Nov 25, 2016 by Krysta
Since the very first time that Ryan and I brought a Christmas tree home together, we've opted for real trees. They are a lot of work and a huge mess... but in our opinion, they are worth it. Absolutely nothing beats the appearance nor the smell of a real, live tree. For us, getting a tree is an experience in itself and an annual family tradition that I'd be sad to give up.
Today we set out on our journey to find this year's perfect tree. Last year we discovered an amazing tree farm south of the city called Fir Ever Green. We loved it so much that we had to return. Upon arriving at the cute little log cabin, we were led to fields of row after row of beautiful, perfect trees. Ryan held a saw and I pulled our girls on a sled as we set off in search of a tree to call our own.
We walked past some modest, reasonably sized trees, but they just weren't right. We wandered and wandered until we spotted it.
I felt like a bride saying yes to the dress as I giddily danced around it and proclaimed it to be ours. It was wide and full and would without a doubt take up half of our living room. It was perfect.
Ryan got to work with the saw and after some hard work and sweat, it was down on the ground and ready to transfer to the car.
Speaking of car...
Ryan's beloved green Subaru has been parked for quite some time now, as he's been taking his newer, more reliable car to work up north. However, we aren't ones to mess with tradition, so he put insurance back on it for the day and we all loaded into the cramped little car because getting a tree with any other car just didn't seem right. It was Briley's second ever ride in Daddy's car, the first being our trip to get a tree last year.
Ryan hauled the tree through the field, back to the vehicle, and we both rolled it up the hood and onto the roof. Perks of driving a beater car: You can roll a tree onto it with no worries about scratching the paint. It was massive, but we have no shame in our Griswold game.
Back at the log cabin, Ryan and the owner forced the tree through a baler and then secured it back on the roof of the car. We paid for it and set off on our journey back home. We made a quick detour for some hot chocolate... because what is more Canadian than taking your freshly cut Christmas tree through the Tim Horton's drive thru?
Back home, we set the tree up and removed the twine to watch the branches fall. Our living room quickly disappeared and pine needles went flying... and we were happy. The first day home with a Christmas tree always makes me feel like a child again.
Tonight as our girls slept in their rooms, we covered the tree in twinkling lights so that they can come downstairs tomorrow morning to embrace the magic that is the Christmas season. Of course, a tree this big requires more lights than we accounted for, so we'll have to return to the store to purchase some more to fill in the gaps. After that, we'll decorate it as a family and then Briley will undecorate it on a daily basis for the next month.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our house. Please feel free to come visit, smell my tree, and admire its beauty while eating baked goods than I plan to make in the very near future. 'Tis my favourite time of the whole entire year.
Nov 16, 2016 by Krysta
Oh hey, it's me, Krysta... former blogger.
I'd ramble off a list of excuses as to why I've neglected to post in what feels like forever, but if we're being honest here... I've been lazy. My husband was working out of town for about 80% of the month of October and hasn't been around much this November either. Solo parenting is draining. When I finally get the kids down for bed I barely have the brain capacity to watch endless hours of HGTV, let alone write words that string together well enough to make any sense. That last giant sentence? That's just my end of day rambling.
It's not easy taking care of the kids on my own, but I'd take this any day over working away and only seeing my girls during nightly 5 minute FaceTime conversations. We are so thankful for how hard Ryan works to provide for our family, even if we really, really miss him some days.
Here's what we've been up to over the last little while:
We went to Ontario! It was so much fun to visit my family and to introduce Briley to some people that had never met her... or Ryan, for that matter.
While we were there we went to Niagara Falls, crossed the border to shop in Buffalo, and visited Toronto. Aaralee mentions the CN Tower on a daily basis since we've been home, and already wants to return.
Briley learnt to climb. Everything. Stairs, chairs, couches, and shelves. I came out of the washroom one day to find her proudly standing on the kitchen counter. If she can't reach something, she'll push over a toy or books to use as a stool. She's into everything, and throws epic tantrums when things don't go her way.
Aaralee is in preschool and loving it! I'm so proud of her and how far she has come from the hysterical, scared little girl that I dropped off on day one. She's learning new songs, making friends, and occasionally coming home with artwork that I'll keep forever.
We celebrated Thanksgiving with my family and it was delicious! I really missed having my husband home for one of my favourite holidays, but still I have so much to be thankful for. Primarily the sweet little turkeys that I spend my days with.
Halloween was so much fun this year. Aaralee now has a full understanding of trick-or-treating, and she talked about it for weeks in advance. My girls dressed up as Cruella Deville and a dalmation... and it was awesome. It took me 3 days to be able to brush through Aaralee's hair afterwards, but it was more than worth it. We went trick-or-treating with my mom and the girls quickly accumulated mass amounts of candy that I'd consume with guilt in the week that followed.
Last weekend Ryan was off of work, so we took advantage and headed to Banff. It was supposed to be a blissful weekend getaway, and it was... until Briley came down with a fever and spent half of the weekend miserable and refusing to sleep. On the bright side, we got to ride the gondola several times (thanks, season pass!), visit Lake Louise, and reunite with some of my friends from Dubai! Oh, and we went on a date. A real date, with a babysitter that was not one of our mothers, for the first time ever. We only went across the street and we came back early, but it was still awesome. We had a seafood feast followed by a visit to the chocolate shop, and I didn't even have to share. Babysitters are magical. I can't believe that it's taken me 3 years to make this discovery.
Other than that, it's been life as usual lately. We go to the gym, occasionally visit with friends, watch a lot of Sesame Street and read the Berenstain Bears way too often.
As hard as I try to appreciate every single moment, I'll admit that I find myself counting down the hours until bedtime every single day. I'm looking forward to the day in which Ryan comes home for more than a few days at a time.
Well, I'm mostly looking forward to it. I have grown pretty fond of sleeping at an angle across our king sized bed.