Sunday, December 26, 2010

White Christmas (sort of)

The novelty of snow, originally uploaded by MCuthbert.

We saw significant snow in Birmingham for the second time this year, and amazingly enough it came on Christmas day. Snow fell steadily all day long yesterday, so I'll call it a "white Christmas," though it didn't really accumulate until today.

Emily and Kendall spent a few minutes outside trying to catch snowflakes on their tongues and having a snowball fight with Misty (which they claim to have won, but Misty says otherwise).

This makes three winters in a row where Birmingham has had enough snow to play in (Feb. 2009, Feb. 2010). The girls are going to think that it happens every winter -- they have no idea how strange this trend is. The rarity of a Christmas snowfall made it extra special this time.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Jingling all the way

Misty in the Jingle Bell Run, originally uploaded by MCuthbert.

I continue to be proud of my wife. Today she ran her fourth 5K race since she completed the "Couch to 5K" program earlier this year. This morning, Misty donned an "I believe" Santa shirt, looped bells in her shoelaces, and ran in the Jingle Bell Run, a benefit event for the Arthritis Foundation.

During the race, Emily, Kendall, and I hung out in Underwood Park along with my parents, who were in town for the weekend. There were all sorts of snacks and drinks -- oranges, cookies, hot cocoa, cotton candy, even pizza -- to enjoy, along with some giant inflatables.

I managed to pull the girls away from their fun just in time to see Misty's finish, which crept up on us quicker than expected. She shaved seven minutes off her time from the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure!

Following the Jingle Bell Run, we headed over near my office for the final day of the Pepper Place Fall Market. Emily was really excited about showing Grammy and Haha the secluded garden at Charlie Thigpen's Garden Galley.

We finished up our outing with some time at Railroad Park where the girls got to run around and play some more. Finally though, the cold weather drove us indoors.

Racing at Railroad Park, originally uploaded by MCuthbert.

Or, at least, I'd hoped I'd be indoors. While Emily and Kendall went off to swim at the hotel where my parents were staying, Misty worked on baking projects and I set to hang up the outdoor Christmas lights. If I didn't do it today, it wasn't going to get done this year.

Much to my dismay, I'd forgotten that first I'd have to trim the crepe myrtles, which is an hour-long project in itself. However, once I finished hauling off the branches and got to the lights, the project went much faster than it has in years past. This time I used snap-on light hooks that attach to the gutters, and they were so easy! I couldn't figure out how to make the extending pole work right though, but even having to climb a ladder, this method was way better than using a staple gun. Maybe now, hanging the lights can cease being a holiday project that I dread.

Here are a few more photos from our morning activities.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

An elf has been assigned to our house

When I returned home with the girls last night, there was an "Elf on the Shelf" box sitting on the back porch. We can only assume that it came from Santa.

We read the little story about the elf and learned that he flies back to the North Pole each night to deliver a report. He returns before the girls wake, and each day he appears in a different spot (sometimes getting into mischief along the way). Their job is to find him in the morning. They're not supposed to touch him though, or the magic that allows him to fly home each night might rub off. They can, however, talk to him (though Santa's rules forbid him from speaking to us).

Emily and Kendall named our elf "Eddie," and we set him atop the baker's rack in the kitchen (so he can keep an eye on Kendall while she refuses to eat dinner each night). The girls set up chairs in front of his perch and spent 20 minutes chatting to Eddie, listing 142 things they want for Christmas, telling him about how they plan to be good, and detailing other family holiday activities for him.

The girls haven't woken up yet this morning, but I noticed Eddie hanging out in the branches of the Christmas tree. I can't wait to see where he shows up tomorrow.