Saturday, December 28, 2013

{Christmas 2013: Part 1 & 2}

We have had an awesome Christmas season and enjoyed many celebrations with friends and family this year.

Our first "Christmas" was with our community group, we had a Christmas soiree.  Yes, a soiree.  It sounds fancy and it was.  We dressed in our Christmas best and enjoyed delicious h'ors dourves.
The food displayed so fancy like.

Even the children were looking oh so beautiful and dapper.

After we ate we enjoyed a really fun white elephant gift exchange.  I ended up stealing an awesome gift and then made Jed steal it from me so that we were guaranteed to go home with it (we have a 2 steal rule).  It was a box full of goodies but what I really wanted was the knitted cowl scarf made by my friend Emily.

I love my family.  Cannot believe how blessed we are.

My parents were here for Christmas Eve so we spent most of the day playing then after naps, we were able to Skype with my sister and her family while we opened some gifts.  Love technology!
This is really the best I could do.  They were too excited to open some presents.
Auntie Em sent some great presents for our kids.  I think she got Lainey her favorite gift - she knows her so well! :)
I always have giggled and probably teased my mom at the amount of pictures we have of us kids opening presents at birthdays, Christmases, etc. but now being a mom I kind of understand.  It is SO sweet to watch your kids open presents and get excited about their new treasures.  I'm convinced this aspect of Christmas is way more fun as a mom  - it is so great to pick out presents, wrap them up and watch them open the gifts.  It's better to give than receive indeed!
I think things got a little crazy after this because I don't have any more pictures.  We had dinner and then headed to the Christmas Eve service at church.
My mom got this really sweet picture of Lainey during the candlelit singing of "Silent Night."  Lainey was mesmerized by the candle and definitely knew the words to the song thanks to our Cedarmont Kids Christmas Carols DVD that I've been lucky enough to listen to over and over and over again the past few weeks...  :)

Christmas morning Lainey was the first one up, of course and the poor girl had to wait quite awhile for her sleepy brother to wake up.
She helped set out and organize the presents.
We read some books and played with some of her new toys from her Ma and Papa....
Created some brilliant works of art...
Played dress up...
And read some more books...

THEN... Wyatt awoke from his slumber.  Finally.

We read the story of Jesus' birth from the Jesus Storybook Bible and then we let the kids open presents from us.  Here we go again with a bunch of pictures of gift opening.  Kind of silly but I love their reactions.  This year we decided to do 4 gifts for each kid - something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read.  It was both fun and practical to do it that way!

We enjoyed a quiet morning at home with Daddy's famous waffles, enjoying our new toys and some baths before heading to my Grandma's in Knoxville for the afternoon and evening, which was really fun too but I have no pictures to prove it.

Loved spending another Christmas with my family.  Doing some simple math, I realized this was Jed's and my 5th Christmas together -- our first was when we got engaged, our second was when we shared our news that we were having a baby, our third was Lainey's first, our fourth was Wyatt's first and this one... this one was just really nice.  Nothing necessarily new or exciting but it was still wonderful and special, just as this time of year should be!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

2 Trips

I realize this is back tracking a little bit, but I never blogged about Thanksgiving in Minnesota and our return trip two weeks later that is worth noting as well.

Jed had an abundance of PTO to use up by the end of this year so we were blessed to have our favorite guy around for the whole week of Thanksgiving.  We headed up to Minnesota on Tuesday to have an extra long holiday weekend with my family.

Packed in and ready to roll.  First we did some sleeping... 
Then some playing.  Pipe cleaners make great car activities!

When we're at my parent's house, Lainey spends a lot of time in this chair and most of the time she's got  at least one baby in tow.  Glad Mom held on to so many of Emily's babies!

We went to my Grandma Carey's one morning to visit and say hello.  Wyatt left no square inch uncovered of course and Lainey enjoyed some story time with Grandma!

My parents were in charge of desserts for Thanksgiving so I offered to make the apple pie!  It was excellent if I do say so myself!

Thanksgiving Day!  We had a great time at my Grandma's with some of my mom's family for dinner.

Wyatt thoroughly enjoyed himself.

Lainey had a great time too.  You can see her eyeing my cousin's oldest girl Isabel (far right) ... she followed her around like a shadow all afternoon and called her "Belle" like the princess and has talked about her often since that day.  Obviously we need to make more trips up there for those two to spend more time together!

Grandma always gets the great grandkids Christmas ornaments on Thanksgiving Day.  I have a huge collection of ornaments myself... probably 24 or 25 (?) from when I was one of "the kids!"

A few of the cousins kids - the great grand crew!
The rest of the holiday weekend was spent playing and enjoying our time together.  Our kids did great with the alternative sleeping arrangements and loved their time with their Ma and Papa.

We headed back up north two weeks later because my Dad was given Vikings tickets from his work and offered to take Jed and I with for so we could enjoy our first NFL football game.  My mom offered graciously to give up the 4th ticket to stay at home and watch the kids.  Even though Jed is a huge Packer fan (read: anti Vikings) he agreed to go, especially after we heard the tickets were in the lower level in row 10!
We packed a lot of fun into the quick weekend.
Making Christmas goodies!
Sprinkling sprinkles every where... so many sprinkles.
Too sweet to not take a picture!

Sunday came (game day!) and my dad had been suffering from a cold all week.  He decided he just wasn't feeling well enough to go to the game so Jed and I went by ourselves.  We had two extra tickets and no one to take to the game with us.  We thought about selling the tickets but it just didn't seem right since they were free to us.  As we headed to the game, I said it would be so fun if we could find a dad and his son and give them our extra tickets since they were such great seats.  We stopped at Caribou on our way downtown and walked in and stood in line behind a dad and his probably 9 or 10 year old son... ALL decked out in Vikings gear.  I just knew they were probably heading to the game so we struck up a conversation.  They were indeed going to the Vikings game so we offered them our extra  row 10 tickets.  Both of their eyes got really big and they graciously accepted... they were so excited.  It was the little boy's first Vikings game and they were SO pumped.  It was awesome to bless them with those extra tickets.  They had a great time and that little dude watched every single minute of that game.

We had a great time ourselves.  It's fun to do anything just the two of us but especially to do something like this... Jed loves football, I like the Vikings, and you can't really go wrong with seats in row 10.  Plus, it was a big Vikings win so it was a fun game to watch and the Vikings are getting a new stadium so it was one of the last games in the Dome!

It was a busy few weeks packing in two trips to Minnesota amidst all of the holiday happenings.  Thankful our kids were great travelers, good sleepers and that we got to spend lots of time with family!