Our Five Ring Circus: The Christmas Spirit

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Christmas Spirit

I have a confession.  I'm a total Grinch this year.  I'm just not enjoying the holiday season as much as I typically do.

I'm not sure if it's the constant busyness, the unseasonably warm weather, or the fact that I've been sick since before Thanksgiving. It's hard to rest and get better when you literally can't stop! There are just so many activities and obligations for my 4 kids right now! I feel like I'm just going through the motions for my favorite holiday.

I'm trying desperately to get out of my funk.  Thankfully, my cough finally seems to be improving, and we've had a few events over the past week that helped give me a glimpse of that Christmas Spirit that has been missing all month!

First up was the warmest Christmas Parade we've ever experienced! We go to our town parade/light up night every single year.  It's ridiculously short, but the kids love it, and they get to visit with Santa after the parade.


The parade was on Saturday and it was in the high sixties. That's so unusual for Pittsburgh this time of year.  We were stripping off layers of clothing as we waited for the parade to begin!

Grant's mom and Nannie met us for the parade, and our some of our friends joined us, too.  It just so happened to be Nannie's 91st Birthday!  She's the coolest 91 year old around.  She's still sharp as a tack, perfectly put together, and she races around town in her orange Camaro adorned with her initials!


The kids grabbed some drinks, cupcakes, and hot cocoa, then Dylan wandered off with some friends from school.  The girls and Liam are still happy to stay with their family and friends! They had plenty of fun while we waited for the parade to start!

Christmas Parade
Liam and MaNa at Christmas Parade

It seemed like it took a long time, but we finally heard the parade heading our way! Everyone rejoined our group and the kids got ready to catch some candy!

I must have bumped my camera just before the parade began, and the dial shifted out of manual.  I didn't even realize it until I got home, but all my pictures after that were "off."  I was bummed, but they still turned out cute!


Liam was a HUGE fan of the parade! He clapped his way through it!

Liam at the Christmas Parade

The parade only lasted about 5 minutes, but the kids enjoyed it!  The highlight, of course, was Santa arriving at the very end of the parade!

Christmas Parade and Light Up Night

We watched Santa light up the town, then got in line to visit with Santa.  Even though we were near the front of the line, people filtered in on all sides, and we ended up waiting a long time! It was worth it, though!


Liam had no fear of Santa.  By the end of their visit, he was grinning and clapping along with Santa's elves! Santa told us he was a big fan of Liam!

We said our goodbyes to Santa, and Liam took off down empty Main Street. We took that as our cue to pack up our things and head to our next destination!


That evening, we had a Christmas party with our friends, and I didn't even take a single picture.  Oops!

Lily had her snack day at Pre-K on Wednesday.  I let her pick something festive, and she ended up choosing a very time-consuming treat.  I did it, though, because after Pre-K, snack days are over!  The only free time I had was at 12:30 AM on Wednesday. One hour and 20 snowmen later, I headed to bed!

Middle of the night preschool snack assembly.  Nothing better to do at 1 AM, right?!? Out of everything Lily could choose, she chose this one. Of course. But, hey, I'm a doughnut snowman-making pro now! 20 snowmen later, I'm ready for bed! #thethingswedof

After I picked Lily up from school on Wednesday, we headed to the park.  It was 60 degrees, so we had to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather while we had the chance!

Adventures of Lily and Liam
Park in December
Pittsbugh in December

That evening, our entire family attended Dylan's 5th grade band/chorus winter concert!


Fifth Grade is the first year the students can join band, and I'm really glad Dylan opted to join.  I think sports AND music is very important! Dylan chose the trumpet, but wants to switch to strings next year.  Dylan was in the choir club last year, which was optional, but in 5th Grade, choir is mandatory.

My parents and Grant's mom and Nannie came to the concert, too. Dylan was very happy they came to see him.

Although I didn't get many pictures, the concert was great!  The band played 6 songs and each song was just 30 seconds long. They were surprisingly good considering they have only been playing together for one month and only 3 days with their new band teacher (their regular teacher is on maternity leave)!

I honestly couldn't even spot Dylan in band, but I did capture a few videos.  I can't wait to see how they sound in the Spring after several more months of learning!

The chorus did a great job, too!  (Dylan is in the front row, far right.)


Lily and Liam were really well behaved through the entire concert, so I was actually able to relax and enjoy it!  I'm thankful for that!

I'm proud of myself.  I only cried two or three times. (Maybe more, but who's judging?) I just can't believe I have an 11 year old.  He grew up in the blink of an eye, and he didn't even need my help getting ready.  He chose his outfit, put on his crooked tie, gelled his hair, and put on cologne.  I can't handle this!


We had a great evening cheering on our sweet boy!   We're so proud of him!!! (And our end of the concert family photo is about as real as it gets. Two sleepy kids and two sleepy parents!)


It was a fun week!  We have a LOT of shopping and Christmas activities ahead of us over the next week.  I'm not quite sure how we're going to fit it all in before Christmas, but we'll do our best! 

How are you celebrating the holiday season?



  1. I know what you mean about not feeling in the Christmas spirit. I'm trying to get there too! Looks like you all are staying pretty busy. Evan plays the trumpet too! Our school doesn't offer strings, but that would be awesome if they did. Hope the Christmas Spirit finds you soon!

    1. I cheered up soon after posting this! I just had to get out of my funk and enjoy the season! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

  2. I am right there with ya.. I think it's just being so busy and the weather adds to it. It's suppose to be 80 degrees here on Christmas Day. Blah!

    1. That's exactly it! 80 degrees is really warm...I was complaining about 60. Haha!

  3. Oh I hope you get out of your funk soon friend :).


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