Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas 2016

It happened far too quickly for my liking.  It's almost now a blur.  Yet our Christmas morning was slow.  Intentional.  We had nowhere to rush to.  Just a day planned at home with our little family.  Enjoying that uninterrupted time together.

It all began on Christmas Eve.  The anticipation was palpable.  I could feel like the excitement inside of Liam.  And Finn could feel it too.  His understanding of it all may be less, but his feelings of joy are genuine.  He was most excited about the baby Jesus in the nativity during Mass.  Literally screaming "baby! baby!" throughout much of the service.  For the first time ever, we arrived early enough to snag a seat, with even a little extra room to spare.  Once Finn's "baby" shouts were just far too loud to contain, we made our escape after communion.  A seafood feast at home followed.  Then a Christmas movie and sugar cookie selection for Santa.  Milk was left out, along with carrots for all nine reindeer.  Both boys practically asked to go to bed, so bedtime was a breeze which was a Christmas gift in itself.

I filled all my boys' stockings with such glee, still completely in awe that I (me!) get to do this each year.  We brought out the play kitchen that was put together in record timing (1 hour, 45 minutes!).  The couch was moved to make room for all the opening & playing that would fill our morning.  After preparing the house, Conor & I sat on the floor (as to not disrupt the newly filled stockings), as we nibbled our treat of cookies & milk.  We reflected on the day.  On the season.  On our sweet boys, whom we love fiercely but who challenge us daily.  And then we too tucked ourselves into bed, expecting an early morning.

When the boys first came down the stairs, Liam was in far more awe of the empty cookie plate and note from Santa, that he completely didn't even notice the massive play kitchen waiting for him!  But eventually his eyes wandered over to it, and the boys ran towards it.  The perfect gift for them to spend the early morning with, as Conor as I put together breakfast.  Sticky, rich cinnamon rolls & blueberry maple sausage.  What all Christmas mornings should be made of.  Liam & Finn quickly started whipping up all sorts of delicious goodies.  Reorganizing the pots & pans until they found just the perfect spot.  The pot rack became a cook book holder, and their imaginations took off.  Finn was mouthing every food item he handled.  Unfortunately, Finn was working on his two year molars over the Christmas holiday.  Lots of hands in the mouth & drool, but still a sweet smile on his face.



The favorite gift for both boys was their Legos.  Finn is always trying to swipe Liam's Lego creations, so we finally bought him some Duplos.  He had a little extra swagger in his step as he realized he now too can build cars, trucks, trains, airplanes just like big brother.  And Liam was gifted with two new Lego sets of his own.  With more pieces than ever.  He will build & rebuild for days, and Finn will still try to get his hands on all the little pieces.  The Duplos are perfect for him, but he still knows that are not quite the real deal!



We spent most of our morning opening presents and watching the snow fall, hoping it would let up at some point so we could get out and shovel before nap time.  It snowed all night Christmas Eve and well into Christmas Day, so we had 8 inches of freshly fallen snow.  One of the most beautiful white Christmases I have ever had.  It always adds an extra layer of magic to the morning.  And it's the perfect motivation to get outside.  It was Finn's first time experiencing the snow blower, and he was quite skeptical.  First he stared, then he started calling for Conor to be "done! done!"  Everything comes in twos right now.  Liam wanted to shovel right next to the snow blower, so he took a fair about of snow to the face.









Naps were had all around, and then I found myself scrambling to help Conor finish preparing our Christmas feast.  Our neighbors arrived while I was still in pajamas!  I did manage a wardrobe change during appetizers.  Occasionally throughout the day, I missed our extended families.  Missed a bit of the bustling around.  But staying home all day for the first time ever was something pretty special too.  And finishing off the night with our "Utah family" (neighbors) was such a lovely way to end the holiday.  Finn went to bed early, so Conor & I had time with just Liam to play a new game and hear all his thoughts on his 4th Christmas.  The best Christmas!

While often those post holiday blues hit the day after Christmas, it was not the case this year!  Once again, the morning was filled with all the new toys.  Again, we had nowhere to rush to.  We had talked about skiing but knew that the mountain would just be packed.  Instead, we opted to take the boys sledding.  Apparently everyone else had decided to sled too, because I have never seen the hill quite so crowded.  Still, the sun was shining, our cheeks & noses were bright pink, and we were soaking in all that fresh air & snow.  It nearly felt like Christmas Part 2.  And I know the boys just love having Conor home for so many days in a row!  Lucky for them, Christmas is not even close to over, nor is this time with Daddy.  He's taking a week long vacation, and we are heading up to Washington to visit my family and celebrate with them.  More delicious food, more thoughtful gifts.  But best of all, more family time!






This time if so fleeting.  The belief, the magic... it won't be here forever.  But hopefully the traditions stay.  Hopefully the family time will always be a priority.  Hopefully we wake to each Christmas morning with the same excitement & anticipation.  I'm treasuring these years with wee ones.  Holding onto them.  Not wanting them to end.  Yet also eager to watch our family grow.  To head into the next stage of life where we don't plan around nap times & bedtimes.  But this time right now, it is something real special too.

Happy Holidays Everyone!  I hope your day was filled with same amount of wonder & love as ours! 

13 comments :

  1. What a magical Christmas--I love all of your Christmas jammies! The snow, I agree, makes it even more magical. Oh, and that kitchen set is AMAZING. So glad you were able to spend a quiet and peaceful day with your loved ones (and neighbors). There's nothing better than being able to stay home.

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  2. What an amazing Christmas! I know what it's like to miss your family because my family couldn't come down either, but you guys definitely made the most of it. Love!

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  3. Best Christmas ever!! I'm with you, this time is going way too fast. I know it will be just as fun as they get older too, but this age is just SO precious. I love it.

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  4. What a perfect, snowy Christmas day. I'm so glad that you & all of your boys had the best time together!

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  5. Looks like you guys had a great one! That snow is beautiful!

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  6. jeepers, i get behind a couple of weeks and Finn looks so grown up!!! looks like a wonderful christmas, and sledding looks so fun!

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  7. Your white Christmas is just stunning! Family time, unrushed and unhindered is a true gift. I need to know more about these blueberry maple sausages :) Glad you had a wonderful Christmas.

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  8. Oh to have a white Christmas! And while I feel blessed to have spent Christmas with my family, there's something special about a low key Christmas where you don't have yo leave the house that I sometimes wish we could experience.

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  9. You are going to have to explain to me your secret for slow present opening. You do one at a time, right? We tried that this year and Aria about lost her mind. I didn't get coffee. We didn't have time to make breakfast. There wasn't a big unwrapped present this year to entertain while we had a few minutes to make breakfast. Plus Lincoln needed newborn attention too.

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  10. aww that is so sweet..and you got snow!
    we don't celebrate Christmas per se.. but being surround by the holiday spirit its hard to resist. So we put up a little tree and get the kids some presents.. their excitement and happiness was worth it.

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  11. What a great Christmas!!!!!! Finn looks adorable in that hat!

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  12. Oh what an awesome Christmas!! I love every bit of this. Merry (very belated) Christmas! I hope 2017 is full of amazing things for you and your boys! :)

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  13. What a wonderful + beautiful Christmas. Love the pic of you 4 in the snow...and their jammies peeking through. all the heart eyes!

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