I think this Christmas was one of the most wonderful yet. It was my first married Christmas AND first time actually being with Steven on Christmas day, plus the joy of watching my brother's new family at Christmas gave me goosebumps. He has a 9 year old step son and 7 year old step daughter, and it was really my first experience watching children open presents, since I'm the youngest in our family. I always sort of feared I might be a terrible mom because I still feel like a kid at Christmas, and wondered if I would be jealous about 'passing the torch'. I got my answer Christmas morning as they ripped through their stocking, oohing and aahing over the toys and candy. Ah! Melt!
We started Christmas by going to Mass at the Cathedral where we got married, before making our journey to SC. I was adamant about a picture, because we hardly have any pictures of us together since our wedding.... you know, that whole 'there is no one to take it' issue. So I saw a lady sitting in the front pew after church who looked like she was waiting on someone in the choir, and I walked up to her asking her if she would take our picture. She looked concerned for a split second and then began adjusting her bag to get up and take the picture. Oh wait, that wasn't a bag. It was her days old infant in a wrap. Only I would pick the one person with a tiny baby to ask a favor of! I tried to make her sit back down but she wouldn't hear of it. If I look slightly sheepish in this picture, you now know why!
After finally finding somewhere to grab food after Mass, we headed for my parents house. Next year, I will pack dinner! We got there about 1:30 am and my sweet mom had made us plates of Christmas Eve foods, but we were too exhausted to do anything but go to bed! It made for good snacking between candy and dinner on Christmas, though :). I had trouble falling asleep, as exhausted as I was, and managed to sleep from 2:30 until 6:30, at which point I couldn't take the excitement anymore!
I had to wait for everyone to get up, so here's what I did at 6:30 instead. There is no right or wrong time for a cupcake, so quit judging! And also, I should never allow pre-shower photos to be taken.
My brother and his new family reveling in wrapping paper and trinkets!
This is one of my favorite pictures: Rachel face timing Dad opening his presents for Nicole, who couldn't come last minute. She watched us open her presents, and watched Rachel open the ones for her! Technology is really helpful, sometimes.
Cuddling with the new 'phew. You know how I said no pre-shower pictures? Well, this one is post shower (clean jammies) and isn't much better. I think there should be a no pictures before powder rule instead. Anyway, Dylan was super excited to show me his Sonic DS game, and I was excited to watch seeing as it was my jam on the Sega when I was only a few years older than him!
My dad shows Kaitie the antique train that we have up every year. It belonged to my mom's brother (who passed away in 1958, I believe) and is a family favorite.
My mom played Santa this year, and she makes my favorite Santa!
Steven and I opening our stocking! Well, you can see the stocking to the right... the red bag is an extension of the stocking since my mom bought way too much to fit in there. Seriously... best stocking filler ever!
This was Steven's first Christmas away from his family. I got him a Captain America lego set and, after presents, he got on the floor to put it together (clearly, with help). Later he told me that he was really happy I got that for him because his mom always gets him some Lego thing and his tradition is to put it together after presents are over and everyone is just hanging out. So he had that tradition even though he was with a different family in a different place. *Melt* I was so happy for us to be together this Christmas. It really made it feel complete.
My dad took us out in the garage for a rousing, Panther themed game of Cornhole, which we all enjoyed quite a bit. Here's me forcing love on Dylan. Sorry kid. We're a touchy feely family!
I got lots of really awesome and heartfelt things, but I just had to share this book that my mom got for us. Cutest thing ever or what!?!?!