Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Eve...

Every year I determine that I am going to have a relaxing Christmas Eve. And every year it's crazy busy, exhausting and packed with wonderful memories. This year was no exception. I had to run last-minute photos to a client, but I was home by noon. Mindy had spent the previous afternoon whipping up all kinds of cookie dough, so the girls started cranking on the cookies we should have had baked at least three days prior. They made short work of it while I finished wrapping gifts.


Caroline is very much into cookie baking this year...

up to her elbows, it seems...


I didn't give a hoot about this...


...because it resulted in this!

Beautiful job, girls!


Our family's favorite...candy cane cookies!

Late in the afternoon we got ready for church. We always go to the early evening service at Grandma Dotty's church. It's always packed, and there is little margin for error. We rolled in about five minutes before it started and found some of the last seats in the house!


As good as it got...

Then it was back to Grandma's house for Christmas Eve dinner and opening gifts! The baked ham and mashed potatoes were absolutely heavenly. The kids opened their traditional Christmas pajamas and ditched their church clothes in about 4.2 seconds. My kids love their pajamas! Abby insisted upon having input on the girls' pjs this year, since Mindy picked them out last year. Then she proceeded to complain that she didn't want to know what she was getting for Christmas!


Ready to get started!


Not an iTouch...not a pony...Taco Bell bucks...true joy!


NOT the kid who got a scooter for Christmas...


It appears that he's being the helpful husband,

intent on capturing precious memories of our children...

In fact, Jon is taking a video of his eyeball..

Late in the evening, we began the trek home. We live next door so it was a short trek. It was then that I realized we hadn't decorated coookies for Santa, so we whipped out the frosting and sprinkles! Abby took sheer delight in decorating her cookie with enough sugar to put the entire team of reindeer into a glucose coma and loudly voicing her hopes that Santa would love her enough to eat the whole thing. Rotten girl.



Um, I guess we're done with THAT knife...


She's going on the naughty list.


Enough sugar to induce a glucose coma in Santa AND the reindeer...



That carrot is for the reindeer, buddy!


How about a little oatmeal with that glitter?

The kids made reindeer dust and shivered their way through flinging it across the yard, along with eight carrot chunks for Rudolph and crew. Then it was time, finally, for The Night Before Christmas and bed! The older girls had elaborately devised a group sleepover in Mickey's room in order to provide Santa's elves some room to work.


Our version of "prep and landing"...

While we waited for them to fall asleep, I went to work on setting up the gifts for Christmas morning and stuffing the stockings. By the way, very rarely does a gift appear under the tree before Christmas morning. This year Jon wanted to put out a few gifts ahead of time to heighten the anticipation (translate that he wanted to drive them batty with guessing games). I have never heard such weeping and gnashing of teeth. Mindy and Abby were appalled. We heard numerous complaints laced with phrases such as "ruined Christmas", "a complete lack of respect for tradition", and "what were you thinking?!" Apparently, the transformation of the living room on Christmas morning is magical. And magical is not to be messed with.


As soon as the coast was clear, Jon set to work dismantling the crib. I have to say that I stayed out of the room for that part. It always makes me sad, and I chose complete avoidance this time around. It's hard enough to wrap my mind around the little girl my baby has become, but it's even harder to believe how much time has passed so quickly since the day we put it together for her. I will never forget our entire family in that room, laughing and arguing over pieces and parts, completely giddy over the reality of finally bringing Caroline home. I'm hoping and praying that it won't be too long before we haul it out of the basement for another little one.


We've had the actual bed for quite a while. Me, in my stubbornness, insisted that we wait to put her in it until we could buy her new bedding for the occasion. The one I picked just so happened to be a little pricey. So we waited. Christmas (and her impending fourth birthday) seemed like the perfect occasion to splurge. Please note, however, that she's so stinking tiny that she could have slept in that crib for another two years!


The room is still in progress. The sham isn't in the picture because we wrapped it up. The duvet cover is tucked in because we still need a duvet. The pile of animals will go in another ladybug hamper that Caroline actually had on her Christmas list. We have several Chinese lanterns to hang from the ceiling, and we aren't convinced we'll be leaving the bed there. The rocking chair cushions need to seriously be replaced. But I know if I waited to show you the final version, I'd be ostracized from blog world.

By now, we were into the wee hours of the morning. Jon headed to bed...I think he made it that far before he passed out. Grandma was curled up on the sofa, sound asleep. And I seriously wanted to curl up in her little bed myself! Thankfully, I have two of the best daughters in the whole world, and they got up to help me clean up her room and get it in some semblance of order.

Click here for the complete set. Next...Christmas morning!


C.C. said...

Wow, that looks like fun!! We're coming to YOUR house next year;-)

Judi said...

It looks like it was a lot of fun and a lot of great memories! Caroline's new bed is really cute!

Kristi said...

Oh the picture of all four ~ love Caroline's little sassy smile! I can't imagine a more sane Christmas Eve for your family, it just wouldn't be you guys.
So much wonderful stuff recorded, too much to comment on, but I loved every minute and every picture.

Tyra said...

awsome memories
i like doing that to but u are so good with the camera