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I don't ski, I don't drink craft beer and I don't have a dog, but by golly I am a real Colorado native girl.  So now you can still believe in unicorns!  Here's my ode to motherhood, you know because all of us bloggers write like we were the first, only and last mama out there.

Nutcracker Sweet

Nutcracker Sweet

You know you’ve been spiriting yourself with the season a little too much when you develop hives from peppermint extract. At least you are pretty sure that it’s all the peppermint you’ve been ingesting lately, because it’s the only slightly different thing in your diet in the last couple of weeks and in excess quantities. Yes, itchy knots from pumps of peppermint in my coffees and peppermint ice cream and peppermint Milanos….The doctor couldn’t confirm my theory, but my swollen, fiery feet before my ice cream bowl hit the sink the other night might be a clue that its time to ease up on the candied Red 50 dye.

Last weekend was a pretty special one! A day we all had been talking about for a while. Last Saturday was the day I would take Remy to see Colorado Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker downtown, for the second year in a row! It’s a holiday tradition I hope to keep up over many years to come with my girls. Growing up I was always IN the performance, so I am happy to plan to be an audience member and hum along to the orchestra playing Tchaikovsky’s iconic ballet and be that TOTAL cheese ball, TEETH SMILING the whole time. Last year she was initiated into our own little Nutcracker Sugar Plum Sweet tradition, I blogged about our first shared Nutcracker experience here, and she and I have been anxious about this year’s date basically since the curtains closed last year.

We felt Arlo was still a little too fidgety to attend the ballet this year. We made her day just as special by sending her and Baba on a movie date to see The Grinch! By the time all the previews played through, and twenty minutes in, she whispered to Baba, “Okay, I’m ready to go home now.” We were apparently accurate in our assessment. Hopefully next year I’ll have TWO Sugar Plums with me!

Remy wanted to bring her doll with her this year! She even dressed her up in a little fur coat! No shoes or stockings, but the chubby white fur was all the warmth she needed! haha! I just LOVE this time of year with my girls! Dressing them up and taking them downtown to see shows is going to be something I will always look forward to. I could just watch HER the entire time! From the march down the bricks to the Ellie Caulkins Theater with her little brown tresses floating and this little air of confidence, she just has a presence. Her tiny fingers holding her ticket and her little shiny black patent leather shoes hanging off the edge of the seat. I wish the theater didn’t get SO dark- I wished I could stare at her tiny eyes twinkling.

The opening party scene was a hit with her, as was the second act with the Waltz of the Flowers, the long tutus in blues, pinks and purples would be pretty popular with most little girls, and she really lit up during the Chinese dance. We shared a delicious brownie (it was from a package, but it was really good, and I’m not a brownie person!) at intermission and picked out two special ornaments for our tree this year. I love to find a special ornament that captures something special experienced that year, and the Clara ornaments were it! We found one that was a little larger with a white nightie and red shoes, and a little one wearing pink for Arlo.

After the big performance and all the applause we headed out to the streets and found the Brother of Brass blaring some notes for everyone to enjoy! We remembered these musicians from last year, same spot, after the Nutcracker! This year though, husband and little sister joined up with us again and we found THE best curbside parking EVER, like, literally outside the stage doors, and we walked over to Larimer Square to visit Santa!

Santa sang the ABC’s with the girls, clearly my girls are not the terrified type, and he asked Arlo if Remy was a good big sister. Arlo insisted she was THE BEST, leaned over into Remy’s lap, nuzzled her and clenched her teeth and kissed her hands. After sharing what they wished for, “America dolls, and Num Noms,” they got a special little stuffed snowman from Santa and Baba and I got a report card that we have to turn in by Christmas Eve. By then we were all about to eat the basket of candy canes sitting there, this was before I could really nail down the cause of my hives, and we walked a couple more blocks and ended up having a wonderful family dinner at PF Changs. Husband’s idea to do a sit-down restaurant, and after such a LONG and eventful day, I was nervous for how the girls would do, but it went great!

We polished off our big Saturday in the city with, something I THOUGHT I ordered, hot chocolate, but in retrospect I believe was an erroneous peppermint mocha! I had a couple sips and kept thinking, “this doesn’t taste like hot cocoa…” On the drive home, the two insane toddlers giggling and screaming, kicking and damn nearly barging through their buckles the whole way home, the long drive home through Parade of Lights traffic in town, and the scratchy pink welt that rose up by my eye was proof probably that we got a festive espresso instead.

The red dresses, tiny thighs in white tights, chocolate mustaches and all the little magical moments of the day are sticking in my memory light that first light dusting of new snow. I’ll never forget Arlo and the way she squealed and leaned forward, fists in balls, teeth clenched and eyes tightly squinted, “He IS the REAL Santa! I just KNOW it!”

There are plenty of performances to choose from through Christmas Eve! Buy your tickets to Colorado Ballet’s Nutcracker here.

This week has been every bit of what you might expect December in Denver to be like, COLD, light snowflakes floating in the early morning today, the type of days where coats are a must, and I LOVE it! We used this week to be inside together, playing Candy Land, making presents, putting up the last of the ornaments on the tree, some homework and a fun play date at a friend’s house. Praying for snow, because DROUGHT, and looking forward to another beautiful holiday weekend ahead. We have a very special visit from Nana, she’s taking them somewhere special to gift them their Christmas gifts, hint, there might be giant red bags with a star, and I sort of want to get the girls in ice skates again.



P.S. The first two snaps are from Lo before Remy and I headed downtown. I actually love them!

***A sincere, and genuine THANK YOU to the Colorado Ballet, for sponsoring this post. Partnerships like this help share their goodness and in turn bring awareness to all of these incredible friends helping to ensure their longevity.

Wearing: Remy is wearing a snowflake headband from Target. Arlo and I saw these a couple week and I grabbed the two I saw- LOVE. Found this option, Disney’s Nutcracker, for $10.50 from Kohl’s! Remy’s dress is from TJ Maxx a few weeks ago, but this red tutu dress from Zulily is $16.99. You can find white tights anywhere, and these t-strap black patent leather shoes from Nordstrom Rack are VERY similar and $22! Her faux fur coat is actually NOT that warm, and more of a fashion coat, but THIS toggle coat by J.Crew is spectacular, AND looks practical. OR, totally a sucker for this shiny, chubby faux fur with a red flower from Kate Spade.

I am wearing a vintage sequin top, was my grandmother’s, which I belted with a thrifted/vintage chain and metallic belt, over a pink tulle skirt I picked up at Ross over Thanksgiving break. This tulle skirt from Burberry is a DREAM, but for a lot less and in black, here’s a very close match! My boots are Nine West and SO OLD, but these are very similar! I have large ankles/calves and these knee-high boots actually fit.

Tree Time!

Tree Time!

Thanksgiving & Not Blinking

Thanksgiving & Not Blinking