When we kicked off our advent calendar at the beginning of December, I had my doubts. On the tail end of a nasty stomach virus and — unbeknownst to me — with strep throat and head lice lurking around the corner, I promised myself that I wouldn’t let this project become stressful. That we’d have fun until we weren’t having fun anymore, and it would be okay to stop or skip days or generally give myself a break whenever I needed it.

But even through Nix treatments and a round of antibiotics and yet another gross cold with neon yellow snot (poor Soph), our advent calendar was this wonderful little shining light that refused to burn out.

The girls fuss almost every morning over who gets to climb up the chair and flip over the card for that day. And they’ve loved all of the activities, especially those that involve sugar.

Here they are building our very first gingerbread house. Getting along THE ENTIRE TIME.




Cross-arm action? No problem for these two.



And look at these faces. So happy with their little creation.


This random act of sisterly love totally caught me off guard. They’re just starting to really hug and kiss each other, especially at bedtime, and it’s just awesome. I’ve waited so long (it seems) for them to appreciate each other. Finally it’s happening. Maybe this new trend is a fleeting Christmas miracle. I don’t care. I’ll take it.



We also made cookies. See below: Sophie’s cookie-dough-cluster technique on the baking sheet. See also: we used pre-made dough. Because it’s easy for little hands and easy for Momma. I’m telling you. This advent calendar would not be happening if I didn’t give myself as much grace as possible.

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My favorite activity so far? Taking Lily to her first Nutcracker. I laugh-cried through the whole thing it was so beautiful. And sitting with her, answering myriad questions, holding her hand, hearing her gasp and watching her grin, just about made the whole head-lice nightmare forgettable.

photo 1

Two more days left on our little calendar, and the best is yet to come.

Merry Christmas, friends!

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