Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Counting Down to Christmas (Our Weekend Part 2)

Part 2 of our weekend holiday fun continued with our carriage ride at Easton and dinner at Sweet Carrot in Grandview on Saturday evening. The carriage rides start at 6:00 PM and we weren't sure how crowded Easton would be so we got there around 5:00 PM and walked around for a bit before Todd got in line.  Since the girls were cold, he was nice enough to stand in line while I took the girls in the Lego store and American Girl.  He texted when the carriages finally showed up (there were like 4 or 5 that came) and we met him in line and only had to wait about 5 or 10 minutes before it was our turn. The ride itself was only about 10 minutes but I'm glad we did it.  Easton is beautifully decorated and I loved riding around to see all the, this has been on my to-do holiday list for the last few years.  Lucy was excited that our carriage looked like Cinderella's carriage.

Warming up by the heater while we stood in line

Our carriage

Best we could do at a selfie

Lights were beautiful and the added bonus of snow made it even prettier

Cece & Daddy

Lucy & Mommy

After our carriage ride, we drove to Grandview for dinner at Sweet Carrot.  It was already 7:00 PM by the time we got there so we really weren't sure how the girls would do (specifically Cece) but they were better than I could've asked for and didn't seem to mind not eating dinner until 7:30 PM.  The food was fantastic (they have brisket, pulled pork, etc. that you can put on a sandwich, corn cake, salad, or mac & cheese) and I can't wait for their second location to open at Polaris.

Todd got a brisket sandwich...

and I had the brisket on a corn cake with a scoop of mac & cheese mixed it (they all come with slaw and corn on top of the meat)

The girls got kids' meals--Lucy got a pulled pork sandwich with a yogurt and Cece got grilled cheese with mac & cheese

I know someone enjoyed their food!

The girls slept in until after 8:00 AM on Sunday so we had a lazy morning before going to the grocery store and decorating their gingerbread house after lunch.  Once their sugar high wore off, both girls napped again and Todd & I were able to finish wrapping all the presents for our extended families (parents, Todd's siblings, niece, and nephews) so now all we have left are the girls' presents (which we will have to do this weekend in the evening once they're in bed).

Of course, Lucy would ask to have her picture taken while sitting on the toilet paper rolls at Kroger

Lucy is ready to decorate and Cece has already started eating the chocolate chips I gave her to decorate with

Let the fun begin!

Lining the front with chocolate candies

Todd did the icing

Cece was cracking up that we took the tray off her highchair and scooted her all the way up to the table

More decorating

Finished product!

Cece (and our floor) were covered in sprinkles afterwards

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Counting Down to Christmas (Our Weekend Part 1)

These last two weeks have been a little rough in the Rodrick household--Cecelia had an ear infection and as soon as she was getting better, Lucy all of a sudden had a fever (she ran between 99-101 for like 5 days) and had to stay home from school most of last week.  She just had a cold but of course, Cece now has a cold too.  Between the girls being sick, Todd & I have taken quite a bit of unexpected time off work so let's hope that we can stay relatively healthy and make it through the holidays (especially since I have to work at 4:00 AM twice next week).  To make matters worse, I had to call Todd on Friday morning right when he was getting to work (which, keep in mind, is a 40+ minute drive) to come home because of this:

Our Christmas tree fell over!

The girls & I were upstairs in our bedroom and in a span of 10 minutes when I was showering and changing, somehow the tree fell over.  Apparently the 40 pounds of weights wasn't enough to keep it from tipping over and my attempt to pick the tree up myself were useless so I needed reinforcements.  Todd turned right around and within an hour, he had built a bigger base that he drilled our tree stand to and we had the tree upright and the room clean.  The most amazing part was that only 1 ornament broke.

After that eventful morning, I needed the rest of the day to go relatively smooth and since Lucy didn't go to school that day, we ran some errands and played at home.  I got some time away that evening for our annual "blogger" holiday dinner & gift exchange.  I say "blogger" because while we all were blogging when we initially met 7 years ago, only a couple of us still are, but we've definitely become friends in real life.  Always a fun night with these gals full of gossip and laughs.

Earlier in the day, Cece got into my basket of magazines...

Apparently, the Rodrick girls really enjoy their celebrity gossip while sitting on the fireplace (Lucy on the left around 20 months, Cece on the right around 16 months--chubby cheeks on both girls!)

