E & C Deck the Tree

I was sneaky.

A few weeks ago we got a Christmas tree. Although I would have loved to go to a tree farm like we used to as kids back in New Jersey, we've been really busy on the weekends with photo shoots and Evan's basketball coaching, so we opted for the pre-cut Menards tree. Not such a bad option, really. They have cute little trees that are perfect for our little Minneapolis house.

So one snowy Saturday night (I think the only truly snowy night of the year so far ... what's up Minnesota?) we got to work decorating our tree. But unknown to Evan, I had planted our trusty Flip Video on the bookshelf. Shhhh!

He figured it out by the end, but if you watch carefully (and I mean carefully, because it goes FAST!) you'll see him wave at the camera a little past halfway. Notice how he leaves the room for a minute at the beginning to put on a nice red shirt, per my suggestion? That may have tipped him off that something was a brewing ...

Our tree generally looks the same every year. I love anything and everything Norwegian or Swedish, so we have some straw ornaments tied with red thread, red wooden beads draped over the branches, and some wooden apples as well. I actually grew up with the same apples, and it was always tradition to start our decorating process with them, because you want them evenly distributed, of course. We also have various personalized ornaments, collected over the years -- and quite a few cows!

We're off to New Jersey for some relaxing, lots of games, and traipsing around NYC. Then we'll be back to spend some time with the Piersons at the farm. We'll definitely miss the white Christmas we had last year, but we're excited to celebrate, just the same.

Enjoy the video, and have a wonderful Christmas week!

Ninjas of the Night

We set out after dark, dressed in a hodge-podge of winter clothes. A neck warmer served as an ear-band for Karrin, mom's small sweatpants became Mike's running tights; a motley crew. But when you're on a night run, appearances don't matter.

I'm not sure if we lost track of time in our post Turkey-Day stupor, or if we were secretly just craving a night-time adventure, but whatever the case, we headed out on our run a little later than usual; the darkened sky didn't keep us indoors that November night.

We ran to the creek, then along the thin trail that hugs the creek bed and meanders up and around. A thin ribbon of path, where we shifted to a slightly vertical stride to keep trips and stumbles and twisted ankles at bay. But it's still quite possible to continue forward on a night time run even with brambles and uneven ground underfoot. You rely on your ears and your sense of touch -- and quite often your imagination begins to play.

We were the ninjas of the night.

I believe Mike even climbed a tree that had bowed over our path. A little night creature in the branches. 

Silently treading forward, our foursome made it to Lake Harriet where we paused and marveled at how far we'd come without tiring. The magic of the night, I guess.

But it's true, Mike said. It's often easier to accomplish tasks at night when darkness keeps your eyes from searching forward and forces your attention to remain in the present. Sure, your mind can wander, but you are less apt to think about how much further you have to go as you can't see what lies ahead.

Mike has lead many groups of kids on backpacking and rock climbing adventures (among other things), and will often lead the group on a hike at night, for this very reason. He's even tackled tricky climbs in the moonlight. Kids don't complain as much at night, he says. 

And it's kind of exciting too! A normal path can turn into a grand adventure in the moonlight.

I have never been much of a night runner before (partly because it isn't safe by yourself), but now I look for excuses to run at night. I like to be forced to dwell in the present, and not worry about what lies ahead. I am a planner by nature, so putting those blinders on and focusing on each foot placement in the present, is a welcome change. I guess that's the long and wordy way of saying the old cliches "stop and smell the roses ... enjoy the scenery ... it's about the journey, not the destination." But I like my running analogy better.

Try it. Become a ninja of the night. It'll keep you on your toes!

Note that my dad was most definitely on this run too (photo taken from his iPhone). He is the instigator of most of our runs when we're all together, and is always up for the next big adventure. And Evan even ran a couple miles with us that night - what a treat!

Follow @ Instagram

Back to Top