It’s a Wonderful {Apartment} Life!

We are on pins and needles waiting on our new house to be finished in the Spring {hopefully!}.

…or more accurately put…we are cramped up in 700 square feet in an apartment begging for our house to be finished ASAP!

But seriously, I am so SO thankful for a nice apartment neighborhood to stay in while we are “between” homes.  It’s cozy, but it’s ours…and we are making the best of it this Christmas.

So buckle up, ladies and gents, because you’re in it for the *long haul* if you finish this post.  It’s a long one, full of our family Christmas traditions.  Grab your hot chocolate, sip and read, and plan to stay a while! 🙂

After some discussion {and realizing how UN-accessible the boxes were}, we decided against a “real” Christmas tree this year.  I know what you’re thinking….how can you do this to a 2 year old?? But believe it or not, he’s survived just fine.  And we have managed to have several Christmas “trees” to put up…

Our Christmas card tree made with washi tape, tinsel and clothespins.  Cooper adores this tree and loves getting to “ang it” {hang the cards} on the tree when we get them in the mail!

We even barely found room for gifts under our “tree…”

And for those of you that think Cooper just HAS to have a tree he can decorate…I give you his felt tree…

 …he may have gotten a *little* side-tracked and started decorating his socks!

He just adored his felt jack-o-lantern, so I just knew we had to make a felt tree!  Thanks to our school’s die cut machine for making me super quick ornaments and lights!!  I only wish I had gotten it up sooner!  The good news is, now it’s made, so I will have it out earlier next year!

He’s so proud of his bottom heavy Christmas tree…and the teacher in me saw that he almost sorted his ornaments by color! {Mommy did the string of patterned Christmas lights!}  He might be just a tad like his momma! 🙂

The Mr. got battery operated Christmas lights so our little guy could have his own “ismas…yights” to brag about!

Cooper’s Fisher Price nativity went up this year, instead of our fancy one that is packed away.  But it all worked out for the better because he loves getting to pick up each piece and play with them!

 …here’s our sad, 2nd annual attempt at a gingerbread creation.  My icing and cake decorating skills are a bare minimum.  Oh, well, we’re still #MakinMemories I guess!

My favorite new tradition this year: Truth in the Tinsel.  Each night we read a scripture from the Christmas story and focus on one word from the Scripture.  Then, we make an ornament for our Christmas word.  We’ve hung it as simple garland in our apartment.  The ornaments aren’t fancy, and they may not even be the cutest…some are the ones Amanda suggests, and others are ones I’ve made with my preschool Sunday Schoolers…but either way, they are each special, full of memories, meaning and are absolutely perfect in his eyes.  15 minutes a night TOPS, and my 2 year old can tell us what word each of the ornaments stands for!  I can’t wait to do this every year and see how much more of the Christmas story our little guy absorbs.  And the Word he is hiding in his heart each night is just priceless.  This will definitely be a tradition we continue!!

Yes, our family loves putting emphasis on the real Christmas story.  And, yes, above all else, that is the number one take away we want Cooper to have from Christmas.  But, that doesn’t mean we are shutting out Santa.  We believe that in everything in life there is a happy medium.  So, in our family, we do Jesus.  And Santa.  And that’s just fine by us!

A BIG HUGE **thanks** to my brother-in-law who has dressed up the last 2 years so that we can get as many pictures as we want from my amazing father-in-law who’s a photographer AND so that we don’t have to stand in long lines!!

Cooper decided to bring a cookie for Santa. {okay, okay, it was Daddy’s idea, but it was a good one! It kept the tears away, so kudos to Dad!}

 “Wanna cookie, Santa?”

 “Hey, pssst! Jax! I’ll smile and you look like a crazy fool, ok?….”

 “Okay, now it’s your turn to cheese it up and I’ll look disgusted and ‘over it all.'”

 “No good smiling pictures of both of us?  SUCCESS!  Now let’s get outta here!!”

These two kill me.  I swear they plan NOT to smile at the same time!

Our annual Ugly Christmas Sweater faculty party was Wednesday.  This year, I decided Cooper had to join in the fun!  Nothing like an ugly, *free* Christmas shirt! A little felt, a few off color buttons, gold and silver bells that jingle and glitter glue…

Cooper just loved his “uh-yee shuht!”

Since before Cooper, Justin and I have always gone to the Fayetteville Square.  They have major lights as part of the Lights of the Ozarks, food, pony rides, and just lots of *free* family fun!  Cooper just loved it last year!

This year, we decided to go on a Friday evening.  Even though it was misting lightly outside…there just wasn’t another chance for us!  We left our apartment at 5:00 for a 15 minute ride to downtown Fayetteville to eat first and then see lights.

…except it took us an hour to get there…with a two year old saying, “Eat, eat!” about every 3 seconds! 😉

We finally made it to one of our favorite burger joints, Hugo’s, and because we got there after 6:00, there was quite a wait.  We waited in line, with a toddler, for about 30 minutes.  Then, we finally sat down to eat.  The food came quickly–which was a blessing–and it was as delicious as I remember!

5 minutes before we leave, our 2 year old says, “uh-oh, Momma…wet! Wet!”  He had wet his pants…not 15 minutes after I he had already gone to the bathroom…This was the first accident he’s had in probably close to 3 months.

Which meant that I didn’t bother to bring his back pack with his change of clothes, because, ya know…we weren’t going to be out long and he never has accidents anyways!!

We paid for our food, and walked outside to assess the situation…and in fact the pants were soaked front to back.  I calmly told Cooper we were going to have to go home and change his clothes and do the lights another time…to which he quietly teared up and said, “yights, peeeeeezzz!”

So we did what any good parents would do…we wrapped his coat around his wet pants and took a 2 minute tour of the square lights!  Just long enough to find a local church that was providing free pictures to families…and balloons for kids.  Thanks, Cross Church, for the perfect family picture!

…and for the balloon that literally entertained my sweet boy for hours on end Saturday!

We may be sharing only 700 square feet of space between the 3 of us, but our Christmas traditions certainly didn’t lack in any way this year!

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