I can't believe all of the holidays fun is over and it will be back to reality in a few short days! Our family was sick right up until the weekend before Christmas so things were pretty calm around here leading up to Christmas. We didn't get to go and do a lot of our "usual" pre-Christmas activities. But, honestly, it ended up being a blessing in disguise. I learned that missing all of those things didn't really take anything away from our Christmas season as a family. In fact, I would say this was our best one to date. I felt like we had the perfect amount of activity and rest the week of Christmas.
The Friday before Christmas we went to Nick's work Christmas party. I was a little stressed to go since I didn't know anyone and wasn't sure what to expect but it ended up being a great night. Plus, it is always fun to get dressed up and go somewhere fancy with the man you love the most. It was also fun putting faces with all of the names I hear Nick talk about.
Saturday evening was our Christmas celebration with my mom's side of the family. Pretty sure I didn't get a single picture the whole night. Whoops!
Sunday we went to church and then in the afternoon we headed to Illinois to celebrate Christmas with Nick's sister and her family. I am thankful that we get together with them every year around Christmas and we always have so much fun (apparently too much fun to stop and take pics!) Jaime made delicious potato soup... I might have begged for leftovers... and a chocolate fountain! The kids had a blast playing with their cousins and it was just a fabulous evening. We ended it by driving through their town's light display which has sort of become a fun little tradition for our family.
Monday my mom and Grandma came over to decorate Christmas cookies with the kids. My mom decided to go ahead and bake all of the cookies ahead of time and just bring them over which was just perfect for our kids ages. All the fun and no waiting! My mom and I also realized who the elementary school teacher of the bunch was during the morning... my Grandma June was so patient and good at helping the kids decorate through the chaos! It was a very special morning and definitely one of my favorite moments of Christmas this year.
I was a little bummed on Christmas Eve because Nick had to work all day. But, knowing that we were going to Kitaro for dinner (a Japanese hibachi restaraunt) made it better. I started off the day taking Sam to the doctor (turned out he still had a nasty ear infection that antibiotics hadn't helped). Then we got to go to dinner with my parents and sister and brother in-law. I love our Christmas Eve dinner! Being at one of my favorite resteraunts with my favorite people is just such a blessing. Then we came back to our house for some games. My family left after a little bit and we put the kids to bed. Then Nick and I turned on a movie and wrapped presents. It was a perfectly lovely Christmas Eve.
The kids were so excited when they woke up Christmas morning (obviously!). And Sam gave me an amazing Christmas present... he slept through the night for the first time in his life! We let the kids open their stockings and then we had breakfast. We lit the Advent candles and Nick read the Christmas story from the Jesus Storybook Bible. Then we opened presents. We stuck with our three present rule for our kiddos so they each got a book, a new board game, and then some little toy figurines I found at the Disney Store. Max got a Phineus and Pherb set, Jack got Monsters Inc. (he had informed us that he ONLY wanted Monsters Inc. toys for Christmas, ha) and Sophie got Sophia the First. Sam got shoes for Christmas since he didn't have any and apparently people frown on letting your children go barefoot in the winter...
After we let the kids play for a bit we went and picked up my Grandma and then headed out to my parent's. We immediately opened presents with them. Everyone got all sorts of fun things! Max's favorite was probably his bb gun that he had been begging for. Sophie got Frozen dolls that she loved and a pink toy rifle that she was suprisingly stoked about! Jack loved his Monsters Inc. toys of course. Sam got a push walker that he loved. Nick got lots of fun board games and computer stuff (I have no idea!). I was totally spoiled but my favorite gift is between a big red R or my new knife set...
For lunch my parent's ordered a ham smoked by a local BBQ place that is amazing. And then my mom made all the amazing sides. Now, I like ham fine. But this ham.... this ham was amazing. I can't begin to describe the deliciousness that was this ham. Thankfully I got to take home leftovers of that too. After lunch we spent the rest of the day just hanging out with my family. We played some games, watched some movies, and just chatted. It was lovely.
Sorry this post was a little long. I just wanted to remember all of the fun we had! IT was a blessed celebration for sure.