Hello, Friends! I hope you all had such a wonderful Christmas! We spent a few days with my family and got home before lunch on Christmas Eve, spent a few hours at home, then headed to church for our first Christmas Eve service. It was, in a word, magical. The kids sat with us in the sanctuary (I brought coloring books and crayons, which was a life-saver), but by the end of the service, the families to the right of us and behind us, both told us how well-behaved the kids were (I nearly cried and hugged them I was so proud, after stressing through the whole service!). We sang a few of my very favorite Christmas carols, and then lit candles to sing Silent Night. There is absolutely nothing that will stir your soul as a parent more than seeing your child raise their candle in the air, unprompted, while singing about the birth of Jesus. Nothing. I cried the entire time (haha, no surprise), but it was such a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas. We headed home, ate our traditional Christmas Eve lasagna, put cookies out for Santa, threw reindeer food out in the front yard, and sent those kiddos to bed! Then Santa got busy putting together two bikes, a playhouse, a lego table, wrapping a few straggling presents, stuffing stockings, then drinking wine, haha!
Yesterday was probably my favorite Christmas Day in recent memory. The kids got up about 7 am (not bad, given my brother and I used to start knocking on my parents’ bedroom door around 3:30 am!), and saw that Santa had come! Hooray! They opened and loved their gifts, and we just played and played all day. I never changed out of my jammies. #perfection. Our tradition is to make Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast, and then make Vegetable Beef soup to eat on all day, and that’s exactly what we did! I made a cheese ball too, that we snacked on, but the kids ate when they wanted it, and so did Scott and me, and we played Kerplunk, Chutes and Ladders, and Connect Four, the girls played with their American Girls and Barbies, Ben and Scott had light saber fights, and Ben played with his legos, we watched movies, Brantley read, Gracie napped, and a wonderful day was had by all. And now we are (still) in the process of cleaning it all up! Here’s a bit of photographic documentation of it all:
Before we boarded the Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad (it was bright)!
Photo Op with Santa and Mrs. Claus!
Brantley was really into her new shoes and new legos hahaha
Brantley and I in church on Christmas Eve
Me and Gracie!
Brantley loved reading the bulletin
Gracie and Ben were much more into coloring, haha!
Christmas Eve Lasagna! Four year old tradition. And it made enough to eat Christmas Eve, one more night, and two other lunch-sized portions!
Ready for bed in their mama-made Christmas jammies!
After a few hours of assembly, Santa came!
The first of many light saber wars 🙂
This was the first year my big girl actually asked for clothes and shoes for Christmas. Her big girl boots and booties *might* have been her favorite gifts.
Gracie really liked the yoo-hoo in her stocking, hahaha 🙂
Brantley loved her new clothes, booties, and new purse. 🙂 She won’t leave her bedroom without that purse!
We get each of the kids a new game every year. This is the first year that they can all can play all of them! Kerplunk was a big hit.
So was Connect 4! Spiderman Chutes and Ladders was the other one 🙂
Gracie is not much fun to play with unless she’s winning. Then she’s awesome.
We did it! Now let’s drink some wine!
Our new Ipad and Osmo has been a HUGE hit.
There’s been LOTS of this going on the last few days, haha!
I hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas. We’ll keep our tree up until after New Years to keep this lovely, lazy, cozy feeling going as long is as socially acceptable, haha! The lights of our Christmas tree have been so, so lovely this year, and I want to enjoy them as long as we possibly can. Plus, we need some extra twinkly lights for our extra-fancy dress up New Years Eve party coming up! But more on that in a few days. I hope you enjoy the remainder of your Christmas break, whether you only have a few more days or a week and a half left. This truly is the best time of the year, and we have made the most of it with our blessed family. Merry Christmas, friends!