Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas in a nutshell

This holiday season was pretty wonderful. They just keep getting better! Kate is understanding so much more and Leah is still caught up in the magic. And with John Deere's mandatory shut down between Christmas and the new year, we have plenty of time to celebrate as a family. 

We enjoyed quiet nights in the glow of the tree lights, making yummy treats, bowling as a family, seeing the "Frozen" lights (Kate's favorite) and adorning our home with decorations old and new. My favorite decoration is still our Christmas card wall. We hung up extra ribbons in hopes we'd fill them all up this year and the love and holiday wishes that filled our mailbox each day did not disappoint. 

We participated in and enjoyed the second annual Christmas music night at our friends, the Davidsons. Such a wonderful evening spent listening to and performing so many Christmas, holiday and winter songs. I played Sleigh Ride again with my good friend Haley (we were each stand-ins for our own moms) and Kate was neither tall nor small like the rest of the snowmen, but at least she tried? 

Ryan and I got to go on a few dates, one to a local art museum for his work party. An open bar just isn't as fun when you don't drink, but it was fun to get dressed up! 

Kate was my great holiday helper this year. She helped wrap and address the gifts, made sure they were well adjusted under the tree and ensured we didn't miss a single chocolate from the advent calendar the second Ryan walked in the door from work. 

The Sunday before Christmas is always one of my favorite days. The aforementioned Haley was in charge of the program this year and did a phenomenal job. I was able to accompany the choir for a handful of pieces. I love getting dressed up in our new Christmas outfits too. When Kate saw my red tights, she decided she needed to match when we got home. 

On Christmas Adam, we had a family sleepover in the front room. I think it will be a new tradition. The girls were fans. 

Christmas Eve was filled with tradition and anticipation. We didn't get a white Christmas, but we did get a wet one. Pajamas were opened, stockings were hung (or laid out on the couch since we don't have a fireplace), treats were left for Santa and his reindeer and the Christmas story was recited. The girls giggled for about an hour before they finally fell asleep. 

Christmas morning was filled with laughter and excitement. Kate was our official gift dispenser and she took her job very seriously. Leah loved her new chair cushion and kicks and Kate loved her new-to-her crib. Little did she know it's 32 years young. I painted over my old doll crib and sewed new bedding. My favorite gift for Ryan was a Boston Marathon ornament. I spent hours scouring the internet and different stores in the area for a simple running shoe ornament, to no avail. A few days before Christmas, I decided to try once again and found a single Iowa Hawkeyes football cleat ornament. I snatched it up quick and took it home for surgery. I painted over the logo, making the black parts Boston Marathon blue (the yellow was already perfect!) and then added a Boston logo before mod podge-ing it all in place. It turned out perfectly and is a great memento of a big part of our year. 

Later in the day we had the sister missionaries over so they could talk to their families. The joy and laughter coming from our office was contagious. We then had the missionaries and two other families over for a mouth watering pot luck dinner. 

A wonderful season wrapped up by a blessed day with friends (and family from afar). 

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