Love Overflowing

Christmas Day

Christmas Day was a little different in several ways this year. First off, both kids slept past 7am! It was very nice to sleep past 6am on a weekday. We actually had to wake Emily up so that we would have some time to open some presents and eat breakfast before we headed off to Mass.

I *checked* to make sure that Santa was gone before the kids came out of their rooms. Once I announced “All Clear!” Emily came running. It was so awesome to see the look of excitement and joy when she saw the new bike that Santa left her! It was priceless. Zachary was pretty impressed with his own awesome trike. Now he wouldn’t have to cruise around the basement on Emily’s old princess trike. He could learn how to ride on his own, manly bike. We then did a quick dash of opening presents so that we could fill our bellies with yumminess before we had to rush and get dressed.

Dressed in our Christmas best, we headed out to celebrate the reason for the day: Jesus’ birth. It was the first time since Easter that Zachary didn’t sit in the cry room and he did remarkably well for a little boy who was excited about new toys. After we arrived home, we actually got to go outside and enjoy the gifts that Santa left. It’s amazing to think that it was warmer on Christmas Day than it was on Thanksgiving Day. When Santa decided to bring the kids bikes, he didn’t think that they would be able to actually get to ride them so it was a real treat!

After lunch was nap and rest time. Normally our Christmas Day consisted of opening presents quickly, going to church, coming home to play for an hour and then heading over to Grandma and Papa’s for the rest of the day. Not this year. A little break to tradition since the kids are getting older. We got to enjoy some time at home and enjoy some of our presents before we headed over for dinner. I know the kids really appreciated getting to play with some of their toys. And they got naps to prepare them for a little later night. Really made the rest of the day tolerable.

Dinner and more presents at Gaga and Papa’s! We had a really good visit with everyone and the kids were spoiled rotten, as usual. We all were really. We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful family and celebrate the birth of Jesus together. Merry Christmas!

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Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is pretty low-key around here for the most part. We opted to pick up a few last-minute essentials and then spend time together around the house as a family. We debated about going to the Santa send-off parade but decided that it was more important for Zachary to get a nap. It was a lazy afternoon spent together. After dinner, we got to open our annual Christmas Eve gifts from Grandma and Papa. Surprise! Pajamas for everyone! You would have thought they hit the jackpot with their squeals when opening their pjs. Emily got a Rapunzel (her favorite princess) nightgown and Zachary got some Cars pjs. Before bed, we read “The Night Before Christmas” and the Christmas story from the bible. We then had to make sure that we had carrots, cookies, a gift, a note and a can of Mt. Dew (Emily’s request) set out for Santa. The note was super cute. Emily told me what to write:

Dear Santa,

Zachary really likes you. He says “ho, ho, ho” all the time. We both love you very much.

Love,
Emily

Apparently, she was concerned about Zachary having been good enough for presents so she was making one last push for him. The kids also hung their stocking with care. Then it was time for the kids to snuggle down into their beds. And the real magic was about to begin….. Mommy and Daddy’s work time.

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Christmas with the cousins

Once we had Emily, we decided that we wouldn’t travel for Christmas. We wanted her to be able to wake up in her own bed and discover what Santa left her. We also decided that we weren’t going to try to split the day between both sides of the family and travel a lot on Christmas Day. We would rather have our day a little more relaxed and really reflect on what the day is about.

We still celebrate with my family, but on a different day. It’s worked out well, in my opinion. Especially as the cousins get older and want to stay home and play with their new toys. I am glad that we still get together to celebrate, even if it is a few weeks early. I love, love seeing all the kids together. So many, so close in age. 7 children, ranging from 5 to 1 1/2. It’s awesome!

This year was no exception on the fun and excitement. We even had some excitement in the basement with the hot water heater but that is a whole other story. We ate; we laughed; we opened presents. It was a zoo. I loved every minute of it!

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Preschool Christmas

Emily had her Christmas party last week at school. A party isn’t complete without a visit from the jolly one himself of course! Zachary and I ran up to the school so we could get a picture of “Sisser” sitting on his lap. We didn’t stay for the rest of the party. Zachary was a) wanting to sit on Santa’s lap b) join in on snack time and c) play with their toys. Not really a good combination. After getting a few quick shots we snuck out and went to the library. More fun for the wee man.

When we arrived, Emily and her classmates were finishing up music class. It was so cute to hear their little voices yelling singing Christmas songs and dancing to the music. Then each child got to take a turn sitting on Santa’s lap and telling him what he wanted for Christmas.

Super cute class! Hard to believe that this is her last year in preschool.

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Merry Christmas Eve

From my Santa and elf to you!

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Christmas Traditions

The weather has been unseasonably warm for December. We decided to take advantage of our good fortune and take a quick walk down Main Street. Their annual Christmas Traditions were taking place and we wanted to check it out. We didn’t get to experience everything that was offered since we were short on time but Emily got to meet many of the characters down there.

Apparently, many people had the same idea we did with the gorgeous weather. The sidewalks and shops were packed! I would like to make one more trip down there. They have a “Santa send-off” parade on Christmas Eve that I would like to take the kids to if the weather cooperates. I think that would be a good tradition to start.

By the way, I swear Zachary was there. He just isn’t in any pictures since he was strapped into the stroller and not real willing to cooperate, hence our shortened visit.

