'Twas 10 Days Before Christmas

and all through our pad the Olson's were stirring and Henry was in plaid.
Henry and Victoria
The holidays get complicated with spouses, partners and in- laws- but nothing scares the Olson's! We gathered early for our holiday family fun. One of the Lovely's favorite things is packing our house to the brim; we like a person in every nook and cranny.

Saturday AM we strapped everyone in their car seats and took off to the aquarium. Smart move says me. Sadly, it's not often that the Duluth Aquarium is over flowing with visitors, which is great for our crew because we had the run of the place!

Allow me to introduce all of the kiddos.

This is Caraline, she was the first Olson offspring and we smother her with snuggles every time we see her!
Meet Erica. She is a new addition to my brother, Casey's, family.
Tessa is Erica's big sister and Caraline's new best buddy. We love the new energy and the instant gratification. None of the Olson's are very patient so this worked out great for us!
 Here's the little dude. He thinks he owns this place!
Just in time for the diver to feed the fish.
The water feature is always a favorite. We can't take one eyeball off of Oscar or he makes a break for the boats!
I am sure you've met Valerie, Oscar's favorite Aunt, but Baby Victoria is the real show stopper of this pair. She is sweet, smiley and thankfully- laid back.
 Safety first, girls.
Nice catch.

This is Tracy, Erica and Tessa's Mom and Casey's ssssuper special friend. wink! wink!
We had to tackle the smallest Lovely for a family shot. He had fish to see!
The morning went swimmingly! After the aquarium everyone under 3 feet tall took a two hour nap. That deserves repeating...After the aquarium everyone under 3 feet tall took a two hour nap. Then it was time for presents.

Dolls for everyone! Three of the little people are really into babies. One of the little people would only touch their baby with one finger.
Erica happily fed and nurtured Oscar's baby while he vacuumed, fair enough!
Grammy Kay just wraps around the hanger so she can hang them up until everyone's jammies are ready for wearing...
Even Victoria is wild about her new pjs...

All the kiddos got a car in their stocking. The best part of the weekend for Oscar was when all of the girls left their cars behind. He carried all 5 of them around Sunday afternoon. This little boy loves things that go vroom!
How times have changed...I love the chaos and tenderness these little people bring to the holidays.

 Love. These. Girls.
'Tis the Season for little giggles, baby dolls and Lake Superior trout!

P.S. Not a pic of Grammy! Sorry mom. I did get some snapshots of her wallpapering our bathroom though, that I will share soon;) That's right, WALLPAPER.


Winter Cheer

Here are some snap shots of our days leading up to the holidays. 

Tree Decorating

Next year I might just get out the box of ornaments and forget the tree.

The cookies you see in the above photo are the totality of all the cookies I baked this year and more than I baked last year, which was zero. Just enough for Oscar's attention span and to hoping I will be able to button my jeans in January.

Thankfully, I entered a blogger's cookie contest...and WON! I love winning. Tia from aMUSEing is whimsy, loves using abbreves and features fantastic recipes. The package of trail mix cookies arrived at 5:00PM, Oscar and I mixed up the dough at 5:05PM and were eating cookies by 5:17PM. 
Is there such thing as a photo of a finished cookie? The cookies are gone.


Oscar's first romp in the snow was a blast. He giggled the whole time. I am wondering why they don't make toddler mittens that you can pull up to their elbows?!

One thing we appreciate most about the season is making a conscious effort to just hang out together!


It's all in the Fabric & Paint

I recently wrote this post to prep myself for curtain sewing and curtain sewing I did.
The fabric is St. Charles Bouquet and I followed this tutorial from Miss Mustard Seed's Blog for the floor length curtains. I just recovered my Styrofoam cornice boards to match. Here is what they look like without fabric pinned on them.
I wrap the Styrofoam like presents and secure it with pins. The wood blocks are so the Styrofoam sits on top of the window molding at the correct height. The plaid fabric wedged under the wood block is from the first time around. I also stick a little piece of poster putty under the wood block to keep it snug on the window frame.
Here is a before picture of the room. This is a serious before and after moment for me.
I love how this room has evolved.

It's all in the paint and the fabric...and the accessories and my super cute custom table. I just love it. If I could marry a room, I would marry this room. Well, this room with different light fixtures (wink wink).


Tree Hunting, Santa and Goats

Considering we won't be at home for Christmas this year I wasn't really interested in setting up a tree. Can you believe it? Plain old lazy.

Henry had other ideas and I was easily convinced. He bought a Superior National Forest tree tag for 5.00 and got out the maps to locate where we would be travelling for our tree. We drove over an hour (I wasn't thrilled about that part) to find the perfect tree.

Once we arrived the day got better. The weather was warm and we were all happy to be outside.

 Especially Stella.

Our scraggly forest tree.
There are a few reasons I don't like to wear Oscar on my back. First, he is heavy and it hurts my shoulders. Second, he always pulls my hair- in this case the hat off my head.

Then Stella wrestles with my hat and it gets all wet.
I was feeling sick so at this point...I was smiling...but I was not happy!

We loaded up the tree and the day got brighter when we spotted a place to stop and see Santa and goats.

The day got better for me...but took a turn for the worse for Oscar.

Santa can't trick our boy. There was no way he was sitting on that man's lap. Ho Ho Not a Chance!
He wasn't interested in the goats either.
Oscar has never been so excited to get back into his car seat!

A look back at Santa 2011.
Santa Tui is way more Oscar's speed.