And of course we've been getting ready around the house for the last couple of weeks. Naturally Zoe needed to help unload things
Chris got on the extension ladder to hang the lights. I can never do this because I'm afraid of heights and just looking at him get up so high at the tallest point of our house makes me want to throw up
Last year our house looked like this
And although I didn't get the window paper up, or the star light in the big window, all the wreaths are up, the outside trees are decorated and Zoe even decorated one of the bushes. What a helper.
And of course, the street looks wonderful as always
There are actually a number of houses that don't have lights this year, and that makes me a little sad. The first year we moved in, of the 60+ houses it seemed like only 2-4 weren't lit up. Every year that number seems to get bigger. Whatever floats people's boats I guess. But I must confess I just love the look of each house with lights and the "friendship chain" of lights strung from house to house. It really feels like such an awesome community.
And, of course, Zoe visited with Santa at our street's tree lighting ceremony. And like many other children, Santa was very upsetting
With momma there (and a bribe from Santa of a candy cane) Zoe warmed up to him
Last year she attempted to reveal his true identity
We got a tree up in the house as well and Zoe had a lot of fun decorating with us
I have a confession - I've never been a huge Christmas person and actually really despised the holiday until about 6-7 years ago when my family fully committed to being non-traditional and celebrating however and whenever we felt like it. Sometimes, that means the beginning of December, or early January. Sometimes we go to the horse races. Or an amusement park and we open presents in the parking lot. We do it whenever it works for everyone's busy schedule and there's no pressure. We do something FUN. It makes you actually enjoy spending time together instead of feeling so much pressure to have the perfect holiday dinner, or whatever. On Christmas day Chris and I actually don't go anywhere. With divorced parents and divorced grandparents, Christmas was a train of visiting family member's houses for me and it unfortunately made things less enjoyable because it was so exhausting. I instituted the rule that we go NOWHERE on Christmas day and that our family just has to deal with it :)
We decided this year's holiday celebration on Friday was the perfect time for extra celebration with our family. We had brunch and a trip to a nearby mini-golf/arcade place planned. And Zoe wore a special shirt...
Yup, that's right - we've having BABY #2!
I know, insane.
But Chris and I liked the idea of two kiddos somewhat close in age, and so "little football" (as we've taken to calling it) will (maybe) make it's arrival at the end of June next year - due date 6/24/15. So they'll be just about 2 years apart.
We're super excited and had SO MUCH FUN sharing the news.
The plan was to have Zoe wear a sweatshirt over her shirt until everyone was at the restaurant, seated, had ordered and there wasn't anymore commotion. We took off her sweatshirt and waited till the first person noticed what her shirt said. My dad was sitting next to her and he said, "Big sister, big sister, big sister." BUT THAT'S IT. I looked at my brother (I had told him and his wife some days before) and we STARED at each other - HOW DOES DAD NOT GET THIS?! My dad said again, "Big sister, big sister - so what is that a hand me down?" And I just said "Nope." And then he freaked out, my step mom started crying, my mom had no idea what was going on and just saw my dad and Wendy yelling and Wendy crying, CBH was at the other end of the table and had no idea what was happening and me, Chris, my brother and his wife were all just laughing. It was hilarious. And quite a fun way to tell all of them.
After that we drove to Chris' mom's work to "drop something off" on Chris' way to LA. She didn't know Zoe and I would be there and so she got a fun surprise seeing us walk up. Zoe was sweatshirt-less and I set her down. She quickly ran past Lisa to frolic somewhere and she noticed the back of her shirt (because it was a baseball, raglan shirt I sewed the due date on the back like a jersey #). And she just yelled out, "WHAT'S 6/24/15?!" We just smiled and started laughing and she erupted in joy.
THEN Chris traveled down to LA to share the news (and help out on some projects) with the rest of his family. It was quite an eventful couple of days.
Meanwhile, Zoe and I had an adventurous weekend celebrating with my family and having lots of fun. Celebrating for Zoe means putting on everyone's shoes. Including my sister-in-law's heeled boots
Reindeer antlers are a must
Dance dance revolution is pretty much the funnest game ever for Zoe (and any car game). She was literally picking up our feet and putting them on the game to try and get us to all dance to the music
And every little girl loves hugs, kisses and sillies from her uncle
So, there you have it. Holidays 2014 - lights, celebrations and another baby on the way. Lots to be grateful for, and thank you to you for always celebrating with us :)