Monday, December 30, 2013

In our Christmas Jammies

Christmas Eve 2013

The Friday before Christmas, I picked Eliza up from school. As she entered the car, silent satisfaction swelled in my heart knowing I had my children all to myself for Christmas break. In the days that followed, said satisfaction shattered as a result of frustration over the sudden increase in bickering and fighting. Over exposure, a change in routine... whatever the cause, I wasn't sure!

"It's time to go outside and play!" I ordered following one particularly long afternoon.  
Four cute snowmen later, my children were cured of their grumps and happiness was restored.

And so it's been with the holiday season. In between the parties and merry making, colds crop up, arguments break out, shopping lists are forgotten and exhaustion sets in. Acknowledging life's norms, I generally opt to take photos of the scenes of peace, beauty and fun. So please take that all into consideration as I return to the sparkly, happy moments of our holiday recap.

Christmas Sunday, we dressed up our girls kids in their holiday best and headed to Salt Lake so that we could attend Church with my parents. My Dad is currently serving as a Bishop and knowing that he was speaking that day, we surprised him. It was an exciting meeting considering his ward consists of young single adults. And by 'exciting,' I mean the noise my kids typically make during a meeting wasn't masked by other children in the congregation. Despite the added pressure to keep our children reverent, we enjoyed a wonderful service.
As far as a family photo goes, this is the best we could do. Forrest actually had a "Christmas outfit," because apparently stuff like that matters, but obviously it didn't matter enough as I found it in a dirty pile of clothes that morning. :\ Whatever.

Yes, I am aware that it's December. Both girlies had sweaters but ditched them before these photos were taken. The best part of Eliza's dress is that the skirt is alive with glitter. Leaving Church that morning, her previous occupied seat on the bench was covered in merry red sparkles. Literally, she spread a little Christmas cheer wherever she sat that day.
Sunday night, the rest of the crew joined us at my Mom's for dinner. It was delicious. Per tradition, it was time for the Nativity.
Lottie was dressed as an angel for approximately two minutes before she decided she wanted no part in the production. I was just happy that she was willing to be apart of the photo. 

Forrest, on the other hand, masterfully played the part of Baby Jesus.  
"No crying he makes"
It was amazing.

Henry about stole the show (or at least my heart) when I observed him tenderly stroking Forrest's face during the reading. That little boy is loaded up with sensitivity. The night ended with a fun game introduced to us by Matt and Allison. It's simple and easy to follow which allowed small children and sleep deprived Mothers to follow along. It was a great night. 

Last minute errands, the delivery of neighborhood gifts, cleaning (BLEH!) and snuggling in Mom and Dad's bed to watch, The Santa Clause, helped pass the time until we reached Christmas Eve!(!!!!!!!!!!!)

Our cute babysitter agreed to come over that morning so Santa could run a few errands without the children. Andrew worked until about noon. He came home and we were ready to get our holiday on. We met his parents at Texas roadhouse for dinner (3:30 p.m.). Going early was a great decision. By the time we left, it was a MAD HOUSE! It was so crazy that by the time we made it out to the sidewalk we realized that we'd lost a Henry.

With the other three in the care of Nanna and Bubba, Andrew and I braved the crowds once more to rescue him. Henry heeded our previously given advice. 

"If you lose Mom and Dad, stay where you are." Obviously shaken up, Andrew returned him to my arms a few minutes later. He was teary but very brave. Other than that little scare, we had a very nice time. 
This cute boy was so good in the restaurant. 
He sure made a mess of the menus and the toys I brought him, 
but we'll take it!

Nanna and Bubba were so sweet as they followed us up to our house. They were there as we squeezed one last lesson in on the true meaning of Christmas. By the time I said, 'Amen,' Eliza was bouncing up and down; eager to open their Christmas Eve gifts! 

It began with Christmas jammies (cue the song that immediately began to play in my head for the remainder of the night) and then the obligatory photo by the tree.

"If you let us take a family picture by the tree, you can open your last Christmas Eve gift." 

Eliza was so excited when she realized Grace also got a new jammie dress!

Finally, we passed out their ornament. In recent years, I've stuck with the tradition that the holiday ornament has a recent photo of the kids. It's been fun to see the progression.

A few Christmas songs later, it was time for bed! Knowing Santa had some work to do in Eliza's bedroom that night, we were able to convince her to sleep in Henry and Lottie's room. Andrew did have to go 'sit with the kids' at one point when their excitement turned into frustration (due to cute little sister that wouldn't allow big sister to fall asleep).

"Goodnight!" I sang, "We'll see you at 7:30!" Threats over what the consequences would be if they came out sooner had already been made. :)

Sure enough, 7:31 a.m. those cute kids bounced into our room the following morning!


*Jess* said...

awww! What a wonderful Christmas Eve!

Teresa McCormack Flegal said...

Thanks for letting us share in Christmas Eve, and for the delicious dinner. Love you all so much