Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas 2012: Gingerbread & Capitol Tree

I was so busy this December. So, so busy. Between photoshoots, a trip to Boston, room-momming (yes, I just made room mom a verb) the third grade winter party, co-chairing the PTA holiday bazaar, running the school book club, and TWO HUGE parties at my home with editing and blog press, so many things we usually enjoy doing during the Christmas season were snuck in whenever we had a free moment. It was NOT a relaxing holiday. But, really, I can't complain. I have a full life and many, many blessings.

I ended up dropping a lot of our fun family traditions to free up some time but our tradition of decorating gingerbread houses was happening - even if it had to wait until almost Christmas. The bright side to waiting until three days before Christmas to decorate gingerbread houses? The kits drop down to $5 and my hubs was home from work.

Mike has never been home when we decorated gingerbread houses and I was completely surprised at how much he liked it. I handed the more complex kit over to him and Charlie while Henry and I decorated the one that didn't require additional ingredients and rolling out fondant!

So many times we women want things to look the way we would do them. I try very hard to quiet the voices in my head that want to tell my husband he is doing it "wrong" when it isn't how I would do it. As he squeezed TONS of icing out to glue the gingerbread shapes together into a house, I feared we'd run out of icing (husbands don't know how little icing you get in the kits!) and I chimed in "Babe!! That's too much icing!!" He looked over at me and said, "Charlie and my gingerbread house is being built to withstand hurricane force winds. It will be the most structurally sound gingerbread house of all time. That requires a lot of icing." These are the times when I remember I'm surrounded not only by all men -- but also, engineers. So, I told my voices to shut up and I let them do their thing.
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Henry REALLY didn't care about decorating but he LOVED the candy. He was totally content to let me take the reins as long as I didn't cut off the supply of m&ms.
Love this shot of Henry trying to move in on Charlie's candy when his ran out... Ha ha! Siblings.
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Gingerbread houses are messy. But so fun.
Mine and Henry's on the left and Mike and Charlie's is on the right. I love them!!

I really wanted to find the time to see the Capitol Christmas tree this year. Everyone told us to see the Capitol tree over the White House tree because it's less crowded and not blocked off -- you can walk right up to it. Mike proposed to me at night on the reflecting pool in front of the Capitol so, of course, this makes the Capitol my most loved "monument" in DC. I really wanted to take our boys there to see the tree and make the place even more special than it already is.
I looove shooting at night and rocking low light! The tree was so pretty and the top of the Capitol building was well lit -- it was just beautiful. My new full-frame camera has pop up flash -- but I have NO CLUE how to set a camera on manual for flash (learning this and using a speedlight is my 2013 goal) so I always have to click over to auto for husband-use and flash images. I don't mind. When I'm always the one behind the camera, I'm totally willing to be in flash images that are blurry. As long as I'm in them with my boys, my photography standards lower and being in them is all that matters!

Charlie was freezing and crabby and Henry just wanted to run in circles. They could have cared less that it was a special place. But that's ok. It IS special. It's where Mike and I committed to be their parents -- so even though they were obnoxious, I was in heaven.
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