Preparing For Christmas

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with their loved ones. We take off for North Dakota tonight to celebrate a late Christmas with ours! I will post later about how we spent our first Christmas as a family of three. For now, I’d like to share some of the fun and exciting things we did to prepare for it!

I have lots of great Christmas preparation memories. Some of my favorite include:

  • Setting up the video camera and decorating the Christmas tree with my brothers. Decorating could not commence until Elmo & Patsy’s Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer or Mickey’s Christmas Carol album was in the record player on full blast.
  • Baking Christmas goodies for days! My mom still calls to get our Christmas goody order and is sure to bake something special for each of us.
  • Driving to Bismarck on Christmas Eve EVE to start Christmas shopping with my mom. We would sprint around the mall until she crossed off every item on her shopping list. Who needs Christmas in July? With a little determination (and procrastination), all it really takes is one evening folks.

This year I was so excited to share these memories with Lillian and to create some new ones! Here are some of the festive things we did to prepare for Christmas:

1. We attended the Eagle River tree lighting. This was such a fun event to take Lillian to! It turned out to be a beautiful night. Lillian rode around in her carrier, checking out all the people, while Blake and I sampled yummy food and drinks. Here’s a fun Christmas in Alaska fact: Wherever there’s a Santa there’s usually always reindeer! I didn’t get any pictures of them though. :(

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2. We shopped for and delivered goods to those in need. Blake’s work hosted a donation center so that is where Santa’s Little Helper and I delivered to. Canned goods are always a winner but if you’re ever looking for  ideas, we found that hats, gloves, and warm wool socks make great donation items.


3. We went to a festive show! Blake and I called in our favorite babysitter and had a fun night out on the town with a bunch of friends. We saw Christmas In Spenard, an Alaskan musical comedy. It was great. Wassail!

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4. We planned our Christmas goody menu and baked for days! Our menu included Snowball Cookies, Pretzel Shortbread, Party Mix, Spicy Goldfish (or as Blake likes to call them… Spicy Tuna), Nacho Snack Mix, Lemon Buddies and Fudge. The recipes for my great grandma’s Fudge and my mom’s Spicy Goldfish can be found here.

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5. We ventured out to a tree farm to pick out the perfect Christmas tree. This was a spur of the moment trip so please excuse Lillian’s crazy outfit and my wet hair.

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6. We took Lillian to see Santa… twice! She saw him at the tree farm and we also took her to the mall. She handled sitting on his lap like a champ but kept grabbing for his beard and trying to put it in her mouth. I know, gross!!

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Wow! That was a lot of fun packed into one post. I better get going. We leave in a few hours and I haven’t started packing yet. I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year. We will be celebrating it in the air, probably with a screaming child. Thank goodness they serve alcohol on planes… and in airports. Cheers!!

Alaskan Panda Debut

Welcome to Alaskan Panda!! I’m soooo excited to share this blog with you!

For about a year now, I’ve been thinking about starting a blog. Blake and I are always trying to keep family and friends updated on what’s going on with us. So many of you are so far away and we don’t see each other or talk as often as we’d like. Since Lillian’s arrival, we have been trying even harder to keep everyone updated. It seems like we are forever texting/sending emails/Facebooking/Instagramming/Tweeting and we’re STILL not reaching everyone. There’s always someone that doesn’t text/Facebook/etc. We decided that with a blog, we should be able to reach everyone that is interested. Everyone has internet, right? Ok. Almost everyone. I guess I’m still going to have to print and snail mail pictures to my Grandpa and Grandma. :)

Alright, here we go! Here’s a quick Olson family update:

  • Lillian is 6 months old and is growing like a weed. At her check-up last week she weighed 17 lbs and 5 ozs. She’s really tall (has been in the 95th percentile since birth) and still bald. Also, she’s super feisty but we ♥ her for it. Below are some pictures on her 6 month birthday. She was NOT in the smiling mood that day. Like I said, feisty.



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  • Alaska is nice. I can definitely say Blake loves it a little more than I do. I’m sure you’re all surprised.
  • I’m still home with Lillian. Our days are busy and interesting… to say the least.
  • Blake is good. He’s busy trying to figure out how to hunt and fish as much as possible, while maintaining a full-time job.
  • The house is coming together nicely. We have a big guest bedroom that isn’t occupied nearly enough.
  • We will be in ND January 1-8. Maybe we will see some of you then!


I hope you enjoy reading about what’s going on in our world. Feel free to leave comments or send us a quick email. I’ll do my best to respond in a timely manner. Also, you can subscribe to the blog so that you receive emails whenever there is a new post.

shout out: I just want to say THANK YOU to my computer geek genius husband. I did what I could but he helped take the blog to a whole new/awesome level with some fancy coding something or another.

disclaimer: I type like I talk. I hope it makes sense. Enjoy the grammatical errors. ;)