Don't you just love it when a day goes great? Better than expected even? Me too.
I'm a planner. In fact, I tend to be an over planner (does such thing exist?) particularly when it comes to family fun. I want to maximize the fun, people! Let's have fun! FUN! HAVE SOME! NOW! WITH FAMILY!
Here's the truth though: Fun need not be planned. This may be shocking to some of you. Those of you who are not shocked are probably super glad that you are not my spouse/children right now.
Yesterday was Nelson's birthday. He slept in and I stumbled downstairs at 7AM with two very perky little boys. I puttered around for a few minutes, then made coffee. Then I played Buzz Lightyear with Oscar for a bit while my coffee brewed and then I sat down with a hot cuppa and went through my favorite baking cookbook (King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking)* to find some muffins or bread to bake for breakfast.
I decided to make Morning Glory muffins. If you've never had them, Morning Glory muffins contain carrots, apples, nuts, seeds, coconut, raisins, cinnamon, ginger, and are perfectly most and really filling. The version I made had sliced almonds and sunflower seeds. It was a magical combination. I don't love to make them because unlike a lot of muffins, Morning Glory muffins take a lot of time because you have to shred an apple and two cups of carrots. I have a food processor, though, so it was pretty fast.
Nelson woke up just as the muffins came out of the oven. He loved the muffins. I loved the muffins. The kids loved the muffins. It was great.
Nelson and I were both able to shower and get the boys dressed with no hassles; we made it out the door by 11AM to being our tree quest. I even remembered snacks and water. We went to Homegoods first so I could get a new tree skirt and by the time we got there the boys were sleeping so Nelson stayed in the car with them and I got to shop in Homegoods BY MYSELF.
When I finished, both boys were still asleep. We hadn't decided where to get out tree, but Nelson and I hashed it over for a few minutes and decided to try the little farm market where Oscar and his class went on their pumpkin field trip in October. We knew it was locally owned, we knew where it was, and we knew that there was another tree lot close by if the farm market was not selling trees.
As luck would have it, they had a tree lot. Unfortunately, yesterday was a cold and windy day and the farm market seemed to be located at the very peak of some kind of cold/wind apex. We were bundled up, but man was it cold. We ended up carrying both boys around the lot as we scouted for trees.
We decided early that we wanted a scotch pine. It's a taller, long needled tree that has a very traditional Christmas tree look and I think they are the perfect combination of tall and fat. The way the lot was set up, the shorter, cheaper trees were nearest the parking lot. We are cheap tree people, but I always like to look and see what the most expensive trees look like and imagine who is buying them and where they will go, etc. In truth, it was a little too cold for this, but the kids weren't complaining and Nelson wasn't complaining, so we looked.
And that's when we found The Tree. We were in the 8-foot tree section at the scotch pines and they were lovely and tall and full and majestic and only $36?! We were deciding between two (one was a dark green and one was a bright green), so, we let Oscar choose (he chose the darker one). We got it. An 8-foot Christmas tree. I paid while Nelson loaded the boys and the farm stand people loaded our tree.
In the car on the way to Target to get some lights for our windows (we scored the last two boxes of colored lights, holla!), Oscar said, "It's the perfect tree! It's not too tall and it's not too fat! It's perfect, I love it!"
He's right. It's perfect.
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