Christmas Eve, Travis and I were both off work. I got up pretty early and started cleaning the house. The girls were playing quietly in their rooms and Travis was piddling around outside. Catherine was playing in her room and was a little TOO quiet. (Last time she was that quiet, I walked in to find her coloring a masterpiece on the wall). I went in her room and found this:
Later that morning, the girls and I made all kinds of Christmas goodies. We did this a few weeks earlier, but it is our tradition to do it on Christmas Eve. I was so busy melting chocolate and helping them dip things that I didn't take a single picture of us during the chaos! (not to mention, I was still in my PJs and sporting my glasses...not flattering!)
That evening, we cooked a yummy Christmas Eve dinner of brisket, green bean bundles and baked potatoes. Travis's mom and step-dad came over to eat with us and give gifts. We had a great time talking, opening gifts and just enjoying each others company.
Finally, we put milk and cookies out for Santa and sent the girls to bed. After they were asleep, Travis got all the gifts out of the closet and I spent the next couple of hours wrapping "Santa" gifts. It always takes forever, but those faces the next morning make it SO worth it!
Surely enough, Emma woke us up bright and early on Christmas morning so anxious to see if Santa had come to visit. She woke Hannah up and they ran to the living room to check. After they confirmed that he had stopped by, we woke Catherine up and chaos ensued!
We had SO much fun with them. I love how it is just our little family on Christmas morning enjoying every moment. I was so busy watching and laughing that I didn't take too many pictures. Catherine dumped all the candy out of her stocking first. There is ALWAYS an apple and orange in the toe of every one's stockings (a tradition I can remember from when I was a kid). Catherine thought her orange was a ball and kept throwing it across the living room yelling "BAAAAALL!" It was pretty funny.
After the girls opened their gifts, we ate breakfast and called the grandparents to tell them that they had, in fact, been good girls and Santa left them a few things. Travis and I spent the rest of the morning, opening toys, putting batteries in things and picking up all those dumb twist ties off the floor.
That afternoon, we loaded up and headed to Hot Springs for Christmas with my side of the family. We were SO glad to see Honey, Daddy Brooks, Uncle Jon and Aunt Nicole. We ate dinner, open gifts and played with the girls.
After they were in bed, we spent a LOOOOOONNNNNGGG time playing Phase 10. I can't remember who won, but there was TONS of trash talk and laughing. It was pretty fun!
The next day, we got up and ready for lunch at Bel Arte with my dad's side of the family. It is truly amazing that every year for as long as I can remember (and probably before I was even alive!), we have always been able to all get together for at least a couple of hours at Christmas. I was sad this year because two of my cousins, Eva and Travis (not my Travis), were not able to come.
We had a great lunch. Then, we went back to my grandparents house to play dirty Santa. My family is pretty competitive. In fact, I remember one year there was some drama surrounding number of steals and a Starbucks gift card. (But, let's not venture to the past). I was so glad we got to see everyone!
We spent the next couple of days at Honey and Daddy Brooks' house playing, napping, eating and just recovering from Christmas. Catherine slept in her crib in my parents room, so I was able to get some MAJOR sleep. It was SO nice!
So, (if anyone read through all this), that was our Christmas in a nutshell. We have been truly blessed throughout the year. As I get older, I start realizing how special these times are with my girls. I try to breath in each and every "Look at this", giggle and smile I can, because they will be grown before I know it!