Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Feeling the pressure...

Last weekend Jacob and I went to visit my parents.  Craig had a road trip (and so it begins) and since we hadn't been there a lot I decided it was a good opportunity to get in one last visit before the holidays.  I had been wanting to go to the Christmas market set up in Niagara Falls anyway, so it seemed like a good fit.  We headed up Friday night with Craig, who was flying out of Buffalo early Saturday, and fortunately our sleepy boy did, in fact, sleep.  He was awake but drowsy when we arrived, and went back down with little fanfare. 

Saturday was a pretty lazy day.  We mostly just hung out around the house, which was fine with me, and after naptime we got packed up and headed off to Niagara Falls USA.  Niagara Falls makes me sad, because there's so much potential there but not much going on.  Even with the Christmas market and some event getting set up in one of the buildings near the market, there wasn't a lot of activity.  But the casino was packed, of course.  It was COLD, though, and it was probably a good thing the market wasn't as big as I'd hoped.  Keep in mind I've been watching webcams across Europe for years with Christmas markets like this (though many are WAY bigger), so I really wanted this to give me a taste of that fine (predominantly) German tradition.  It ended up being a bit lackluster, but it also gave me a new appreciation for the thousands of people that go to those things since it was so cold!  Here's the rundown, though...

View as we came out of the casino, where we parked.  Pretty lovely, eh?

Zoomed out, looking down toward the market.  If you look close you can see little huts and tents down the way.

The ice rink at the far end of the market.  Jacob wanted to skate.  Of course.  No dice.

My dad, posing with one of the ice sculptures nearby

Jacob with another ice sculpture
On the bright side, the time in Buffalo coincided with the first real snowfall of the season.  We got a little bit here but it melted during the day.  Buffalo, however, got enough that it stuck through the weekend, which was nice to be able to get a little Christmas enhancement.  I don't particularly love snow, but I don't mind just enough this time of year to make things white and Christmasy. 

Sunday we went to church and I sort of freaked when I saw the third candle was lit on the advent wreath.  Holy cow, Christmas is coming fast!  We did some shopping after church, had a fantastic lunch made by my mom, and then headed out in time for nap.  Jacob conked out pretty quickly on the car ride home, and I felt bad that he woke up when we arrived at our pit stop, the photo place where I had to pick up a CD of Jacob's picture from daycare.  I need to print photos ASAP!  Oh, and there's that little issue of getting a picture for our Christmas card, but whatever...

Sunday evening I started work on Christmas cookies for today's office cookie swap.  Last year had been a disaster, so I was nervous this year to try the cutouts my mom does so well every year.  In the end they turned out beautifully...and don't they look pretty?
Pre-baking...elegant in their simplicity.  Picture the finished ones frosted in white and sprinkled with red, green and blue sugar.
I baked another batch last night, mint chocolate truffles, and got a nice assortment of treats today to bring home.  I'm still freaking out about how quickly Christmas is approaching, though.  I had an opportunity to do a ton of shopping today, but it didn't do much good.  I had a really hard time finding what I wanted or deciding on certain gifts.  We're running out of time and I have no idea how we're going to have enough time to pull it all off.  Not gonna lie...as usual I'm stressing out more than I'd like to be.  I need visits from the inspiration fairy as well as the time fairy, ASAP. 

I'm beat, though--thanks in part to a caloric work holiday dinner, no doubt--so for tonight, I've done what I can.

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