Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas.

Oh, sweet Christmas.

The holiday has come and gone.  It was glorious.   I even got an early Christmas gift...the opportunity to write another article for a local magazine, Distinctly Montana.  Check it out here.  So cool. 
   
More on Christmas to come.

Today our evening was capped off with a magic show put on by the girls and their cousins.  We were told to close our eyes a lot as they made things "disappear".  It was quite entertaining.  Our usual quiet house of four has been been full of cousins this weekend.  It has been a little louder, messier and crazier.  It's all good.

My sister is on her way to Mayo Clinic.  We are hopeful for answers.  I think everyone has been nervous about her leaving.  It is what we have been wanting...her to get to a bigger hospital to find help that she isn't finding here at our small one.  However, this limbo of not knowing what will happen now is nerve wracking.  All we can do is hope and pray for them to finally figure things out.  They just have to.  Them being gone means some extra cousin times for the girls.  From birth to kindergarten these kids spent almost every day together.  Now they are all in school so the time together is less frequent.  Having the gang back together takes me back to those earlier days.  I like it.  I like that even now that they are older and all have their own friends at school (or hundreds of friends like my niece Kim told me) they still all enjoy each others company.  

Company to slide down an icy hill like penguins with...


After all the snow and then the warm up with rain the usual sledding hill was a sheet of ice.  They flew down in sleds a few times before venturing down on their bellies.  It was awesome.  

Before all this we had a little celebration we like to call Christmas.  After all the build up of the holiday season it seems like the actual day goes so fast.  I went to bed Christmas evening exhausted and content.  Exactly how any proper holiday should end.  It was very full.  Full of family, friends, food, gifts and magic for the kids.  I like to write about our holiday to look back on later and bring back those happy feelings from the day.  A look at our Christmas.

Pre-Santa holiday preparation of scattering reindeer food in the driveway...


Excited girls waking in the morning and running out to see if Santa ate all the cookies...


I think we will all too soon be coming to the end of Ava believing in the magic of Christmas so I am trying my hardest to soak it up while we can.  


Oh, the excitement of seeing your stockings and gifts under the tree.  I know I have talked a lot about Christmas not being about the gifts, but I remember this feeling on Christmas morning.  

My sisters and I would all sleep in the same room, full of anticipation for the next day.  We would promise if we got up in the night we wouldn't look over the ledge (it looked into the living room) until we all were up the next morning.  It was so hard to not peek and when we finally did I can remember the feeling of excitement.  It is something I hope to be re-creating with my own girls.  

As much as they ripped through their presents, the girls were very much into giving their own gifts.  They were all homemade and totally done on their own.  I do believe we have instilled a good giving spirit in them that I hope to continue to nurture.  

The beautiful mess of a successful Christmas morning...

Lazing around, playing with new toys, breakfast at 11 and naps on the couch before heading to the next celebration.  My hope for the holiday season was to not get carried away with it.  To keep it simple and focus on the family and tradition part of it.  I feel I was able to keep this up until our final celebration because with this big of family I just don't think calm and simple is possible...

Calm it is not, but fun it is.  Presents flying around, too much food and champagne and many, many hours later leaving with a car full of goodies.  It is funny to think back to those Christmas mornings with only a family of five.  My sisters and I in our pj's going through stockings with my parents on the couch watching.  We have now multiplied into our own families and we all still gather around that tree in pj's.  It is crazy.  It is loud.  But, that is us.  

Happy girls full of smiles-

And little boys playing with new Legos-


And pre-dinner naps for some to recover from the chaos-


Every year we say that we need to change it so it doesn't feel as crazy the next year and each year nothing changes.  This is okay.  

Christmas is now fading and we enter the last week of holiday vacation.  The tree gets two more days and then it's coming down.  I resisted the urge to take it down the day after Christmas.  As full of holiday spirit I get, I tend to get over it rather quickly.  Another week of doing not much.  Staying in pajamas with the kids and settling into the calm of January.  A couple more days before we kiss 2013 good bye.  

Hope your holidays were happy.

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