Oi! We had a crazy 4 day stretch of Christmas, from the Christmas Eve services to an extended family extravaganza yesterday. It was a marathon of fun, food, family and I feel completely overwhelmed with how blessed we are. The easiest way to demonstrate that is with the piles of presents we came home with, but the most important aspects of those blessings are in the people we celebrated with. People we actually ENJOY spending time with, if you can imagine that. People that live within driving distance of our house and we don’t have to fly to visit. People that somehow we are fortunate enough to be related to. Here’s a little photo-log of some of the Christmas-y time.
After our “all dressed-up” Christmas Eve photo (see last post) I thought it only fair that I took a “first thing in the morning” photo with all of us in our pj’s (and no make-up for me–quite proud of myself for being willing.) I think this is the first year I’ve remembered to do this.Trent and I set a pretty small budget for each other, but I used some of the money I made designing Christmas cards (for some of you readers! Thanks!) and got a little help from my in-laws so I could give Trent a GPS unit he’s been wanting. He’s usually the one who sneaks in a surprise gift, so it was fun to be on the giving side of that surprise.
This was THE GIFT of the season. To be perfectly honest, I was pretty bummed to let Santa get the credit for it. (But also? Not once has Carson said “Santa brought me _______.” I think when the gift is finally in his hands, he doesn’t care where it came from!) It has been a huge hit so far, and he got a few games from other family members to use with it. I like that they are mostly learning games that are perfectly suited for his age level. I haven’t had to explain a game to him yet. He is able to figure them out from the verbal instructions. Fun stuff.

Carson was very into getting gifts this year. My friends & family keep reminding me not to be too hard on him (or myself) for him having a case of the Christmas greedies. I know it’s age appropriate, but I feel it will be a constant struggle in years to come to keep the focus of Christmas in the right place. Although once the gifts were all open, he stopped focusing on “What am I going to get?” and we did see a calmer, kinder side of him as he shared his toys with his sis, said thank-you, and continued to act excited about them–which is kind of like gratitude for a 4 year old, right?

I made Sydney a sparkly tutu, which, of course, I made her put on right away. I’m rethinking the self-adhesive rhinestones, however, which are unadhesing and popping up all over the house.

But her favorite gift? $1 sunglasses in her stocking. This was, in my opinion, the best look of the

day. After our morning at home, we headed to the ‘berg (that’s for you, AJ) to be with fam. Before gifts, Mimi read the Christmas story to the kids. This is Hadessa, basically our adopted cousin. 🙂 She and Carson play fabulously together. Landon was there too, but he didn’t make it into this pic. I love Linda’s expression in this one. Looks like she’s saying “Yup! That’s what really happened!” Carson’s thinking “I hope I don’t get any frankincense or myrrh.”

I didn’t get any great pics of Carson, but he was showered with gifts–lots of legos, lots of dinosaur stuff, and lots of Leapfrog stuff.

Requisite father/daughter pic. Next to requisite deicer spray from the stocking.

My FIL has become quite the wine connoisseur! (Yes, I had to look that up to spell correctly.)

Sydney got a new little kitchen, which is a total delight! Of course, I did not think it was a delight when Trent and spent over 2.5 hours assembling it. (Since he will read this, I will confess he started a good 45 minutes before I started helping.) So. Many. Little. Plastic. Pieces. My hands were raw! But now both kids are loving it. All morning today, they’ve been making food and pouring pretend ketchup into my coffee.

Sydney, too, got so many wonderful gifts, I almost feel bad highlighting only a few! But she did really take to this dolly and baby stroller–once she realized she was not allowed to sit IN it.

Can’t exactly remember which gift this was…by the shape it was either my new favorite pink hoodie that I’ve been wearing for 3 days straight, or my new hat which makes me feel oh-so-trendy-and-young. Pictures to come? Oh, you better believe it. Jess went off-list and totally scored.

Aaaand…lapse 24 hours to the other side of the family. We usually celebrate on Christmas Eve, but Trent had to work, so my family kindly showed their flexibility and we celebrated on the 26th. Didn’t get many pics of Auntie Beck, so here she is with my favorite redhead.

Jack the cuz got “Jack” the…uh, not sure what exactly he is, but he is part of the Thomas collection. But seriously, how can you look at anything in this picture other than those adorable curls? I love my nephew so much. Have I mentioned that?

Continuing with the dinosaur theme, Carson got a great set of dinosaur puppets, which have created some very interested puppet shows so far. Also? Been used as silly slippers.

Here Syd is giving a kiss to her new dolly.

Trent got the “go look in the back of the truck” certificate and found a new ladder! He immediately started planning new projects around the house.

But the total star of the week was baby Kaitlyn. We were all donning our hand sani so we could hold her. She was barely 2 weeks old on Christmas day!
Here Uncle Trent is teaching her some pirate moves.
“Aye, matey!”
Here’s Jojo with her 2 granddaughters.

Bapaw Roy.

Sydney actually seemed very interested (in a good way) in Katie and wanted to pet her head and give her a few kisses.

Can’t wait to get a pic of these two in their tutus!