Our main mission this weekend was to flip our house from fall to Christmas! We packed away the pumpkins and brought out the ornaments, wreaths, reindeer, angels and Christmas trees. Our house was feeling all kinds of holly jolly on Saturday!
Before we broke into our storage bins, we eased into the day with coffee, cinnamon rolls and melty beads.
The boys are on a mission to make melty bead ornaments as gifts for loved ones this year and figured they should get a jump start on their creations. (We just leave one bead off the creations and will thread ribbon through the hole to hang them on our tree.) Of course Ryder’s first ornament was an ornament of Pepper for Pepper! We find a lot of the patterns through Google Images or Pinterest and then the boys just count the number of melty beads needed in each row. I think this will be a fun little project this holiday season, especially since the boys’ love of melty beads has been holding strong for months and months.
We then set out to begin to decorate our house for Christmas and, while this is the earliest we’ve ever decorated, it felt wonderful to see red and green take over our house. We’re hosting Thanksgiving this year (everyone arrives next Tuesday!) and have plans the first weekend in December so we figured we should jump on a free weekend to decorate while we had the chance. I’m loving it!
A few years ago, Ryan convinced me into getting two Christmas trees and we’ve never looked back. We put the artificial tree we’ve had since we first got married in the play loft on Saturday and it made the space feel a little more magical. (We are going to wait to get a real tree for our living room until after Thanksgiving.)
Worth noting: Last year I bought an ornament storage box from Amazon and can officially say that thing is worth its weight in gold. It made decorating the tree a breeze since everything was organized and I didn’t have to unwrap individual ornaments. Game changer!
The boys absolutely love it when we break into our decorations because they get to play with a lot of the Christmas toys we pack away at the end of each holiday season. Most of the toys are actually from advent calendars from past years! I thought it might be helpful to highlight some of the advent calendars that were slam dunks with our boys and have continued to be hits for years to come just in case you’re looking for an advent calendar for a little one this year.
- Thomas the Train Advent Calendar: This one comes with mini trains and is a 10/10 advent calendar for any train-loving kids. We actually keep the mini trains out year-round (we store them in a mini train case) and the boys play with them constantly throughout the year.
- Playmobil Advent Calendar: This was a generous gift from my mom and it’s the gift that keeps on giving for imaginative holiday play. The boys loved receiving a new toy to create a Christmas scene each day and continue to use the pieces to play imagination games each holiday season. (Note: This is the exact one the boys have and love but the price has skyrocketed because it’s from 2018 and no longer in production. This is this years’ version that looks great.)
- Elf on the Shelf North Pole Advent Calendar: Another one that’s great for train lovers! It’s a happy little calendar that made the boys smile and the train, adorable animals and elves get a lot of love every year when it comes out of storage during the holiday season.
This year I ordered a little wooden tree advent calendar for our family because it reminds me of something similar we had when I was a child. I think it will double as an adorable, whimsical holiday decoration for the boys’ room or the play loft for years to come. I also couldn’t resist this gem stone calendar for the boys because they’re gem-obsessed. Can you tell I’m a sucker for advent calendars!?
We didn’t leave the house until after 2 p.m. on Saturday when Ryan had plans with a friend and I promised the boys I’d take them to Spare Time.
Ryder and I actually went to the bowling alley/arcade together on Friday night for some one-on-one time. He picked Spare Time because he was so bummed to miss a friend’s birthday parties at the arcade over Ryan’s Ironman race weekend. We had the best time together on Friday night but the power went out at the arcade before Ryder could redeem his tickets. This suited his brothers quite well because it meant a quick return trip to the arcade on Saturday where I was suckered into letting them play games for a little while.
We left the arcade around 3:15 p.m. and realized we were close enough to make it to Discovery Place Kids before it closed for the day. The boys always have the best time at DPK and we ran all over the place until 4:30 p.m. when it closed.
We picked up pizza on our way home and pulled into our driveway just as Ryan and our friend Ben were arriving back at our house, too. We dug into pizza and laughed at Pepper and Remi, Ben’s golden doodle, as the two dogs ran around like little maniacs.
They were adorable together and I don’t think their tails stopped wagging even one time as they played. Another dog is on our radar eventually (we’re still likely years away) and I’m pretty sure nothing would make Pepper happier than a big, furry playmate. She’s Sadie’s exact opposite in this way. Ryan and I repeatedly joked about the side-eye Sadie would’ve given us forevermore had we brought another dog home to co-exist with our princess.
Sunday morning began with more decorating mayhem. Ryan tackled the outdoor lights and even added a 12-foot blow-up Santa and reindeer to our roof. Yes, we are officially a blow-up family now. Gone are the days when I wanted only classy-looking white lights on our home. Our kids could care less about beautiful decorations and watching them light up over the holiday blow ups and colorful lights they saw on other houses over the holiday season had us changing our tune a few years ago.
I didn’t end up taking too many pictures on Sunday mainly because it was another mostly at home day. I actually got out by myself for a couple of hours in the middle of the day to knock out some holiday shopping and told Ryan the joy I felt roaming through Target and HomeGoods alone during the holiday season was next-level.
I arrived home and added the two sherpa peppermint pillows to the faux-leather loungers in the play loft and I love the way they add a whimsical feel to the space. (I got the pillows at Target but couldn’t find them online. Walmart has almost identical peppermint pillows online for less than $7! And I couldn’t resist ordering this sherpa Christmas tree pillow I found when I was looking for that peppermint pillow online, too!)
You better believe those loungers will be making my gift guide for kids this year. We have them in our living room and bought two more for our play loft because we use them so much. They’re super comfortable and if they happen to be on your radar, definitely get the large size. Even Rhett (age 3) sits comfortably in the large size.
The rest of our Sunday passed by in a blur of outside time, movie night (the boys love the Elf on the Shelf mini movies on Netflix), bath time, stories (we broke into our favorite Christmas book collection!) and early bed times.
The lake near our house is really, really low right now so a lot of the areas that are normally covered in water are exposed and walkable. The boys LOVED walking out onto this island we normally have to kayak to get to in the summertime.
As for today, it should be another normal week around here before holiday craziness sets in next week. The big kids also begin basketball (it’s a first for both Chase and Ryder) which should be fun. I’m off to get this day rockin’! Hope you all have a fantastic Monday!