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Christmas 2010

This year was a lot different. It was our first Christmas as a family of 4. I felt really sentimental in that regards. Emily really gets Christmas now. She knows that Christmas is the day that we celebrate Jesus’ birth. She also knows that this is the day that Santa brings toys to the good little boys and girls. This was the first year since she was 1 that she went to see Santa so he had an idea of what she wanted him to bring her. To Zachary, Christmas was just another day. He didn’t understand why there was a tree in the living room or what all the fuss was about. He totally didn’t get the whole ripping the paper thing when we opened up our traditional Christmas Eve pj presents. He decided that he would rather play with the box. It was much more fun!

Zachary didn’t last long after we opened the pjs. He wasn’t able to stay awake to put up the stockings or put out the milk and cookies for Santa. Emily didn’t mind though. She got to take care of it herself that way. She also had to make sure that there were carrots for the reindeer. She was pretty excited when she went to bed and actually stayed in there until the next morning.

Emily was really excited when she woke up and discovered that Santa had indeed come to visit her and he did not leave her a lump of coal or a pile of reindeer poop. He even brought her what she asked for! An easel, along with a few other things. The kids got to open a few presents while Stephen and I got breakfast ready. It was a mad rush to get breakfast finished, open a few more presents, get dressed and head to church. After church we headed over to Grandma and Papa’s for lunch and more presents. Zachary decided that he had enough and needed a nap before he ate and opened anything. Poor little man didn’t understand why he wasn’t getting his regularly scheduled naps. The whole unwrapping thing, again, was lost on him. He did love to play with his new toys though.

It was a very good Christmas. I am truly blessed to have such an amazing family. I know that it’s only going to get better each year.

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*B* Family Christmas 2010

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One word to describe it…. Mass chaos!!!

There were 7 adults (we were missing my brother Richard) and 9 children ranging in age 4-11 months. In my house. My not super huge house. It was loud and chaotic but wonderful. I love when we all get together. I love seeing the kids interact together. It really makes me wish we lived closer so Zachary and Emily would have some cousins to play with more regularly.
It was great. We ate, drank and had a wonderful time. The kids got to play until they were silly tired and then got to rip open some presents. There was paper flying everywhere! The kids were really getting into it. Zachary even. He was crawling into his gift bag to get the book that I didn’t see and he even got to rip open a present or two. Practice for next month.
We didn’t get everyone together last year for Christmas so this was extra special. Last year Cole was just born and I was very close to my due date. Circumstances prevented us from celebrating together but my family is never too far away from my heart. Despite the distance, the good and the bad, they are always a part of me.
I love it!

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Christmas ho-ho holiday

I have to say…..3 is an AWESOME age for Christmas. I am sure I will say it about 4, 5, 6, etc but 3 was great. Even if we couldn’t get Emily to go see Santa. And believe me- we tried. Everything. It just wasn’t happening. I told her that she MUST take her brother to see him next year. She informed me that she will take Zachary but she isn’t sitting on the fat man’s lap.

I love 3 for several reasons. Emily was not greedy. Sure she said she wanted everything she saw for Christmas, but she didn’t expect it all. She was happy with whatever she got. No matter how small. Everything was new and exciting for her. She didn’t want to see Santa but she had to make sure that he left crumbs on the plate from his visit to her house. She made a special cookie for him at Grandma’s and was ecstatic that he ate it. Everything she opened was amazing! Even the tiniest thing got a huge squeal of approval. It really warmed my heart. She tore through her gifts in record time but everything got the same happy, joyous squeal. I LOVED it. I hope we got some of that on video. She was truly the happiest little girl Christmas morning.

She enjoyed looking at lights every time we went out this holiday. Each light display got their own ooh’s and ahh’s. I wanted to take her to one of the big displays around here but we just simply ran out of time. She wasn’t deprived though because she got to see one of the local displays with her Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Nina.

She was so patient during morning mass and didn’t make too much noise. I am sure she had some people looking at mommy like she was crazy though! I was sitting up from as lector mimicking her head movements and sending her kisses. They probably thought the pregnant lady had lost it! She was also very patient during lunch at Grandma and Papa’s. She ate lunch like a lady before opening presents.

Christmas was bittersweet this year. It was our last year as a family of 3. I was a little sad about that in a way. But next year will be even better because God answered our prayers and we will be a family of 4! Even better!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday full of love and joy. You might not have gotten everything you asked for but I hope you got everything you need. Family, friends, faith and happiness. That’s what it’s all about.

PS- Picasa album has been updated with more Christmas photos.

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Christmas Day

We had to wake Emily up so she could open some presents and have breakfast before we went to church. She was always so scared of Santa that we didn’t press the issue a whole lot with her during the holiday. We told her that Santa would bring her presents but that was about it. She adamantly refused to sit on his lap and even covered her eyes while we walked past him in Dierbergs on Wednesday. So imagine our surprise to her answer to Stephen’s question: “Do you know who came last night?”

“Santa came. Left presents!”

She was very excited to see what he left her! It was so much fun seeing her really getting into it this year. Last year she would have been happy just to play with a box but this year the wrapping paper was FLYING! I think I would be lying if I said that Emily didn’t get a little spoiled this year but she was a very, very good girl! She got quite a bit of goodies and she didn’t know what to play with first!

After breakfast and church, we headed over to Grandma and Papa’s for lunch and more presents. She is going to think that she should open presents every day! Might have to wrap up some of the presents again and let her go to town opening.

It was a very good day. We had a good visit with family and everyone was happy. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful family who is so loving and so generous. I couldn’t ask for anything more!

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