Like I said in my earlier post, it turned out to be a great weekend. The girls were good, family drama was nowhere to be seen, and we basically stayed in our pajamas for two days straight.
We kicked off our Christmas celebrations at my dad's house on Christmas Eve. We had a yummy breakfast-for-lunch, and spent some time hanging out with him and my stepmom. Addison and Mackenzie got the cutest bumper cars from them. They make crashing noises when they bump into something (or one another), and I think the adults had as much fun with them as the girls did! They have wheels that turn very easily in all directions, which A & M quickly realized would allow them to be flung across the kitchen floor in circles, ending with a light crash into the wall. Lots of entertainment value there...I highly recommend. : )
Christmas Eve night, we went to a short service at church. Though I ended up in the nursery with A & M and Wyatt, soon to be joined by Kelly and Brenna, it was a nice, peaceful way to end the day. Just sitting in the candlelit sanctuary, remembering what Christmas is all about--a Savior who was born and died for ME (and for YOU)--well, it was a pretty amazing feeling.
A couple of weeks before Christmas, weather forecasters began predicting that we might see a bit of a White Christmas this year. In north Alabama, snow is pretty rare, especially in December (though apparently not this year...). There is only one record of snow on Christmas in Alabama, and that is when we got less than half an inch in 1989. (I vaguely remember snow falling, and I'm not sure we even had a dusting that actually stuck to the ground.)
But this year, forecasters were saying the snow should start falling by mid-afternoon on Christmas, and we might get an inch or two on the ground.
Imagine my surprise and delight when we woke up to this on Christmas morning:
It was absolutely magical. The snow just added to the level of excitement in all the right ways. Magical...that's about all I can say about it.
When the girls woke up, we herded them into the living room to see what Santa had brought. The funniest moment of my day happened then: Mackenzie came down the hallway first, and I was waiting with the video camera. She stopped at the pantry and started signing 'eat', which is typical when they first get up in the morning. Slowly, though, she realized that something was different around the Christmas tree, and she forgot all about her request for food. She ran over to her kitchen and immediately started opening doors and turning knobs, checking it all out. This 'Santa's helper' had a happy heart at that moment. : )
After spending some time opening gifts and playing with new toys (okay, the new kitchen, because that's all Addison & Mackenzie had eyes for at first), we threw on coats to head to my mom's for breakfast.
This little girl already had her coat on, since she insisted on wearing it the minute she opened the box it came in...
(a coat that came from Wal-Mart clearance for $4, I might add... Santa can bargain shop too!)
Naturally, we had to stop and check out the snow before we loaded up to go to breakfast. A & M (especially Miss A!) loved it. They didn't really want to get in the car, but my tummy was growling, so we promised them more playtime later.
As is our tradition, we had a casual, relaxing breakfast at my mom's, with some more family. We opened more gifts with my mom, aunt, and cousin. After more playing with new toys (and new potties!), we all ended up in the front yard having a huge snowball fight. It was a blast, and the girls absolutely loved it. They cried when it was time to go in and warm up, and Mackenzie tried to take her snowball inside with her.
(Mackenzie finally took the jacket off, but not the hat)
Later on Christmas afternoon, Jeremy's parents came to our house for an early dinner. This was a new tradition this year, but it worked out well, and I think it may continue. (His mom's family gets together at one her sister's homes, which is an hour and a half drive from us. I have long said that when we have children, we will be spending Christmas at home, where we can relax and enjoy the day with them, rather than being rushed from place to place. Despite objections from much of the extended family, mostly those whose children are grown and married with their own families, some insist on keeping the gathering on Christmas day. There was some drama beforehand--surprise! when is there not drama with the holidays and a large family?--but his mom is very understanding of our position, and I think she enjoyed coming to our house to celebrate. We are still hoping the family gathering will be moved next year, but we'll see...)
There was a crockpot of potato soup simmering on my countertop, and Jeremy's parents brought ham and rolls to go with it. Easy for everyone, and so, so good on a snowy Christmas evening. We filled our bellies, then had present extravaganza number three. I had already left my good camera at mom's at that point, so no pictures of this one, but trust me, a good time was had by all.
Oh, yeah, and I got about six inches cut off my hair on Wednesday:
(This was about 2 a.m. on Christmas morning...don't judge!)
And that was Christmas!
And that was Christmas!