On Thursday, we made the 'road trip' to Cross Iron Mills to the Bass Pro. Every year they have a great Santa's workshop set up and FREE Santa photo! After spending an obscene amount for Santa's photos Audrey's 1st year, I can't resist going back to Bass Pro every year for the free and no pressure Santa photo.
We arrived around 10:30am, hoping to beat the rush. Word is out so there was still about 10-15 people ahead of us but we maybe waited 15-20 minutes.
Audrey had time to do some colouring.
The kids checked out the train
Leo was nervous at first to sit on Santa's lap so I ended up being in the first photo to keep him calm.
I quickly jumped out and they snapped this decent photo. No crying this year. Serious faces!
Santa was very engaging with the children, asking them questions and being very patient with them. Audrey quickly warmed up and shared explicit details about what she wants for Christmas! It was pretty cute!
They also gave out these free picture holders!
There is no shortage of things to check out at Bass Pro. We even managed to do some Christmas shopping for Daddy.
I am not quite ready to give up the stroller-- not sure I ever will be. It was jam packed loaded with all our winter coats, boots, diaper bag, waters and shopping bags!
Apparently it's been so long since we've been to Cross Iron Mills that they moved the food court! I don't think we have been there since June (before we moved) so I was a bit panicked when I couldn't find the food court at lunch time!
After an exhausting, yet successful Santa visit and shopping trip, I came home to this lovely package from Shannon for the Canadian Blogger Christmas Swap 2016.
The ornaments are perfect for our eclectic tree! I can't wait to bake muffins with the Christmas themed cups and the chocolates are long gone!
That night a wonderful friend came over for a long overdue visit and to finally see the new house. As usual, we spent many hours chatting over tea and cookies and she didn't leave till midnight. She is one of my dearest friends and I only wish we could see each other more often.
Friday morning we took it easy. The kids love playing with my Christmas stuffies collection. They are especially thrilled about their matching Christmas jammies! Thanks for the tip Alison!
We attempted to do some baking again. This time we made "Muddy Buddies" which are delicious and so sugary! The kids were fairly cooperative since it was a quick recipe.
Licking the spatula is the best part of helping!
Audrey went to preschool in the afternoon and I did some online Christmas shopping and worked on the Christmas cards while Leo napped.
I was right exhausted that night- I fell asleep with Leo putting him to bed and went right to my bed at 9pm for the night!
Saturday was a busy day! Audrey had dance in the morning and right after we headed to a tree lot with family to pick out our trees. Usually we hike into the forest to cut down our own trees but with the extreme cold we opted to spare ourselves from frost bite.
I was pretty excited because this is the only way I would get a full balsam fir tree that I've always wanted. Hunting for our own trees is exciting and an adventure but we are only able to get spruce and pine around here.
The girls enjoying roasting marshmallows by the fire, trying to stay warm!
Didn't take long to find our tree! It's 9 feet tall and very full!
The kids picked some mini trees to put in the planters out front.
Afterwards we warmed up at Auntie and Uncle's house with hot chocolate and warm lunch.
In the afternoon, I went out and ended up finding a tree skirt for the upstairs tree! I love how sparkly it is!
In the evening, I met up with a bunch of bloggers for a Christmas party! It was lots of fun-- good food, conversation and company! Thanks Brie for hosting! It was so good to visit with Leigh, Kris, Jen, Ange and Alison!
We did a Secret Santa gift exchange-- this gift was stolen from me! :(
I did end up going home with some delicious tea and chocolate! Yum!
Sunday morning we set to work decorating the big tree on the main floor.
This tree is so much bigger than our previous ones that we could have used another spool of ribbon. It was driving me nuts so I ended up taking off the ribbon. I think we need more lights too! I do LOVE how full it is!
I finally finished the Christmas cards and mailed them!
It was such a good weekend! Even the cold couldn't get us down! We have so much to be thankful for!