Pictures will be posted ASAP!
We managed to have a wonderful 1st planned Christmas at home. Last year my parents came here because Abby was less than a week old. In all years before, Christmas Eve was spent with my parents and Christmas Day we'd go to my uncle's for the BIG family get-together. Even though Stephen and I have only been married 5 years, he too looked forward to this get-together after just the first one. All my aunts and uncles would come and most of my 8 cousins plus their spouses and children. The table would be filled with Christmas goodies, there were plenty of Christmas 'spirits' and music would be playing. Everyone would mingle and visit until it was time for the kids to open their gifts. Many years ago we would all bring our instruments and play Christmas carols. I was disappointed that we couldn't make it last year. Little did I know that we would not continue this tradition this year. When I finally accepted that no one was going to have the big family party, I started planning new traditions of our own. I can only hope that one day my home will be the one that my family looks forward to coming to for Christmas.
Christmas Eve was busier than I had planned. We decided to go to 7:30 mass instead of 5:00 because believe it or not, Lauren naps until 5:00 and she'd probably sleep longer if we didn't wake her up. I just didn't see how we would be able to unwrap presents, eat breakfast, get dressed, and be out the door for mass on Christmas Day. We had dinner at 6:00 and left by 7:00 to get a good seat. The kids didn't make it through half the mass so we took our places in the Narthex and I hate to admit it, but we left after communion. It was already 8:40 and we still had much to do before putting the kids to bed. We finished decorating Santa's cookies, we made reindeer food, and we read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Next year I'd like to watch The Polar Express. The kids were in bed by 10, Stephen and I stayed up until almost 1 making sure everything would be perfect Christmas morning.
It was so nice not being rushed to get dressed and get out the door. We didn't even change clothes. We just let the kids unwrap and play with their toys all day long. I'm not sure what it is but it brings us so much joy to watch the kids open each and every present. Their reactions and the looks on their faces are priceless. We enjoy watching them play with their gifts throughout the year and remember who gave it to them.
We went up to Fort Worth on the 26th to see our parents.
The 27th was spent with Stephen's family and I was thrilled to see Lauren, Caleb, and Abby play with their big cousins.
The 28th we went to see my aunt and uncle. My cousin, Nick, was actually home from overseas and I actually got to visit with his girlfriend. The kids made up their own games in the backyard and collected pinecones. At one point Lauren hugged the enormous pine tree and shook with all her might to see if she could get anymore pinecones to fall.
Each day that we were there, we called IKEA in Frisco to see if our baskets were in. Each day they were not. See, back in June we rented a trailer and went to IKEA in Round Rock (2 hours away) to get our shelving units plus 10 baskets. We went back in July to get more baskets but when we got there, they were out!
Late Sunday night the IKEA gods must have heard my pleas because when we checked online, more baskets had come in. So we took a 45 minute detour north before coming home yesterday. We even found some nice sturdy shelves to hang above the fridge for more storage. And I am one happy momma that got to reorganize all the kids toys in the playroom today! That means that tomorrow I'll be bringing up all the new toys from the living room and we'll be reorganizing the living room. Then we'll make our way to the kitchen and hopefully I'll have one organized house before Abby's birthday party on Saturday. Then I'll get to start all over!
4 days ago