Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas 2015

I spent a few hours at work Christmas Eve morning while Jake and the tot were at home playing getting ready to head to my parent's house for the weekend. Even though we made a pit stop to grab the Pie in the Face game (which they were sold out of) and some lunch, we arrived in time for the tot to take a quick nap before the candlelight service that evening. Taylor was so excited to see her cousins when we arrived at the church, but her enthusiasm quickly faded as the service began. She sat on my lap playing with Elsa and being a downright grump until it was time for the candlelit portion. At first she was mesmerized by the flames, but about halfway through "Oh Holy Night" she totally lost it and we ended up having to blow both of them out. I tend to burn myself at least once before the end of the song, so it was probably for the best.

After church, we headed back to my parent's house for our traditional chicken pot pie dinner and to let Taylor open a couple of presents before bedtime. Our tradition also includes taking family photos in front of the tree and, as you can tell by her facial expressions, Taylor was really enthusiastic about it. Her mood quickly changed when it was time to open presents, and it didn't take her long to uncover the new jammies and giant stuffed Snoopy housed in each box. Shortly after, we all headed to bed so we could be at my sister's house bright and early on Christmas morning.

By the time we arrived at my sister's the next morning, my nieces and nephew had just finished opening all of their presents from Santa and were bouncing off the walls with excitement, so we decided to let the kids open their gifts while the adults drank coffee. I don't know about you, but I don't function well until caffeine is running through my system.

The little girls received new princess dresses and immediately asked to put them on. They were absolutely adorable parading around in their poufy skirts, leaving a trail of glitter everywhere they went.

And just when we thought nothing could top another Elsa dress, my mom pulled out the tot's last present, a big girl bike complete with colorful tassels and a Minnie Mouse pouch to hold all of her goodies. Jake cringed at its girliness, but Tay thought it was the coolest thing ever and hopped on for a test ride, gown and all.

Once the gifts were opened and the discarded wrapping paper was collected, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before heading back to my parent's house. A quick change (and a few pics with Snoopy) later, and we were off to my grandma's for Christmas dinner. We spent the rest of the afternoon eating entirely too much food and catching up with aunts, uncles, and cousins we hadn't seen in far too long. By nightfall, my sister and her traveling circus family had arrived which meant it was time to take family photos (everyone's favorite!), open presents, and play some Christmas trivia (because what would the holidays be without a little competition?). The kids had the most fun of all, running all over the house, jumping on the beds, and performing Christmas carols in the middle of the living room. 

By the time we left, it was way past everyone's bedtime but our hearts (and bellies) were full. The day was busy and chaotic, but having little ones around makes this time of year so much more fun. Seeing the delight in their eyes as they inhale their third sugar cookie (because Christmas sugar doesn't count) and watching their excitement as they open each present makes all of the preparation completely worthwhile.

It was another great Christmas and another reminder of just how lucky we are to have each other. I am already looking forward to celebrating with two little ones next year!