What a wonderful weekend it has been. We’ve been curled up as a family enjoying classic Christmas movies, eating too much and just being together. We almost did a trip over the four day weekend but decided against it after the events that occurred a couple of weeks ago. Instead, we just relaxed and fit in a Christmas market today.
Thanksgiving week kicked off with our youngest having a little feast at his preschool. They did some songs and interacted with one another, which was adorable. I mean, seriously:
The day before Thanksgiving little man gave us the best gift ever by peeing in the potty. Now, I know to many of you that may not seem like a big deal, but I assure you…IT’S A VERY BIG DEAL. We’ve been waiting for months for this to happen. He has been going to the toilet and sitting but has not done anything the entire time. And just like that, he did it! And has been doing it ever since. In fact, he stayed dry ALL day today and even told us when he needed to go. He was so proud of himself!
We had our Thanksgiving meal early this year so my husband could go eat with those in his office who had to work. We started smoking the turkey at 6:00am and it was AH-MAZING. We made mac and cheese, stuffing, cranberry chutney, and pumpkin and French silk pies. And since we no longer have a dining room table, we sat at the coffee table instead. Classy.
The next day we broke out the Christmas decorations, turned on Christmas music and went to town. The boys helped us put the tree together. And when we turned the string of lights on for the first time my youngest became completely overwhelmed and began exclaiming “beautiful!” over and over again. It was so adorable and completely melted this mother’s heart. I was able to catch the last little bit on video, thankfully. I swear, that never happens.
I love our tree. It’s not thematic or magazine-worthy, but it is beautiful to us. Every single ornament has a connection to somewhere, some time or someone in our lives. After my toddler went to sleep my oldest son helped me put the ornaments on the tree, and I told him all of the stories that went with each one. I think he enjoyed it more this year than he ever has before. (Gotta love that pocket chart in the background.)
I made him some white hot chocolate topped with marshmallows and whipped cream (how does one possibly choose between the two) and we turned on Home Alone. Meanwhile, mom and dad enjoyed some Gluhwein. My friend gave me the best recipe for perfect Gluhwein, so I thought I’d share it with you below.
Today we decided to get to a Christmas market. Thanksgiving weekend is usually when most markets open, so we wanted to take advantage since we still have many on our list to get to. We planned on first going to Strasbourg, France and then to Saarbrucken on the way home, but Strasbourg was very large and by the time we were done we decided to just head back.
Strasbourg is a beautiful city. Much of it reminds me of a scaled-down Paris, which was strange at first, but I really fell in love with it. The market itself is scattered throughout the main city center near the Cathedrale. There is a main area, which is extremely crowded, but the rest is of the huts are here and there throughout the city. Security was definitely heightened. Many police roamed the markets in groups and all the entrances were guarded by them. If someone had on a very large coat they would pat the person down. They even checked everyone’s bags going into one of the nearby malls.
Perhaps the best way to pay homage to the lives that were taken so unjustly that day is to live abundantly. To love fiercely. To take advantage of our freedoms and all of the moments we have with the ones that we hold closest. To go to markets, to curl up on the couch together, to eat and drink and be merry.
I will never ever take these times for granted again.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.