[5th annual] dad & emma day

the older i get, the harder i am finding it to get into the holiday spirit. perhaps it’s because  the mystery of christmas is gone; because i’m getting older and find things less magical; because the season now comes with snowy and trafficy filled commutes; and most importantly because i no longer get a glorious month long break this time of year. whatever the cause i’m having to dig a little deeper each year to find cheer and holly jolliness. brandon and i got out tree and decked it out with 1600, yes sixteen HUNDRED lights, which helped get me in the spirit. but what really made it feel like the holidays was last friday on the 5th annual dad and emma day.

i’m a sucker for a good tradition, and this one has become one of my favorites. started 5 years ago (you can read about year four here, year three here, and year two here.) my daddy would take a friday off in early december and make the trek up to the big city, and the agenda has remained virtually unchanged. it goes a little something like this: bloody mary’s (& breakfast), barnes & noble to get dad’s calendar, a stop at target to look at christmas decor, macy’s santaland (minus the year the line was WAY too long), cookies from mrs clause’s bakery, starbucks and people watching at the IDS building. it’s the perfect holiday morning.

i am so blessed to have these traditions. and especially now that i don’t get to go home as much, they mean that much more to me. i love my life up in the burbs, but a part of my heart is always home with my family. and every moment we spend together is another memory in the books. no matter how old i get, i will be my daddy’s little princess, and i can’t wait for many more years of dad & emma days to come. love you much daddy! xoxo

Dad and Emma Day

Dad and Emma Day

Dad and Emma Day

[dad & emma day’s through the years]

Dad and Emma Day

Dad and Emma Day

Dad and Emma Day

Dad and Emma Day

Dad and Emma Day

[4th annual] dad and emma day

last friday was one of the most anticipated days of the year; dad and emma day. dad and emma day started 4 years ago when my dad decided to take a friday off and come up to visit. (you can read about year 3 here and year 2 here) we are fans of routine and consistency, and thus our routine has been left virtually untouched. the only changes that have been made are to where we dine for breakfast. years 1 and 2 we partook in the amazingness eggs benedict and hot chocolate that is Hell’s Kitchen. year 3 we got a little cray cray and tried somewhere new, 8th street grill, where we enjoyed epic cinnamon granola crusted french toast and bomb.com bloodys. this year, we were forced to get cray cray once again, and ventured to the news room. perfection. we delighted in omelets and bloodys with a small salad on top.

afterwards we headed over to barnes and noble, where we picked up dad’s calendar for the year. (a much anticipated item by the fine peeps at ventura foods). then it was over to macy’s santaland. (when we first started this annual tradition, we thought that we would visit santaland each year and it would be something new and cool and exciting. ever since we started this tradition, the theme has remained unchanged – a day in the life of an elf) the best part of santaland? mrs. claus’ sugar cookies at the end. nom nom nom. after santaland we pick out a sweater for daddy, then i pick out some earrings. our last stop is over to the crystal court in the IDS building. we grab some starbucks and lemon bread and take a seat to enjoy and do some classic minneapolis style people watching. we get someone to snap a photo by the tree, and with that, the day has come to an end.

another year almost gone by, another dad and emma day in the books. no matter how old i get, i will always be daddy’s little princess. and i am so blessed that we get to have amazing traditions like these. i love being an “uptown” girl and living in the “big city” but i certainly do miss my family. i will treasure all these little traditions and memories we have and look forward for all the new ones to come. — love you daddy! xoxo

Bloody Mary at the News Room

The News Room

dad & emma day :)

dad and emma day 2012

it’s beginning to look a lot like [christmas]

happy december, friends! hope you all had a fabulous and festive first weekend of december; i certainly did. this weekend was fantastic, and i have to say i’m quite sad it’s over. nevertheless, it’s time to share all the awesomeness with my readers! the absolute main event of the weekend was getting a real, legit, awesome, not fake, fraser fir christmas tree.

buddy the elfafter kicking off the weekend with good food, good people and fun organizing (seriously), it was time to deck the hall in the burbs of maple grove.  we’d already picked up some holiday decor, and stopped at target to get some necessities to jazz up the tree we would soon have. then we headed to perl’s landscaping to search for our tree. i was like a little kid on christmas morning i was so excited. i have never had a real christmas tree before and the whole experience was everything i hoped it would be. rows after rows of trees. full of christmas tree goodness. we chatted it up with a worker to get the DL on how this all works. we decided we were going to go with a 6-7′ fraser fir tree, since they require the least amount of maintenance and last the longest. we searched up and down the rows, inspecting our potential choices. some were a little homely looking, some were more shaped like a bush than a tree, some were too skinny or too fat, and finally we found one that was just right. all the while i had the biggest smile on my face. one of the guys came over, and took it to saw off the stump. brandon and i went to pick of a wreath, get a stand and learn how to take care of this bad boy. tree lot guy strapped the tree up on clifford and we were ready to get christmas started.

tis the season

i was in a haze of christmas happiness as we drove home. feelin’ so festive driving around of a tree on the roof like you see in the movies. we pulled up and unloaded the wreath and other holiday decor we’d acquired. brandon hung the weath up on the front door and then it was tree time. my roll: play photographer and keep starks out of the way. we learned that christmas trees aren’t’ as heavy as we’d thought, and brandon was able to get it inside pretty easily. he got it up on the stand and we let it stand a little while. it looked so pretty already. to add to the christmas spirit we put on the christmas classics: frosty the snowman, santa clause is coming to town, and rudolf the red-nosed reindeer. i did some trimming to even it out a little bit, but for the most part is was ready to be bedazzled. i got the job of lights lady. this was always my moms role at home, until we got a prelit tree awhile ago. so i had no previous experience nor had i seen it done in awhile. i sort of knew what i was doing.(in case you were wondering, the difference between aritifical and real trees? other than one is real and one is not is that artificial has set areas where the branches are, so you know what’s up. real trees are kind of a hot mess once you get in there.) and we soon realized we probs should have got a couple more strands of lights. oh well, it was our first pancake as the girlmore girls would say.

while i was brightening up the tree, brandon was making homemade hot chocolate. it was just cocoa, milk, and a little salt. i knew it would taste good since it was homemade, but i didn’t know it would taste so flipping amazing. and then we added baileys and cinnamon and oh my yum. fantastic. amazing. nom nom nom. then it was time to deck it out with ornaments. we got red, silver and greyish ball ornaments and brandon had some of his own. we strategically got them all on there and then it was topped off with a star. the final step was the village underneath the tree and boom. christmas tree = accomplished.

afterwards we turned off the lights and sat and enjoyed it in all it’s christmas tree beauty. i am pretty proud of us for our first tree, it’s just so pretty. this holiday season has been fabulous so far and now it really is beginning to look a lot like christmas.

ready to get a christmas tree!

big smile on my face ready to get a tree!!

found the tree!!

we found the tree!!!

clifford ready to haul the tree

clifford ready to haul the tree

hanging the wreath

hanging the wreath

tree time

tree time

beautiful tree

beautiful tree

great weekend :)

summary of an amazing weekend :)