Thursday, January 31, 2013

Oh yeah . . .

Okay, so here it is January 31st and this is my Christmas post. Oooops. But I can't just skip it. It was Brenson's first Christmas and I want it in the blog book that I'm going to *someday* get printed. So, this post is long and picture heavy. Enjoy :-).

Growing up, we pretty much always traveled for Christmas. I never knew the Christmas where you wake up and go downstairs in your pjs to find Santa had visited your house. And that never bothered me (then or now) because it's just not what I ever knew. It's probably going to be pretty much the same for my kids, and I'm totally okay with that. I know there are a lot of people out there that make it a priority for their kids to wake up in their own beds on Christmas morning, but we just aren't those people. 

Because we always traveled for Christmas when I was a kid, we usually had our small family Christmas on like the 22nd of December. My parents always said the reason was so that we would have a day to enjoy our gifts (as we generally didn't leave town until the 24th), but I think the real reason was more that my Dad couldn't wait for us to open our gifts. And I get that now! I love watching my kiddos open their gifts, too!

This year, we planned to leave town on the 23rd, so we pretty much had to do our small family Christmas on Saturday, December 22nd. I didn't mind though :-). After getting up that morning, we had breakfast, got ready for the day, then did gifts. Brenson loved digging in his stocking:

Brianna was so much fun this year! I love that we didn't have to coach her through the whole process.

Chris and I didn't really do much for each other in the gift department because we're taking a large vacation (soon!). He did get me the super-fun Duck Dynasty disc set though!

He also got me this monstrosity of a gift:

It's a snoogle! I have slept with a body pillow for about 15 years now, but was still having terrible back and hip pain while pregnant. Well, it had already begun (I was about 11.5 weeks at this time), so I did some research and read some really positive things about this {huge} pregnancy pillow. And for the record, I LOVE it. I'm still using it :-).

It didn't take Brenson long at all to catch on to the gift opening.

Of course, Bri had a blast tearing into her presents.

Cute little man :-):

We got Brianna her first big-girl Bible. She carries it so proudly.

Brenson and Daddy got matching ties. They haven't worn them yet (they look really springy to me), but they will soon.

Brianna was thrilled to receive a princess castle. She is allllll about princesses these days!

One of my favorite things about the gift-opening part of Christmas is the mess left behind by the wrapping paper. I always take a "Christmas aftermath" photo. This is probably my very favorite photo of the kiddos right now!

Here are Brenson and Brianna with all of their loot. We try really, really hard to not let things get out of hand, and while this is a lot of stuff, it is only one "big" toy and a few smaller things per child.

After opening gifts, we had played for a while, had lunch, then all took a nap. My kind of day :-).

As soon as the children got up from their nap, I took them outside for a quick photo shoot. Most of the photos I took of Brenson are in his 11 month update. This one is my favorite:

And I love this one of Brianna:

And think this one is pretty adorable, too:

I really wanted to do some sort of Christmas activity as part of our celebration, but had a hard time finding something that was age appropriate. I think this will get a lot easier as the kids get older. However, I did find a fun Christmas tree making activity that we ended up doing.

We took sugar cones, covered them with green frosting, then decorated them with M&Ms, chocolate bells, and red and green sprinkles.

Brianna wanted to do everything herself. She thinks she is so big.

We also covered this serving platter with white frosting to make snow for the trees to set in.

We took our tree decorating very seriously.

Brianna really enjoyed this activity! She also enjoyed eating the M&Ms . . .

Brenson was getting a little restless after a while, so we (and by we, of course I mean Daddy) decided to give him a piece of cone with a little frosting on it. He wasted no time making a mess!

He's not really had sweets before, so he was quite intrigued.

It didn't take him long to decide he liked it!

The whole family with our Christmas tree village (taken with a self-timer):

The next day (Sunday), we went to church then headed to my parents' house for a few days. My brother and his family live about 6-7 hours away, and my brother had to work on the 26th. That meant that they had to spend the majority of Christmas day traveling. Which meant that we would do our big family celebration on Monday the 24th.

My brother and his family in their traditional couch photo:

My sister and her family:

The parental unit:

My parents and their grandchildren (I can't believe everyone is looking in the direction of the camera and sort-of smiling!):

I love this next photo! It was my brother's idea to have my parents kiss and all the grandkids cover their eyes. Well, that didn't exactly happen, but each child is doing something that 100% fits their personality. And I think it's adorable!

I told you I love the photos where the kids lay in the wrapping paper! I think this one came out so cute, too!

Annnnnnd finally, this is our little family on Christmas day:

It was a merry Christmas indeed.


Carey said...

Chelley! You look SO BEAUTIFUL if every picture! Seriously, I am blown away! And I love your hair. This was such a fun post to read. Hope you're doing well :)

Cheryl said...

Looks like a great Christmas! Your family is just beautiful. I love those gift wrap pics. That is a great idea to help remember the 'mess' that comes along with gift opening! haha

Brianna said...

Just found your blog today and I'm also struggling with infertility. Your story, tho, is helping me! Thanks for sharing!