Monday, November 28, 2011

Winter Wonderland

My family came to visit this weekend. They got here about 8 pm on Friday and stayed until about noon on Sunday.

My Meme brought us chocolate-covered peanut butter balls (watch out, diet!) and the best OSU wreath for our door. (She made both herself.) Unfortunately, the OSU wreath was too big for our front door (long story), so we had to stick it on our patio, on the door to our storage room. I'm bummed that more people can't see it there, but maybe it's for the best; we wouldn't want anything to happen to it! Here's a pic:

Go Pokes!

(In case you're wondering, Meme will gladly you make you a wreath of your own if you're willing to exchange a little money. :) She doesn't know I'm making this advertisement for her, so, uh, don't mention it when you call to order your one-of-a-kind, made-with-love door decoration.)

On Saturday, we spent some time shopping before heading out for a night on the town. My sister got a new cell phone and my mom snagged a couple of cute Christmas gifts for my cousin. Afterwards, we met with my mother- and father-in-love and niece, A, to go out. We had tickets to the Gaylord's ICE show that afternoon. This was my family's first experience, and I think it's safe to say they liked it. :)  In case you're not aware, the Gaylord's ICE show features several rooms decorated entirely in ice sculptures. The Gaylord flies dozens of artists in from overseas, and they spent months carving sculptures in the ice. The themes are different every year; this year's theme was "Shrek the Halls." While I didn't snag any pictures myself, J and I have a friend who works there, so I stole borrowed a couple pictures from his page:

Fiona is holding 1 baby and Shrek is holding the other 2, while the other characters sit close.

Beautiful nativity scene
By far, my favorite part was the clear nativity scene. They carve the whole thing out of ice, just like the rest of the sculptures, but they don't ruin any of it with color. The background is black with twinkling lights, and there are lights surrounding it, too. The audio track alternates between the story of Jesus in the manger and a church-y Christmas carol. I'm always slightly surprised at the wealth of Biblically accurate information (since most businesses shy away from anything too Christmas-specific, in fear of offending someone who's not a Christian), but I'm not complaining! It's refreshing to see a business who embraces the Christian foundation on which our country was founded and proudly displays it for all to see. Rock on, Gaylord Texan!

After the ice show, we went to eat. The "kids" (J and me, my sister, and A) sat at one booth while the "grown-ups" sat at the other. At the end of the meal, we coached A on how to do a perfect pouty-lip and convinced her to ask my dad for ice cream. ...It worked. :) 

On Sunday, we went to lunch at a burger joint a few minutes away, and then went to the strip mall again for my family to pick up some last-minute items. They had to leave shortly after noon because my mom and grandma had to get back for a class at church.

Mom decided to snap a pic of J and me on our balcony before they left:

Look closely and you'll see Christmas lights wrapped around our railing.

Looking at those (almost invisible) Christmas lights made me want to show you the other Christmas decorations we have up! Before you laugh at how dinky the decs are, remember that we live in a small space and are waiting on after-Christmas sales to snag good deals on holiday decorations. :)

Snagged this for $5 at a dollar store. Hot glued the banner a little more securely and we've got ourselves some cute Christmas door decor!

Ignore the clutter (the bobby pins are not part of the decs!) and focus on the snowman cuteness.

Our wittle Christmas tree, complete with packages that my mother insists say "MOM" on them. ...They don't. Keep dreaming, Mother! (P.S. We're hoping to snag a life-size Christmas tree later this season.)

The initial stocking were $1 at Target, and the beads/ornaments were 50% off at Hobby Lobby. We don't have a mantle, so this was the best I could do!

"Merry Christmas" stick-ons and a Christmas tree (not pictured) on the windows. I had some left-over ornaments, so I used suction cups to put 'em on the windows.
Ta-da! OK, so it's not much, but it's enough to make us feel somewhat Christmas-y for the next month.

Temperatures dropped pretty dramatically over the weekend and the strong winds made things ever chillier. Hope you're staying warmer than I've been...and hope your Christmas shopping is almost done!

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