Monday, December 4, 2017

Our Busy Weekend & Festive Holiday Adventures

Our Busy Weekend & Festive Holiday Adventures

This weekend was super busy and festive! ::::IN SHORT::::A few of the many things we did included: a trip to Decorah for a holiday art show, a trip to McGregor for our first visit to the annual Christmas Tree Festival, shopping, tidying the house, fulfilling client photo orders, trivia night at Dotzy's, and church where we watched the first advent candle lit for the season! Then today (Monday) we woke up, did a few chores, headed to the library for Emmajean and Gima's first ever grandparents day, and then off to run "new house" errands in Dubuque. So it's been fairly busy around here! 

Here are some of our festive holiday adventures/highlights from the weekend in photo form! --Thanks for bearing with the camera phone photos for these beauties. ;)   

First up, Gima and I made a trip to Decorah to shop the Arthaus holiday show, while Zach stayed home with Emmajean. Of course I missed the little one but it was so nice to have a day out with just us adults. You forget how easy a simple trip to the store is without having a toddler in tow. 

When we parked in Decorah we stepped out of the car to this heartwarming sight... "scarves in the park." Here you may take a scarf or hat or gloves if you need one, or leave one if you can. I absolutely love this idea! If this simple display of generosity and care doesn't boost your Christmas spirit, I don't know what will! Thank you, kind souls, for setting this up in Decorah for all to see and share. 

 After we finished at the Arthaus holiday art exhibit, which helped raise money for their gallery and kids' art education programs, we headed into the VESTERHEIM museum gift shop. It was my first time, and I loved seeing all of the NISSE themed apparel and gifts. There was an adorable Norwegian cape the perfect size for E that I might have to make my way back for! 

Have you ever heard of RosemÃ¥ling? This beautiful form of folk art originated in Norway. Many of the folks in our area are from Norwegian ancestry and you'll find the Norwegian heritage celebrated in many of the towns (especially Decorah) with traditional Norwegian foods, rosemaling, nisse (like the NISSE pictured below) and in festivals and parades. 

We wrapped up our Decorah trip with a stop to donate some of my things at Goodwill and then headed south, back to Saint Olaf. 

When we made it home to Zach and Emmajean, we had a quick dinner and piled in the car to go see the ChristmasTree Festival that is held in McGregor annually on the first weekend in December. 

For the festival of trees, 45 gorgeous trees were sponsored and decorated by local businesses and organizations. Then they were auctioned to raise money for three different local charities. If you went through the forest of Christmas trees yourself, you may have noticed The McGregor Marquette Center for the Arts/The Left Bank Shop and Gallery decorated a tree based on the painting "The Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh. It was breathtaking. 

I also LOVED "The Greatest Show on Earth" tree by The Old Time Shop.....

And I have to mention the tree that had ornaments all crafted from cookie cutters!  Can you find the cookie cutter in the image above? 

We were all really blown away by our first Christmas Tree Festival, and I'm already looking forward to next year! WHO KNOWS... maybe Emmajean and I will have to help decorate one!

There was a lot more to the festival than just the trees. There were different events and contests throughout the two day festival and we made it in time to see/bid on the trees and just in time for some lovely Christmas carolers! 

You know Emmajean was in awe by all of the sights and sounds! Gima Dawn had a pretty fun time, too!

Sunday we woke up and headed to church bright and early -- ours starts at 8:45 and has a pretty good crowd! Luckily there are lots of kids so Emmajean isn't the only one you might hear from a few pews away. She is always in the mood to run around when we make our way to church. We remembered to bring our sugar and flour to drop off for the annual fundraiser and enjoyed seeing the tree being decorated for this special season. 

Today we celebrated Gima with grandparents day at the library. It is so cute to watch our little one make friends and interact with other kids. They are all so sweet and precious. After the library we headed to Dubuque to run some errands and look at bathroom fixtures for Gima's new house. We picked up some extra non-perishable goods while we were out and headed back home to enjoy dinner with dad. 

The past several days have been a whirlwind with lots of festive holiday adventures! Even small ways of giving help put you in the holiday spirit and make for an enchanted holiday weekend! I love this season!  

I'm already looking forward to our next holiday adventure... A trip to see The Holiday Train where we will donate canned goods to the local food shelf. The Holiday Train is coming Thursday to McGregor- Marquette, IA!! We can't wait!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend! 


PS I didn't get a chance to photograph the few items that I found out shopping, so I'll share those with you soon! Stay Tuned! 

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