Thursday, January 3, 2013

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2012 was fantastic. And flew by. Seriously, I feel like one second it was late October and we were celebrating Emy's birthday and then I blink and Christmas is over. How does that happen every year???

This year we had lots of family in town and our kids adored all the attention. Poor Ashton picked up a cold or something right before everyone arrived and then with all the excitement he lost so much sleep that he just couldn't kick it. The day our last guest left, he took TWO naps and slept 13 hours that night. And guess who was almost 100% better the next morning? Amazing what sleep can do for you:)

I really tried to get a Christmas tree pic with the kids this year. Did. Not. Happen. This is the best I got. And it is not even technically correct. 2013-01-03_0008 One of my favorite memories from Christmas this year is the party hosted on the 21st. It was a completely last minute affair but it worked out that almost everyone on the guest list could attend. Of course there were last minute issues and some had to bail but we had about 25 adults and 20 kids under 6 that came. It was a full house but so fun!

We had a bounce house set up outside for kids, a Christmas craft area to entertain them inside and then when it was time to eat, we piled the kids on a blanket in the living room and turned on Polar Express and it worked like magic. They all ate. They all stayed put. It was amazing. Of the entire fun party, those were really the only pictures I took. Shame on me. But to my defense I was just having too much fun:) 2013-01-03_0001 Fast forward to Christmas Eve. Yes, three whole days later. I didn't take one single picture for three days. Awful, I know. Anyways, here are the kids before Christmas Eve service at church. Ashton was obviously being a complete goof:) 2013-01-03_0002 After church we raced home and had a lot to accomplish before the kids went to bed. We had birthday cake and sang happy birthday to Jesus. We read the last of the advent stories. We said goodbye to our elf, Clifford. We put out cookies and milk for Santa and reindeer food for Rudolph and his friends. The kids opened their traditional gifts from their grandparents- pjs:) And my most cherished Christmas Eve tradition is when my grandmother reads The Night Before Christmas to the kids. 2013-01-03_0021 2013-01-03_0020 2013-01-03_0019 On their way to bed:) 2013-01-03_0003 After the kids were in bed Santa's helpers went to work... 2013-01-03_0007 Christmas morning tradition of opening stockings in mommy and daddy's room. This is a sweet tradition but it was established as a necessity...The kids wake up so early and are ready to roll. Normally our house guests are not up yet nor are those who are staying in hotels. So, this tradition buys us a little time while everyone gets up and over to our house. The kids never seem to notice the delay:) 2013-01-03_0009 Everyone finally arrived and breakfast was ready and it was time to go see what Santa had brought. We make our way into the living room and I pause. It was a super stormy morning. Stormy, as in thunder and lightning and pouring rain. We started opening gifts at about 8:30 and it was still pitch black outside. It was weird. And it didn't feel like Christmas. And it made for HORRIBLE lighting. And I am a lighting snob and refuse to use a flash. So, here is Christmas morning in black and white:)

Santa does not wrap gifts at our house. So, the kids always go to them first and play for a few minutes before we dive into everything else. Yes, Emerson is holding a real camera. Santa took a big chance this year because she did not ask for anything specific. Luckily, Santa made a good choice and she LOVES it. And she has been very responsible with it as Santa had hoped:) 2013-01-03_0016 2013-01-03_0015 2013-01-03_0014
 This was right before the "grand finale's", a.k.a. things too big to wrap. We told the kids to cover their eyes while daddy brought them in. I couldn't help but laugh at Ashton... 2013-01-03_0013
 A new scooter for Ash and a big girl bike for Emy. 2013-01-03_0012
 The rain finally subsided and gave way to snow. This made for much better lighting:) But also led to practicing new outdoor toys indoors! 2013-01-03_0006

After gifts, the kids played and played. Mommy got the table set for Christmas dinner. We had 9 for dinner. I love hosting in our new home. 2013-01-03_0010
 The kids enjoying some of their new books. And yes, they stayed in their pj's all day. 2013-01-03_0004
 When the snow finally stopped, the kids went out for about 3 minutes to play. They didn't last long because it was so cold! 2013-01-03_0005 2013-01-03_0017
 We were all blessed this Christmas but the most cherished gift to me was the collection of snowflakes that my grandmother gave me. They are made of shells and reflect the light so beautifully. They were hers and have always adorned the windows in her home since I was a little girl. They were always my favorite in her home growing up. They ARE Christmas to me. They make me smile and my heart warm. When she got up to DFW a couple days before Christmas she gave them to me and I immediately put them up. There are 7 of them and they look just perfect in the many windows in our living spaces. I absolutely cannot wait to get them out next year! 2013-01-03_0018
 The day after Christmas it warmed up slightly and some of the snow melted and the kids FINALLY got to test out their new rides outside. 2013-01-03_0011 Photobucket