Ladies and Gents, Christmas has officially come and gone. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t relieved (I am). I love the holidays, but they are exhausting.
That being said, it was so exciting to celebrate A’s first Christmas. I took Christmas Eve off. I was originally going to go into work for the early part of the day, but at the last minute I decided to stay home and enjoy the full Christmas experience with our gal. I’m really glad I did, because we actually got a lot done during the day on Christmas Eve and of course, enjoyed some quality time with A.
At 3pm we went to Christmas Mass at our church, which is conveniently located right near our home. It was a children’s mass, which is always nice and was really packed; standing room only. My parents went early and secured a couple of seats. A slept on my dad’s shoulder for about half of the mass and for the other half she was entranced by the choir. She loves music so much and it makes my heart smile!
From there, we headed over to my Aunt’s house to enjoy some holiday cheer with our family. We had a ton of tasty appetizers- braunschweiger dip (hey, we’re of German ancestry on this side of the family!), shrimp cocktail (this always goes fast and it’s every man for himself each year), surprise guacamole (it just magically appeared out of nowhere) and the most amazing brown sugar bacon wrapped cocktail wienies. They were pretty much the best thing ever (I’m making a mental note to blog this recipe- I’ll try for next week but no guarantees).
We let the kiddies open their gifts- A got completely spoiled with toys and clothes. Our adorable cousin Stella was too funny. She got a suitcase from my Grandma Eve and after that every toy she unwrapped was immediately put into the suit case. No one told her to do this, it’s just what she did. So funny and too cute!
Eventually, we enjoyed a delicious beef stew that my Aunt made and a salad on the side (one of my contributions- greens topped with grape tomatoes, fennel, hearts of palm and crumbly blue). Both were pretty tasty and quite filling.
Dessert was cookies (many of which were another of my contributions) and a minty ice cream cake which my mom made. I’m sad to say that I was much too full to try the ice cream cake but I’m told it was pretty amazing!.
It was a pretty awesome time and really, it’s always enjoyable hanging out with family. There was also a part of me that was sad for a few reasons. It’s never easy having a holiday without J’s family around. We try and skype and chat on the phone, but it’s never the same. It was also our family’s first Christmas without our beloved Aunt Mimi. I always looked forward to spending time with her and I found myself expecting her to come in from another room and sit down and chat with us. Heaven really is lucky to have such a beautiful angel.
When we returned home, A went right down after her dream feed (her normal 7pm bed time in the pack and play at my Aunt’s and we got home at 10pm which is pretty much in line with when she dream feeds). I was pleasantly surprised at the fact that this deviation in her schedule didn’t screw up her sleep the way I expected. A did us proud!
Upon returning home, we turned on A Christmas Story and got to work setting up A’s gifts from Santa for the next morning. And by got to work I mean J set things up and I laid on the couch and watched the movie/fell asleep.
The next morning A woke us up at 6:15am as always. We changed and fed A in her room and after brought her down to see what Santa had left her and begin our family Christmas morning. A was pretty psyched about her gifts and immediately got busy playing under the tree. After a little bit, we put her in the jumperoo that Santa brought. This was a last minute purchase that J grabbed on Christmas Eve. We were on the fence because we already have one of the jumpers that hangs in the door, which A likes, but more for hanging out in than actual jumping. We ultimately added the jumperoo into the mix because A goes absolutely crazy over the one at daycare.
This turned out to be the case with this jumperoo as well. The minute we put her in she was a very happy gal and immediately got busy playing and jumping which also allowed J and I the chance the exchange gifts with each other.
Eventually, A was ready for her first nap of the day. She went right down and I began to prepare breakfast. My parents came to join us for eggs, bacon and orange cranberry bread/cake. We enjoyed a nice meal and eventually A woke up and enjoyed some quality time with my parents before they left.
The rest of the morning was spent hanging out and getting ready to head to my parents later in the day for more festivities. Right before we left, my brother in-law Eric arrived. He had driven through the night from Nashville to be with us. This last minute trip came about a few days before Christmas and was the best possible addition to A’s first Christmas.
We got a late start heading to my parents and arrived shortly before 2pm. Once we arrived we immediately did more gifts with my parents and sister. We all got extremely spoiled this year, especially A.
After that, more family began arriving and enjoyed some appetizers. There was a cheese board, chips and dip (major Christmas tradition- don’t you remember the part of the story where the 3 kings brought gold, frankincense, myrrh and potato chips to the newly born King?!), cowboy caviar, crack bread and clams casino. At this point I was starving, so I went to town on everything, especially the prosecco.
After relaxing for a bit we tucked into my mom’s amazing lasagna. Following the huge, very filling dinner we relaxed and hung out. A was a bit finicky all day long (too much Christmas?) but for the most part she enjoyed being passed around and hanging with everyone.
We got her down in the pack and play a little after 7pm and enjoyed more bonding and relaxing in our respective food comas. There was an American Ninja Warrior marathon on TV that everyone tuned into and some naps were taken as well.
Once again, I had little to no room for dessert. I snagged a couple of cookies and a small piece of the chocolate peppermint cake, which I made. In general it was a beautiful day. There was a lot of hanging out and relaxing, which to me is exactly how Christmas Day should be.
I had a few little emotional moments, especially in the morning when it was just our little family. We waited so long for our sweet girl and I cannot imagine life without her. Last Christmas I was fresh out of the first trimester and still quite nervous that something could happen to A in utero. Our gal is such a beautiful gift and a true miracle. My heart is full of love and I cannot fully express how grateful I am for the many gifts that God has given us.
Here’s wishing everyone a beautiful holiday season!