December 27, 2014

Christmas 2014

Claire woke up on Christmas morning at 7:00 to nurse.  I went and got her from her crib and then we peeked out the window and saw that my wish had come true!  After a long December without a single snowflake we finally got a white christmas after all.  After I nursed Claire she fell right back asleep.  I thought about trying to keep her awake but decided against it since she went to bed so late the night before.  I couldn't go back to sleep at this point so I got up and started making cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  I let Bryce sleep in for another hour and then woke him up to have him help me get everything ready.  He cut up fruit to go with our breakfast and helped me set up all our stockings.  After everything was all set up we had to try to patiently wait for Claire to wake up.  She slept in until almost 10, of all mornings to sleep in!  I almost went crazy trying to wait for her.
After Claire woke up we ate our breakfast first and then opened presents.  I set up my tripod in the corner and used my remote to take pictures throughout our morning.  We put all of Claire's gifts around her and showed her the ones that weren't wrapped.  
We do the tradition of 4 gifts: something you want, something to wear, something you need, and something to read.  Claire's need was a new convertible carseat.  Her read was the book If I could Keep you Little.  It is such a darling book, I maybe cried the first time I read it.  Claire's wear was the cute little blue, pink & red floral corduroy dress you can see draped on the carseat in some of the pictures.  Claire's want was a Fisher Price Little People castle & the set of disney princesses that go with it.  Those were all her big gifts and we decided to have her get one more small gift from Rory.  I thought this would be a tradition that would be silly & fun for our kids.  So Rory gave her the wooden bead abacus to help her when she starts learning her colors and how to count.  When we have more kids we will probably have them get one gift collectively from Rory, but since Claire is the first baby she gets lucky for a few Christmases.  
Claire was so in love with her castle & little princesses.  She kept squealing and bouncing up and down excitedly while she played with them.  I couldn't get any pictures of her that weren't blurry at first.  It was so much fun watching her excitement!
Claire playing with her princesses and waiting for dad to finish putting together her castle.
While Bryce was putting together Claire's castle we had her start opening her stocking.  I had almost as much fun picking out stocking stuffers for Claire as I did picking out her big gifts.  She got a classic Winnie the Pooh Teddy Bear & a Winnie the Pooh board book, a fox sippy cup, hair bows, a few bath toys, fruit snacks, and gerber puffs. 
After Claire finished opening her gifts and Bryce finished putting together her castle we had Rory go next.  She got a huge femur bone, a bag of tennis balls & a muffin tin.  We found this idea online and thought it was really cool.  You put treats in some of the holes of the muffin tin and then put a tennis ball in each hole and then your dog has to try and find which holes the treats are in.  Rory really liked it, but she especially loved her gigantic bone.  
Bryce opened his gifts next.  We just decided to do stocking stuffers for each other this year since we did such a big Christmas last year (Bryce got a pistol & I got a new macbook last year).  We did still stick with our 4 gift tradition though.  Bryce's want was a knife sharpener, his wear was a new beanie, his need was a scarf, and his read was Volume 1 of Sherlock Holmes.  He also got some treats & gum.
And finally I opened my gifts last.  My want was a set of Christmas cookie cutters so we could make Christmas cookies from now on during the holidays, my wear was a new beanie, my need was a few undershirts, and my read was a clothbound version of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen to add to my collection. 
While we opened our stockings Claire played with her castle.  It was so adorable!  I thought my heart would burst seeing how much she loved the gifts we picked out for her.  It is definitely a favorite mama memory of mine now.
Claire with all of her gifts under the tree.  We got her to stop playing and look at the camera just long enough for one picture :).  Our Christmas morning was so much fun and incredibly special.  Being a parent on Christmas is 100 times more fun then being a kid on Christmas I think.  It is just so special getting to see the joy and excitement in your child's eyes.  We spent the rest of the morning playing with Claire and her new toys and then we went to Bryce's parents in the afternoon.
At Bryce's parents we ate dinner, played a white elephant gift game with his siblings, and then had all of our exhausted kids and babies take naps.  While the babies napped we all got to relax, eat treats, and visit together.  Then we skyped with Bryce's siblings and their families who live out of state.  After all of our kids woke up we opened gifts.  Bryce's parents gave us a really nice camp chef stove, a nativity set, & some nice wool socks (I think they knew that's all I wear on my cold feet all winter long).  They gave Claire the cutest wooden butterfly walking toy and a xylophone.
The best part of my Christmas was getting to see this cute smile all day long!
This has by far been my most favorite Christmas!  My heart is so full.  I loved celebrating the birth of Christ, and the matchless gift that he is with our wonderful families.  I loved getting to see the joy in my daughter's eyes and receive more joy from giving then I ever have from receiving.  I am truly blessed and can never express my gratitude enough.  We hope you all had a Merry Christmas & in a few more days wish you a Happy New Year!      

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