Dinner at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill with some amazing ladies

My in-laws had planned to come into town on Saturday for the weekend but since Lucy still had a slight fever on Friday, they didn't want to take the chance of getting sick.  We had a few fun Christmas things planned with them (train display, life-sized nativity, carriage ride, and gingerbread house decorating) so even though they didn't come, we were still able to go ahead with all of our plans anyways.

After breakfast (and a fun hot chocolate surprise from Jack), we went to the main library downtown to check out the holiday train display.  My parents have taken Lucy to this library since the remodel last year but Todd & I had yet to go so we spent some time walking around and letting the girls play in the children's area.  After about an hour or so at the library (and after checking out 22 books for Lucy--she definitely takes after me & my love of the library and reading), we bundled up and walked a few blocks over to Christmas Corner to see the life-sized nativity display.  I remember seeing this every year when I was younger and my dad took Lucy last year.  I wish it hadn't been quite as cold that day because we didn't get to spend as much time as I would've liked looking at it.

Jack brought a hot chocolate treat for the girls

Lucy was so excited to see he had spelled her name with marshmallows

This girl was ready for her hot chocolate

Cece tried marshmallows for the first time

Jack even brought a cookie stick to stir the hot chocolate

Sugar high!

Todd decided to make a loaf of homemade bread while we were gone so we could make paninis for lunch

The girls watching the trains go by

I was impressed by the display--I wasn't expecting it to be this big!

There was a list of items you were supposed to find in the display so Todd & the girls were trying to find everything

Checking out the fish tank in the children's section

Part of the life-sized nativity 

Lucy in front of the nativity

We went home for lunch, and Todd & I started wrapping Christmas presents while the girls napped (the bonus of Lucy being sick is that she took a nap 5 days in a row!).  Once they were up from naps, we drove over to Easton for a holiday carriage ride and went to dinner at Sweet Carrot in Grandview.  I'll have that along with our Sunday afternoon of decorating a gingerbread house up tomorrow.  I figured if I didn't split up the posts there would be way too many pictures!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree...

After Breakfast with Santa on Saturday morning, we drove about 20 minutes north to Cackler Farms in Delaware to cut down our Christmas tree.  This was our 3rd year going here and I think we totally hit the jackpot with our tree.  Typically, we have a hard time finding taller trees that are full (we usually end up with tall & skinny) but one of the workers told us about one section of the tree farm to check out and there were a TON of great trees and hardly anyone was over in that area.  It only took us about 15 or 20 minutes to find our tree but another 30+ minutes to attempt a family picture and to cut it down.  I felt bad for Todd, this thing was huge and heavy (11.5 feet!)--he was sweating and breathing pretty heavy dragging it back to our car.  We were cracking up because other people had much smaller trees and could practically throw their trees over their shoulder and leisurely walk back.

We set up the tree once we got home and Todd strung the lights that evening.  On Sunday afternoon, we spent about an hour decorating it.  Lucy was actually a great helper this year, despite the fact she put most of the ornaments in a small section at the bottom, and I was proud of myself for not moving any of them.  Cece, on the other hand, was excellent at taking the ornaments off as soon as we would put one on.  We have bets on how long it'll take before she pulls the tree over (just kidding...we have 40 pounds of weight plates holding the tree down just for that reason).  Since we have the vaulted ceiling in our family room where our tree is and the balcony that overlooks the room, I love when I come out of our bedroom in the morning and can immediately smell that fresh Christmas tree scent.

Todd pulling Lucy in the sled 

She kept calling him a reindeer!

We eventually took Cece out of the stroller and put her in the sled too

My two girls

A bit overexposed (it was super sunny on Saturday) but our best attempt at a family picture with our tree using the timer & setting the camera up on the stroller


Cutting down our beauty of a tree

All cut & ready to drag back to the car

Just like the Griswold's in Christmas Vacation

Another view

Taking the netting off once we got home

All lit up but not decorated yet

Lucy hung the first ornament

Cece just wanted to take them all out of the boxes

Don't mind me, Mommy, I'm not getting into anything

She was so excited about the Elmo ornament

Hanging up more ornaments

I helped too!

Todd was in charge of putting up the smaller ornaments on the top

Cece wanted to climb the ladder to help too

Adding the star to the top!

Decorated & ready for Santa's arrival