Alex, Braden and Cole....cold and (kinda) happy looking for a Tree!
Yep, we'll now start from the beginning. Of the Christmas Season.
Let's get a tree!
We started cutting ours down a few years ago at this cute little place outside of Warsaw called Birdhaven Tree Farm. It's the whole experience! Hot chocolate, chili, awesome chicken soup and that Norman Rockwell feeling. Santa's there and you can borrow one of their sleds to slide down one of the massive hills they have there, careening into the patrons huddled around the fire pit. It's fantastic! There's even a "house" dog that might just follow you around to pick out a tree to grace your living room. I can't remember her name, but she's a beautiful and spunky black lab that decided to join Mike and I last year when we scuttled in on a weekday to peruse the grounds. I guess it must have been boring and all, what with no one else around that day!
Well, this day it was crowded - like a normal weekend day - with people and dogs (we brought Cody) and rain. Blech.
It was impossibly cold for it to be raining, it must have been hovering around that magical freezing point, so it was cold and wet - the kind of damp that sneaks into your bones and sets up camp, creating the need to shiver it away on a constant basis. There were sniffles all around from the temperature and even our camera took misty pictures, as if it were miserable too.
It also made the snow super heavy and slushy, the harder to pull a garden cart with three 30 pound babies stuffed into snowsuits, corralled inside, wanting to get out. Mike had a heck of a time getting up the hills! Glad I am a girl! Hee hee.
Mike's parents also came with us - it was our intent to lure them into the magical tree town and get them so hooked that they could think of nothing else but coming again with us next year. We love to huddle everyone in on great traditions in our lives, if you haven't noticed!
The tree hunt was fast, since it was cold, and our tree of choice, a Concolor Fir, is so darn sparse in these parts. We only had a few to choose from, all too ridiculously large to contemplate for our modestly ceilinged living room. But we took one anyway, preparing to stuff it and us in the room for the next few months. Hey, Christmas is about sacrifice, right?!
We found a pretty blue-green hued number and ordered Mike to hack away while we kept the babies distracted from jumping ship...er, um,...cart. Dad and Mike got it down lickety-split and we head back down to grab some goodies. It was a treat to watch him slide the cart back down that slushy hill, let me tell you... ;)
It was still fun, as always, though we did miss Ruger a ton - we had decided last year to bring both of the boys with us and the kids this Christmas, so we were a bit misty eyed and nostalgic, wishing he were along for the frosty trip, knowing he would have had an absolute ball. Oh, well. I guess you can't have everything.
Here are some of the misty, frosty, wet and slushy pics we got from the great Christmas Tree Trip, 2008:
Getting Ready to leave the warmth of the truck...
Papa and his Triplets
Trees as far as the eye can see, if you could open them up in the drizzle...
Moooooooommmmmm! I'm cold.
Making short work of the cutting down of the behemoth...
What a shame and a beauty at the same time
Yep. That would be Cody peeing on the one right next door. So proud.
Grandma and her babies
Inside, ready to EAT!
Even Cody was soaked
Hay Stack Mania
When we head inside - yay! Only a little warmer but a LOT drier and we got to sit on hay stacks! Woo hoo! And they had food, so it was great. We chowed down on many good things, but all the kids wanted were the Cheetos of the Lady Next to Us. Again, so proud.
Stealing yet another one from the absolute stranger...a kind one, but still a total stranger. They just walked up to her and stood there, not talking, just expecting! Kinda funny, but soooo rude! (My kids) lol
"Got any more in the bag, lady?" -Princess Alex
When they are wet and cold and ready for a nap, and you ask them for a picture in Santa's Chair - what kid wouldn't want THAT? All you have left is to bribe them with a cracker.
The finished product? Only decorated on the top 2/3rds and in a total rush? Stuffed in like a calzone filling into our living room, wrapped by the couch and the wall? Here it is, and beautifully natural, though it is predictably, lovingly and rather goofily large.