Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Winter Solstice!

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we have been spending lots of time outside... in the fresh chilly air! it has been below freezing some evenings... even snow flurries! there is something about it being down here in Florida... I love it! I love how fresh it feels... I love to go out... run around with the kids... wear scarves.. the feeling of that chilly air filling my lungs gives me so much energy! I just want to run!!!
For Winter Solstice we found ourselves enjoying the "winter" Florida style...! we even checked out our shadows because on Winter Solstice shadows are the longest of the year... thought that was pretty fun!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

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I think I may remember every Christmas from my childhood... my Mom and Dad made it so special... I love to take so many of my traditions and Pappa Mattias' traditions and make our little family's traditions... you have to start with Milk and Cookies for Santa....

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you really have to close your eyes and believe in Santa Claus... he's real... when you open your eyes... this is what you see... happiness!!!

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the girls woke us early and we could hardly rest any more... Our oldest went to run to the tree... and STOPPED... "I'm nervous... what if Santa is still here!" so we all ran out together and the SQUEALS.... lovely!

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we took our time... took breaks... had coffee... got the paper... I wanted it to last all morning... and that is what it did. my parents and brother came after a bit and watched them open more surprises from Santa and we gave them our gifts as well...

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she was so happy here... she got her washboard from Santa... now she can be just little Pippi!

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Uma and Umpa gave the girls such a special treat... Umpa built the girls a vegetable stand/ store!!! they are having so much fun!

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they are loving this ironing board that Santa's Elves made... they are ironing everything! may have to give them our basket of ironing...

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and still today... the day after Christmas... there is a little residue of Christmas magic... or does it ever go away.........


God Jul!

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mortar and pestle working away on the cardamom....

we have Christmas Eve... it's when they celebrate in Sweden... we have a delicious dinner.. a very long and cozy dinner... lots of candles... and TOMTEN comes!!! it's a real treat!

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so sweet... she wrapped her little bunny to give to her sister... she said, "I'm ready to give her my bunny."

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the Swedish Christmas bread making our home smell amazing and warming it up as well.... have I told you all how cold this December has been in Florida... Pappa doesn't even have blonde hair anymore...

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talking to Farmor and Farfar in Sweden on Christmas... wishing them well and thanking them for sending our gifts...

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Christmas table... all set... We use Pappa's silver and my China from my mother... light lots of candles... put on our pretty clothes... and get set for the big feast... and still the butterflies are in our bellies... for when will Tomten arrive..........???

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oooooooooh he's here he's here!!! Valkommen Tomten!!! God Jul!!! it's so exciting! Isabelle nearly blacked out and forgot her name when he asked what her name was... she said, "Cecilia..eh emm I mean Isabelle!" I looked at her hands and they were trembling... but so was my heart!

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Tomten picks up the gifts in Sweden from our friends and family and delivers them to the girls.... :-)

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what a lovely night.... and then we transform from Jul to Christmas traditions.......


Santa Fun!!!

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is there anything more exciting than children at Christmas time... the magic the innocence the pure wonder of Santa Clause is truly beautiful...

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walking excitedly with their Umpa to go and see Santa Clause... don't think they could walk fast enough! when they heard the jingle bells I'm pretty sure their little hearts stopped!

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cookies for neighbors, mail person, and the UPS lady! fun to do...

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MEATBALLS!

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two very excited girls!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

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My favorite moment of the season is when it finally clicked to our oldest what Christmas is all about.... at least to us what it is all about. I feared that she would get caught up in the presents, the gimmies, the I wants... and I kept telling her what I love so much about Christmas... I love this age just now... I love how she is "getting it" it's so warming!
she said the other day to her sister... because that is what she does so much... informs her on the things she needs to know... :-) She said, "Cecilia... Christmas isn't about toys and presents it's about FAMILY and being together and eating GOOD FOOD!" ahhhh music to my ears! I felt so happy!

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I love the wonder here... I love the curiosity... the innocence.....



warm cozy goodness!

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every year for the first of Advent Pappa makes his traditional Swedish Glögg (pronounced glug)! it's so warm and cozy and relaxes every stress you may have! :-)

recipe:
you take a bunch of wine and pour out a bit... then you put in cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, cardamon, fresh ginger, sugar, lemon zest, orange zest... maybe a vanilla bean... port wine, you have to make sure you have extra bottles so that you have room... then every day you flip around the bottles about twice a day... then on day three it's ready for warming (NEVER boil!)and you serve with chopped almonds (not salty ones) and raisins... and you take a spoon while you drink it and eat the bits! mmmmm! serve with Swedish Ginger Thin cookies (Anna's) or make your own!

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we have had lots of friends and family over enjoying the warm cozy goodness.. the children have played together... the Christmas tree has glowed so lovely! I truly love this time of year... I love how the temperature drops a bit.. we wear cozy sweaters... stay inside a little.. sleep a bit longer... and enjoy each other!

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so many traditions... lighting candles... singing songs...

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I made a promise to myself this holiday season that I would NOT get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the stresses of the season... I would enjoy my family and spend our time together...
I'm not going to lie... we were so busy with our business but I didn't let it get to me... I focused at work so that our spare time would be enjoyable... I perfected my calender and scheduled moments...
I shopped at small stores... and online on small businesses as best as I could... I felt so good about that... I spent one day at the post office... for maybe 15 minutes... we did so many things that will fade into memories... and I truly am so happy that it was a nice and simple holiday season.....

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you... I wish you a simple Christmas full of a thousand kisses and giggles!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

silly girl...

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our sweetie pie has just turned 2!! so happy for her and what a happy 2 years!!!!! yay! I can't wait to show you pics from her amazing day!!! coming soon! for now here's some pics of her cuteness that just make me smile!

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she's so happy at the breakfast table....

sweet playdate!

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so lucky we are to have such sweet friends! so fun to have sweet little cookie playdates!!!

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I love this group of friends... we all hold these sweet moments tight and love to make memories together.... what a load of funny stories we will have to remember when the kids are off in college or backpacking around the world!... but for now we just laugh and enjoy every day and eat lots of cookies and drink lots of coffee! perfect!

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Gingerbread Fun!!!

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every year we make a gingerbread house... once we even made one from scratch... although of course I would love to do that again... it's so tricky and ends up being more of a project for the big kids of the house... lots of "eeeks, look outs!" "take it easies!" and tensions... so lately we have been cool with picking up a kit at Ikea...! No sweat!

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Pappa constructs it just so as the wee girlies wait impatiently to cover with sweets!

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I love to sit back sometimes and admire the view... I love so many places in my home... I love to be in a home that "hugs me back" and this particular view to me... may be my favorite! I love every year the placement of our tree... I love this room... I love our dining room with the Christmas tree in the view.... the glowy white lights are so pretty... makes me so happy!

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she loves jobs... important things to do! she starts to smile and usually starts to giggle because she is so proud of herself... as are we!

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such a silly girl... chocolates covering her silly face!

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I found these yummy chocolates at our local natural foods store and my gosh were they ever yummy...! we had to hurry and decorate before we ate them all up!

so many fun traditions... I love this time of year! I love the magic and the excitement and all the fun that goes into every day... every moment!