Life as we know it

Our family adventures

A day of Christmas

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Saturday morning we started our Christmas season with a trip to the mall and some fun activities downtown. We went to the mall to buy a gift for the giving tree. In talking the last couple days, Doug and I decided we wanted to start a tradition of donating a present for someone in need. We decided to do the tree at the mall because we could pick up a tag, buy something and leave it there right away.

001We ended up picking a 10-year-old boy who wanted Avenger toys. Silly Mama didn’t even know what the Avengers are! Dada knew! But we weren’t able to find them inside the mall. So we decided Dada would run to Toys ‘R’ Us outside the mall while Mama and Allie went to play. I snapped this picture of Allie looking all excited to be there and then she just came and sat down! She was pretty tired Saturday morning and I guess she just didn’t feel like playing.

002When Dada got back, we took the gift to leave it by the tree. It was important to us to have Allie participate, so it was kind of a bummer that she didn’t help pick out the gift, but it was way easier to have Dada go get it than to load everyone up a few times. So we decided that we’d have Allie drop off the present. She was very excited to buy a present for another kid who might not get any other presents.


When we were at the mall, we also bought Allie a new winter coat. We’ve never actually bought her one because she’s gotten them as presents or hand-me-downs. But so far this season she’s growing out of her other coats and the only one we really had was thick and bulky, better for playing in the snow but not so much for day-to-day. The bulk makes it really hard to get her in the car seat. So we got this… she really likes her new purple coat!

004Then we went downtown to ride the holiday trolley. We wanted to do this last year, but it was always too cold. When we saw the temps were supposed to be 40s and 50s this weekend, we jumped at the chance to get outside on Dec. 1! Allie liked riding the trolley a lot.

009We got off the trolley at the Children’s Museum to go hear the carolers. Unfortunately once we got there, we only heard them sing three songs. The web site said the carolers were supposed to be from 11 to 1, but they stopped at 11:30. While we were there we had a snack and played a little in the free area. We were members there last year and really need to get a membership again! Allie really wanted to go in and play but we didn’t have time or money that day.

010Next we walked over to the capital to see the big Christmas tree. Allie wanted Mama to carry her, but luckily she decided she’d rather walk up all the stairs. Its hard for Mama to carry Allie these days.

012Just look at that big tree! Its a 35-foot Balsam fir from a tree farm in Medford, somewhere up north. The theme for the decorations is “In Wisconsin,” and ornaments were made by school children representing goods made in the state.

016They had a display with trunks from some of the other Capitol Christmas trees through the years. I read that the tree has been a tradition in the Capitol since 1916. Trees are required to be at least 60 to 65 feet tall before they’re cut down. Thats a tall tree!

013Allie really liked the train running around the base of the tree. She tried to walk right under the rope that keeps people away!

017We walked up to the second and third floor to see the tree from above. I always love looking around inside the Capitol. Its so pretty!

018Even from above, you can’t get a picture of the entire tree!

022We finished off the morning with lunch at Panera, then it was time to go home for Allie to take her much-needed nap. Later when she woke up, we continued the Christmas theme of the day as she helped mama make these mint chocolate crinkle cookies. Once the dough is ready, you roll it into a ball and then dip in powdered sugar. Allie said the looked like big snowballs. I agree with her! Side note: That lovely hair-do is Allie’s bed head since this was right after she got up. We actually had to wake her up from her nap so she wouldn’t be up too late at night.

024These were fun to make because of the powdered sugar and also because of the hershey’s kisses! Allie helped me count them out as I unwrapped them. These are mint truffle hershey’s kisses. When I was going to make these cookies a few weeks ago, Dada couldn’t find the mint ones so he got regular. I had to go to the store before I could make the cookies last night, and I was able to find the mint ones. I’m so glad I did!


The cookies are so yummy! I don’t know how the blogger who did the recipe kept the kisses from melting though! Even four hours later when I put them away, the kisses were still soft. But eating them the next day, I think they’re better with the softer hershey’s kisses on them. It was so fun to make our first Christmas cookies of the season. And I’m sure I’ll make these cookies again too.


Author: Jessica

I am a running working mama. We work hard and play hard and I have a lot to share along the way.

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