Every year that the kids get a little older (and as we keep adding more of them), Christmas just gets more magical. Like actually magical- they are just SO excited and so sweet and so full of wonder and belief in impossible things. I love it.
We headed to my parents' lake house again this year, which was as fun and delicious as always. It's still weird to me that my kids associate Christmas with a lake house and their grandparents, since neither of those things were part of my Christmases growing up, but it has been a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday each year.
For the first time ever we didn't drive back to Kingwood for Christmas Eve church and dinner. I was concerned that Christmas wouldn't happen if we didn't eat our flank steak in the mirror-paneled dining room on my great-grandmother's china, but happen it did. We also forgot the Bible, so I did the gospel reading from my iPhone. A sign of the modern times.
We went to a little Methodist church in town- built in 1848 and utterly charming, one little boy even had the honor of pulling the long rope that rings the bell in the steeple. Adorable.
Cora fell asleep during the service, but perked right up for present-opening time. Last year she was just a sleepy little peanut, and this year she was a full and active part of all the festivities.
Christmas is basically her new favorite thing.
The kids were so excited she was opening her presents this year. She didn't get many (the girl has a ready-made playroom thanks to her big sibs), but oh was she DELIGHTED by them.
JP surprised me on Christmas Eve with a second diamond band to complete my wedding set. It was a very big surprise that he was clearly as excited about as me.
It's a symbol of several things- our upcoming 10th wedding anniversary, the success of his swim school and my support of it (and some remuneration for my role as VP, Secretary, Drafter of Emails, and Officer Determiner of "Yes That Parent is Being Ridiculous Stop Worrying About It and Go To Sleep"), and making it through a year with some unique challenges for us.
Christmas morning was full of excitement. Landon got a badly needed new bike from Santa (his old one was about 4" too short), Claire got a scooter ("Mommy, I whispered what I wanted to Santa and he HEARD me!"), and Cora got a Little People Doll House.
Claire also got a bevy of new fashion accessories in her stocking- rainbow scarf, faux rhinestone bracelet, and sparkly headbands. She wore all of these things all day with her new Elsa shoes from my grandparents. Oh my GOSH does she love those shoes. Best clearance Target purchase ever. I love that they're real shoes, so when she asked to wear them to the grocery store, I get to say, sure!
As always there was lots of eating and playing and eating and playing.
My form is really spectacular.
It was a lovely and relaxing time. JP and I beat my parents twice at the beanbag game, though they inexplicably still claim they're undefeated. We drove to my aunt and uncle's house yesterday and had a fantastic time with more gifts, playtime, and deliciousness. Pics from that later. We got home last night and spent our day today unpacking, cleaning, reorganizing, and restocking our fridge and pantry with food. I made dinner from scratch tonight- I used 3 pots and pans, two gas burners and the oven, and zero microwaves and it made me smile. As does this picture.
JP loves when I make him take pictures with me.
Happy Holidays to all!
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