Christmas 2014

Well…I’m behind on posting. Life got a little nutso with moving and the holidays. Better late than never I suppose!

It was certainly an unusual Christmas season for us. Our days were filled with packing boxes more than singing carols. That’s ok! We squeezed in what we could! Next year though…We are gonna be all kinds of festive with these two kiddos!

We LOVE when Sissy and Ella come visit. LOVE. One night they came up to visit, we took the girls out for Starbucks treats and then drove through midtown looking at all the lights and listening to Christmas tunes. Tampa Dan is a saint and watched Everett at our house, so we could venture out in one car. And without brother’s cries drowning out the sound of the Christmas classics.

We made our way through the pretty part of midtown with our Starbucks treats. Of course, the best part of driving around the fancy houses for lights is to creep on the interior design work that can so easily be seen through the windows at night. 😉 That’s my favorite part anyway! Since Josh has the mind of a steel trap, he remembered a house that we drove by last year with lights set to music. It’s a cute little display, and they have the leg lamp from A Christmas Story up in their front window. We also drove through Utica and around Swan Lake. This little gingerbread-looking house is our favorite in Swan Lake.

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Elisa is obsessed with Starbucks. She HAS to have a pink cake pop and “coffee milk” which is just milk in one of their coffee cups. Girl is hilarious. And a little bit of a diva.

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Sissy and Ella brought the kids the cutest presents. One was a little wooden cash register with money and a credit card. Everett got a cute little boat for the bath tub among other things. I cannot wait for him to be a muddy little toddler boy that we get to scrub down in the bath while he plays with his tugboat. Little Man.

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Since everything was so crazy with the move, we opted to keep it simple in terms of decorations and gifts. We did at least put up one of our trees and strung some lights on it. I can’t wait for next year.

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This. I will cherish this picture always.

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After staying the night in a hotel because of our floors being worked on, I took the kids to Bass Pro to see Santa Claus and kill time. It was Christmas Eve Eve. That place was INSANE. Other than going to Target, it was the best idea I could come up with that day. Two trips later, it was finally our turn. While we were waiting in line, Elisa was excited about the whole meet-Santa-Claus idea.

Here she is…happily posing with the Nutcracker moments before our turn…

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And then Santa struck again.

We have a similar picture from last year with the Santa Claus at Woodland Hills Mall. In no way was I surprised that she melted down, but I mean…Come on. Everybody has to have a picture like this of their kids! Right??! Why do we do this parents?? Wait in line for an eternity just get a picture of our children crying with a bearded man dressed as Santa?? Is this just an American thing?

I woke Everett up from a nap 30 seconds before it was our turn, so he looks a little out of it. Maybe that should be my strategy with both kids next year.

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I guess he is like an animal at the zoo; fun to look at from afar but a little scary up close and personal.

She talks about Santa still and remembers him quite fondly. No permanent scarring.

Even though we still had a ton of unpacking from the move and re-packing to go to Nana & Papa’s house, we called a time out and decorated a gingerbread man with the Bear. Elisa donned the obligatory reindeer ears that come out every year…and then the Santy hat.

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The Bear got to decorate cookies at Nana & Papa’s house. Always a fun treat on Christmas Eve there!

Unkie Jordan was feeling generous this year and made a donation in honor of all of us to the Human Fund in celebration of Festivus. We did not, however, air our grievances. We kept it light-hearted with the cookie decorating and the reading of the Night Before Christmas…

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Elisa had a blast tearing through her presents this year. I can’t wait for Everett to be excited about it! We are going to have so much fun!

The Bear received numerous Frozen gifts, because…obviously. And so many other amazing presents. These kids are loved beyond belief.

And look at Elisa’s Christmas jammies that Nana got her. Cutest.Thing.Ever.

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We also had a little Christmas celebration at Grandma Maggie’s. We LOVE going to Maggie’s house. Such a welcoming, relaxing vibe there. And delicious food. And great wine. I always feel like I’ve gone on a mini-vacation when we go there.

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Everett certainly enjoyed some snuggle time with Grandma Maggie.

And who knows what Elisa is doing in the chair in the background.

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I can’t find pictures, but MuMu, Sissy, and Ella all came again one day to do presents with the kids. We made cookies and had a dance party to Taylor Swift in the front living room. Never a dull moment.

We also had a white Saturday-after-Christmas morning brunch at Jordan & Katie’s house. As a family, we were gifted with some much-needed, much-treasured things and had an amazing time with the Winders’ side of the family. They’re good people. How awesome was it that it actually snowed that morning??! Here is the snow outside our front window…

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Thanks to Dan, I do have some pictures from the first Christmas at Unkie Jordan’s house!

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While it was a crazy busy Christmas season because of the move, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It was an exciting time of transition for our family, and we had a lot to celebrate! But next year…we are definitely decking the halls and starting some traditions at our new house!

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