Christmas was celebrated with my parents and siblings at our home this year. Usually my mom hosts, but most of them hadn't been to our house. Living in the mountains, it felt appropriate for Christmas and there was still some snow on the ground. Win. Win.
I love when my family is under one roof. The sound of my brother Randy's loud infectious laugh filled the room and each corner of my house was filled with life. We sat around a table eating a dinner of ham, smoked brisket, mashed potatoes and salad. Some of my siblings dropped the ball on bringing their potluck item...but I'm not even mad because it was perfect.
Eli shuffled between each of my siblings and played with his four year old cousin, LeiAna. My parents brought gifts for the little ones to open, so we stuffed ourselves into our second living room and watched them eagerly tear at their presents. My older brother, Dylan, who has yet to have any kids, quickly helped my niece put her present together, delicately fitting together the girly pieces. Eli latched onto him like a magnet and the two of them practiced acrobatics (Dylan being a yoga guru and instructor)...
Owen was passed around more than he'd been since birth, but enjoyed the liveliness and attention. He fell asleep multiple times in Ashley's (Dylan's girlfriend) arms and multiple times in grandma's arms. It was like I had ten babysitters...so I sat back most of the evening sipping on my first glass of wine in a long while.
When the evening came to a close, I tried to reason with everyone to stay longer or spend the night. I really didn't want it to end. Justin reminded me we had lots of presents to wrap still, but it never feels long enough being with the ones you love, especially when we only get together a few times a year. And we were still missing three of my siblings.
I woke up pretty early this morning, but the rest of my family was still sleeping, so I kept my excitement and went back to sleep. Around 8am, I couldn't stand it anymore and coaxed Eli out of bed. "Santa came buddy! I think he came!" I tried to entice him..which didn't take much. He'd been anticipating Christmas since October.
Owen loved the paper as much as Eli did his first Christmas, but I could tell he was excited from the look of awe on his face.
Justin had Eli empty his piggy bank last week and bought this Dumbo that makes white noise and music. He literally counted out $14.30 in change at the counter of TJ Maxx. That was also the same day I accidentally locked Owen in the car with the keys in the ignition and car running. (Story for another day!)
The pride Eli had giving him that gift was absolutely beautiful to watch.
Eli's turn. Long awaited.
My hubby always has the strangest gift requests. He is going to make his own smoker. He'd been lifting that heavy box the last two weeks, probably secretly hoping it was this.
He also got a ginormous tool kit, a tablet, ear buds, and a blue tooth amplifier for his devices.
My gifts were pretty awesome. Makeup, chocolate, and lots of gift certificates!
Owen got lots of crinkle toys and a music/light toy for those night time rides in the car he hates so much.
The look of surprise on Eli and Justin's faces was enough to make my heart burst. Justin didn't celebrate Christmas until him and I were first dating. He said this year was the best Christmas he'd ever had...so much so that he got teary and gave the most heartfelt prayer out loud as to how blessed we are. And we are.
Eli spent the rest of the day playing with each gift...and wore that helmet all day, even at breakfast. Success.
Merry Christmas! I hope yours was as enjoyable and full of love as ours!