Christmas 2016

This Christmas morning was about as perfect as they come. We had the whole family here. Everyone is healthy. Happy. Steve is not 4,000 miles away this year. And it’s our last Christmas as a family of four, and next year Julia will be the middle child she was born to be. I couldn’t ask for anything more than that.

But before I dive into the crazy fun of Christmas morning, we’ll start with Christmas Eve. Grandpa Brim arrived into town in the wee hours of the morning, after driving all night to be with us. I kicked off the morning helping a bible study friend announce her pregnancy with this adorable picture. We’re going to need a Duggar-sized playroom for Tuesday nights at the rate the kids are multiplying! Such a fun blessing to be a part of this – how cute is he?!

Then I found a few minutes to dry my hair, put on shoes that weren’t mud boots, and make myself and the kids look somewhat presentable for church.

In case that picture made you think we were put together, I ran out of make-up two days earlier (my extensive makeup routine of mascara and eyeliner, I might add), Julia was squeezed into the 18 month dress I bought for her last year and she didn’t wear, she had no shoes that matched and insisted on her cowgirl boots, and thankfully it was nearly 70 degrees because she also had no matching cardigan. This was the best family picture that we got, and I forgot to bring a pen to church for the THIRD week in a row. You’d think after the second time I’d throw one in my purse, but no. My grandmother’s traditional Christmas Eve enchilada dinner was Stouffer’s enchiladas. Every year until last year in our marriage, I whipped up a homemade, from-scratch recipe. Last year, I forgot to defrost the meats, and with a deployed husband, was nearly in tears that we wouldn’t have a main course to go with the rice and beans. I’d literally be feeding our parents rice and beans for their Christmas Eve supper. Until I looked in the freezer, and miraculously saw a literal Christmas gift from God in the form of a Stouffer’s enchilada tray nestled in the freezer, that I was saving for a rainy day. Straight into the oven they went, and then straight into a casserole dish, so it looked like I made them. This year, I bought two trays and served them straight out of the tin foil. No regrets. Not even that we didn’t get a better dressed-up family picture than this. I wish I had this one in time for the Christmas cards that went in the mail four days before Christmas.

It’s a Christmas miracle itself that I managed to get a group shot last Christmas, Thanksgiving, and this Christmas. Everyone looking, everyone smiling. I promised everyone that it was my one and only posed picture request for the weekend, to which I know they all breathed a sigh of relief. Off to church we went in two vehicles, on time, somehow snagging parking spots next to each other. Praise Jesus! I only started getting everyone ready at 9:00 for the 2:30 service. Also, children get a seat in the service once they turn four. This year was Mitchell’s last in the nursery for this occasion. Our big boy is growing up!

After the enchiladas, Julia went to bed, and Mitchell and I whipped up some chocolate chip cookies from scratch (ha!) for Santa. They found themselves on top of the refrigerator where Zoe and Loki wouldn’t be finding them in the middle of the night. Because it would be no stretch of the imagination to have them eat four dozen cookies and require an emergency vet bill on Christmas morning. Santa (Grandpa) didn’t seem to have a problem finding them up there, though.

And after telling (and convincing) him that cookie dough is yucky and will make him sick, I leave this kitchen for two seconds and my dad completely debunked all of my credibility. I guess that’s what grandparents are for, right?

If you’re still with me, good work. We’re halfway there. Almost. That brings us right up to Christmas morning. Santa brought bikes, and we could have just stopped then and there. But their grandparents went a little crazy this year, so the Christmas morning fun was seemingly endless. Cameras were snapping, bicycles were circling the dining room table, wrapping paper everywhere, but not until after 9:00 because these little Christmas kids were resting up in preparation for the big day while I sat on the couch and twiddled my thumbs waiting for them to stir. But once the gift unwrapping started, it didn’t stop, and I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Mitchell got his very first pair of soccer cleats, a new soccer ball, and shin guards. He’s all ready for spring soccer sign-ups in two weeks! We’re all so excited!

A holiday with our parents is not complete without someone being gifted something with a moose. My mom won the moose award this year with this beautiful platter.

My in-laws gift was my favorite gift to give this year. I have a super talented friend who did pencil drawings of the kids, and they are absolutely breathtaking. It was so hard to bite my tongue and not let them unwrap them as soon as they walked in the door!

Julia was pretty pleased with her new princesses.

And so all that madness left our living room looking like this. Full of wrapping paper, smiling faces, and two excited little Christmas hearts ready to play with every toy at the same time.

After the excitement died down, we tried naps, because they were much-needed. Grandma Brim got Julia a new Christmas bed, so the great November/December bed swap could finally end and we could return Mitchell’s borrowed bottom bunk to his room once and for all. Her last sleep before her new bed ended up like this, with Christmas toys spread a.l.l. over her room and no sleeping to be done.

We didn’t even think about getting out of our pajamas until lunch time. And only then, because we wanted to take the new Christmas bikes on an outing. (More on that later). We watched Christmas Story and Peanuts Christmas a combined twelve times. Everyone entertained themselves with a lazy day until our traditional ham Christmas dinner.

All-in-all, Christmas 2016 was a success. We’re really wrapping up the year here with my birthday and Julia’s birthday party. Then I’m letting myself go into much-needed baby mode to start prepping for our littlest babe! But before I jump too far ahead, I still have a few more Christmas updates on cue!

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