Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

and just like that... the Christmas fun and craziness is done. whew! bittersweet.
We started our celebration with Christmas at nana & papa's house on Thursday evening. It was a WONDERFUL Christmas with them. We had such a fun and relaxing evening. Mom made her famous and delicious Chicken Breast Supreme with mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes, rolls, etc. etc. and we finished the meal off with some yummy tiramisu & fudge. All of us got tons of really nice stuff (liiiike a melting pot gift card - YUM and crate & barrel and lots of baking goodies :) - but it was just fun being together. The girls had a great time too... here are some pics from the night:

Ellia loved passing out the gifts and making everyone their own little pile (that's so me):

so i told my parents they would know if Ellia REALLY liked something by a shrill shreek she does when she gets really excited. first and most substantial shreek of the night.... a dum dum sucker. classic. :

and Remae liked the wrapping the best of course :) :

Pete LOVED his new fancy flashlight:

ellia, nana, and el's new dora doll:

Remae mostly liked just chillin with Papa on his chair with her new remote:

and yes... these are the faces of sheer delight at the sight of giftcards to melting pot, cheesecake factory and crate and barrel (ok so mine is quite a bit more delighted than petes, but still) YAY! cant wait:

remae and nana.... uh, im not sure... singing christmas songs maybe??:

just some of the aftermath mess!:

the girlies in their new cupcake pjs:

Christmas Eve we gathered for my dad's side at Uncle Jimmy & Aunt Karen's house. Tons of people, food, gifts, fun! Although we definitely missed having joy, john, judah, jadan & kaylee :( Lots of laughs & the girls were absolutely showered with gifts!

remae LOVED this box - just in kid-like fashion:

my two already-pooped christmasers:

i think chris & cara liked the game we gave them - Clue, The Office version (I wanna play it so bad - looks hilarious):

Pete... tryin to look like a fancy french chef in my new totally outrageous chef-hat gag gift-haha:

Straight from there, we went to Uncle Steve & Aunt Linda's house for my mom's side. Carrie & Paul were able to come from New York - making it extra special. We stuffed ourselves to the brim and again had tons of great gifts and laughs with the family (best of all, i walked away with a new Magnolia Bakery cookbook :). Definitely missed dave bein there though :(

ellia... getting into position:

remae workin on her steps... she'll be walkin SOON!

carrie & paul... aww christmas love ;)

me and my mr.:

carrie scored some points with this present to ellia:

see?? :

remae.... ya know, just sendin some christmas texts on her new celly:

gotta get these new yorkers properly outfitted ;)

petes feet up... just as they should be :)

When we got home, ellia and remae got to open their two Christmas Eve gifts from mommy & daddy (christmas pj's to wear that night and a special ornament to put on the tree)

We woke up Chrismas morning for our own family christmas (the best one for sure). What a great time we had, just the four of us! the girls slept in a little because of the night before which gave us a little extra time to get ready. we got them up and started the morning with stockings by the fire. it was nice to just take our time and relax while we exchanged gifts. peter and i decided that we would make it our plan/tradition to every year open stockings, then have a nice big breakfast together before starting on presents under the tree. that way we could really enjoy our time together and make sure the focus wasnt all about the gifts. I know it will be harder to do that as they get older, but we're gonna try to stick to it. It worked out GREAT! I made a french toast breakfast with fresh fruit and it was yummy and fun! Then we mosied our way over to the tree for our presents. Lots of good stuff & it was fun watching Ellia be at an age where she really enjoys and gets excited about each little thing.

While Remae slept, Ellia & daddy played with new toys while I got things ready for our next Christmas event: Gram & Poppis house (Pete's side). We went over there around 2 and got home about 9:30. Long day but lots of fun with the family. Had a wonderful meal together around their new dining room table (we can now all fit together around one table!). The kids all played really good together and us adults got some games in too :) (camera died before i could get any good pics... boo!)
ellia & remae totally crashed when we got home.

With all the craziness of 5 christmas events, it is easy to get wrapped up in it all. But we did our best this year to take a step back, relax and enjoy being together - and most importantly, focus on what its all about anyway.
Here is one of Ellia's favorite books to read - I think it says it pretty good!:
"Just what is Christmas anyway? Why do we celebrate? Why is December 25th a very special date?
Is it about the Christmas tree with all the twinkling lights? Is it about the Christmas cards, the ones my mommy writes?
Is it about the mistletoe where mom and daddy kiss? Is it about the Christmas play, the one we never miss?
Is Christmas about santa claus? His beard is fun to touch. Is Christmas about christmas gifts? I like them very much.
Is Christmas about candy canes? I think they taste quite nice. Is Christmas about santa's list? They say he checks it twice.
Or maybe its about the food - Moms Christmas cookies rule! Or maybe its about the snow - white christmases are cool!
Is Christmas about christmas songs, the ones we sing each year? Is Christmas about a sleigh and santas eight reindeer?
Nooooo.... thats not what Christmas is about. All of these things are really nice and super duper fun. But Christmas is much more than that - its all about God's Son.
God sent His Son Jesus the Christ from heaven up above. He came to earth to save the world - God's greatest gift of love.
So Christmas is the Lord's birthday, the day he came to earth. Forever we will celebrate His very special birth.
OKAY, now I get it! Santa claus and christmas trees and presents are okay.... but JESUS is the real reason we have a Christmas day!"


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