Christmas 2022 and NYE

Despite a severe lack of snow–we’ve had two blizzards and the snow melted almost immediately both times–we had a blast this Christmas!

We love getting our tree! It was so mild we only wore light jackets. Crazy.

Our mid-December blizzard was a fun excuse to invite a friend over for a playdate in the snow! We built our tallest snowman yet, and the DIY snowman kit makes decorating him fun and easy. (Don’t mind the peeling paint…we’ve been waiting to do any exterior work for the house project that is going to start any *year* now…)

Maelle was in two Christmas programs this year! She was in a singing concert with her preschool class at our church’s ‘main’ campus in Hamburg, as well as one on Sunday morning the week before Christmas. The entire children’s ministry put on the Nativity, and Maelle’s class supplied the animals. She was a sheep.

We made lots of cut-out cookies! I didn’t grow up decorating cookies (oh we made LOTS, just not the cut-out kind), and after seeing the King Arthur Flour catalog, I was inspired to start that as a tradition for Maelle and me. She started small this year, helping with a few trees…and I went big.

And I mean REALLY BIG. I made more than 100 cut-outs, bought special icing mixes, accessories, sprinkles and even a decorating pen. It’s the new adult coloring–and much more practical–you can EAT and GIFT them!

It was a lot of work, but decorating them really fulfilled both my perfectionist and creative personality traits. I even made notes for next year, and I plan to make more cut-out cookies with Maelle throughout the year for holidays, like Valentine’s Day.

I did another ‘creative’ project this Christmas: salt-dough ornaments! I saw them on Instagram and the cute pink trees caught my eye. Originally I thought it would be a fun craft for Maelle and her cousin, Nora, but I didn’t want her boy cousins to feel left out, so I ended up making an entire batch. I prepped and painted them, then had my SIL’s help with the kids’ fingerprints. Maelle gave one to each of her grandparents, and we gifted one with ALL the Layer grandkids’ prints to Andrew’s parents.

We held our Christmas Eve party despite a snowstorm, and we spent a relaxing morning at home Christmas Day before we headed over to Andrew’s parents’ house. We spent the rest of the day there, opening more gifts, watching football and making Christmas dinner.

We spent a lot of time together this Christmas as a family, something we’ve really wanted to start doing for year. It’s so hard to balance seeing visiting family, spending quiet time at home, and also seeing my parents a few days later. One afternoon, we walked to Taste for lunch, pulling Maelle along on her sled!

Later that week, we drove to DC to celebrate Christmas with my family. Maelle got to try ice skating! It was almost WATER skating, since it was so warm there 🙂

While there, we all went to the National Zoo together. It was the first time we’d been with my parents, as well as Hannah and Baby Jack. We enjoyed seeing the elephants the most!

Maelle is really enjoying learning to write her letters, and this kit with a dry-erase board and magnetic foam letters is great!

We had a great visit with my parents, and it was strange to leave without having another visit already planned…especially after last year when we were basically there every month!

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