Turkey Trot at Manito Park. And then it was time to get the turkey on the grill and do a little bit of prep. Smoking the turkey has been a game changer for me, it frees up the oven and it tastes so good!

Having so many people I love and care about in my home and around me too-small table was so, so special. What a year we've had!

Happy Halloween!

This year we have a Bat, a Pumpkin, a Witch, a Vampire and the Queen of Hearts!

I'd say all in all, Halloween costumes came together well! Maeve wanted to be a witch - so easy. Ira wore Maeve's baby bat hat (Baby Maeve!!), and I made cardboard wings. We met Enoch where he is right now knowing that he probably wouldn't be interested in a costume and I bought pumpkin pajamas and a pumpkin hat (the hat he wore briefly and only for these photos). I found Greta and Holly's dresses at a thrift store. Holly created all the embellishments to her costume - so awesome!

Sugar rush, here we come!

Halloweens past....

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