Saturday, February 7, 2015

when it was Christmas.

Remember when it was Christmas?
It was such a sweet one.
Its been a while, but I don't want to forget.

Christmas Eve began with the C family tradition of going out to breakfast. We no longer have access to Bob Evans or Cracker Barrel or even an IHOP, but we found a little local place that fit the bill perfectly. They even had kids bear pancakes for FREE and gluten-free buckwheat blueberry pancakes. The place has a German theme, and Chris feasted on strange delectables that took him back to Bavaria (or at least made his tummy happy). That evening we headed to a party with friends from our ward. Good company, yummy food, and a Nativity scene performed by a slew of young kids made for a great evening.

We headed home to open out traditional Christmas Eve pajamas. Carly has her father's ability to stay really warm regardless of the circumstances, and prefers to sleep in shorts and a light blanket year-around (as does he). I found some fun fuzzy shorts for her, and Sofia and Captain America for the duo. We prepared Santa's gluten-free cookies (you didn't know he ate GF?) and milk, and carrots for the reindeer. Quinn had been talking quite excitedly about the carrots, and lined them up precisely. Then she said she was excited to feed the reindeer! Oh, poor girl was so sad when she heard they'd be coming when we were all asleep.

We read Luke 2 and the Polar Express, and got the children all nestled snug in their beds just in time for an exhausted Santa to make an appearance. There is nothing quite like a living room filled with Christmas, and the quiet peace and anticipation of Christmas Eve. Chris tried to explain to Carly why he liked Christmas Eve more than Christmas, because you get to look forward to what is coming, rather than have it pass so quickly. Her little 5-year-old brain didn't quite grasp that, but someday when she sets out trucks and dolls and princess dresses for her kids, she will.

Then, they proceeded to sleep in. A late Christmas Eve wore them out. It was at least 8 by the time we got rolling. They stood at the end of the hallway and I said the words my mom and dad said every Christmas morning of my childhood: "Oh, I don't think Santa came. Lets just go back to bed!" They didn't buy it for a second, and were running down the hallway to see what awaited them.

John got big ol' metal Tonka trucks. My parents got him the digger, and we finally tracked down the dump truck after Chris (kindly) had a Walmart worker dig one out of the back storage room. They are a fabulous pair and I can't wait until he can take them out into the dirt. He also got a little space shuttle ("my real rocketship!"), an awesome realistic Buzz Lightyear, and a toy lawnmower that makes way more noise than mommy was expecting.

Sweet Q had been talking about her Sofia dress for quite a while. She said it was going to be big and sparkly, and Santa did not want to disappoint. So he sprung for the fancy Disney store version, and it is quite the dress; certainly big and sparkly. Other notables include her Snow White doll, a fancy pink coat from Mimi, an Anna dress (!), and, my personal favorite, a ballerina music box. All Christmas Day, and for a while afterwards, she would have me wind it and watch it over and over again.

Carly was hard this year. She was convinced she wanted "the Elsa doll that lights up and sings Let It Go when you lift her arms." You know what she's talking about. She saw it on a commercial, heaven help me. But I knew she wasn't a huge doll girl, and I knew that doll didn't come cheap and wasn't easy to find. Not to mention, Quinn was getting a Snow White doll that did not light up or sing. Can you imagine what she'd think if Carly's did? Anyway, I digress. We found Carly a more basic but lovely Elsa. What I knew Carly does love is art projects. So I compiled a massive craft box for her, with every craft supply I could possibly think of. It has been used constantly since. Elsa, however, often remains untouched on the bed. I called that one a mile away.

Before we knew it, the piles of wrapping paper were stuffed in a garbage bag and the living room was littered with prizes and daddy was asleep on the couch. A most perfect Christmas morning.

It was a sweet first Christmas in our first home. 
I love spending the most special days with my most special people.

The day after Christmas we headed down to Idaho to party with the party people.
Montana was quite lovely on the drive down, though very very long.

We got to see baby Nora, who was a whole lot bigger than the last time we saw her. Nora is a ridiculously cute baby. Its quite painful. I'm glad we got to snuggle on her a bit. It is hard being so far away from cousins as cute as this.

All 5 Thomas cousins.

We also got to play with cousin Shayla. She makes quite a match for Carly, and it is fun that they can play together, with Quinn and John trying to keep up. Aunt Camie was nice enough to take the big girls out in the snow, and Chris and the twins went out a bit later. I'm so glad we got to play with cousin Shayla. It is hard being far away from cousins as fun as this. 

We did have a few strange things going on, like a case of the shingles, sickness, vomiting, an ER visit. All in a week's worth of family togetherness. But cute baby cheeks and giggling cousins and grown-up siblings all married off getting together again . . . it makes it worth it. 

One day Mimi broke out her extensive tulle collection and made some colorful brides.

We welcomed 2015 with a modest little party, as I was barely feeling human again after my sickness, and right before John spent New Years Day puking all over my parents' house. 

Cheers to a New Year.

We had a really great holiday season.