We knew we'd have a long four days ahead so we opted for a slow morning. First, we initiated a new (Matt's idea) tradition: Christmas Donuts! We actually picked them out for Christmas (the next) morning, but we decided that going forward it would be a daddy/kiddos thing to run out and pick them up on Christmas Eve right before breakfast. Christmas Eve looked very different for us this year with Matt on staff at church (thus at work from 1:00- 7:30!) :) Sanctuary hosted three worship services. Matt shared a children's message about Jesus as our good shepherd at each of the three. Reed napped through the first one, then R & I met up with Matt at church and worked children's ministry during the 4:30 service. We all attended the 6:00 service together, and our Morgan family joined us. Reed didn't smile in the picture above, but I filmed this video right before we left for church that more than makes up for it.
I had this 'brilliant' idea to grab a quick dinner at IHOP afterwards since it would be late and we'd have a lot of people... Let's just say 8:00, hungry tummies, 12 people (with 5 kids aged 3 and under), and IHOP not having their "hop" on made for an edgy rendition of holiday cheer. Several hours of cooking, cleaning, prepping (and watching Elf) later, Matt & I finally got to bed... after 1am! But we were ready for the morning:
We were so excited when we heard Reed wake up on Christmas morning!
We went to get him out of bed, talked about Christmas and sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus, then went to celebrate with gifts.
We really thought he would love the cozy coupe (and he did), but the big hit was definitely his basketball goal. He has talked about it nonstop. Also about the donuts.
After breakfast, we opened stockings.
|Love our little pink addition! :)|
It was so sweet to watch Reed explore his stocking with zero expectations. He wasn't digging through looking for what was next; he took his time getting excited over each little gift, with no anticipation of the next.
We wrapped a present (a little car) in Reed's stocking "from" baby sister. He opened it, and told her thank you. :)
Next we headed to Mimi's house for a fun day of playing and gifting with our Morgan family. Reed even (miracle of Christmas miracles) got in a little nap. We shared a delicious lunch and dinner, lots of gift exchanging, and Christmas cookies.
We brought along a couple of new appetizers I had tracked down on Pinterest. We gave them both a thumbs up; click below for links to the recipes.
|Cold Veggie Pizza|
Christmas was a full day of joy and laughter, but it was also a hard first Christmas without Matt's dad. Matt and I both cried on the way home that night. We really missed "Pops." We always try to remember and be thankful that the reason we miss him so terribly is because his presence in our lives was full and rich. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you (Psalm 33:22).
We spent the two days following Christmas with our Cagle family; I will be back, as promised, to fill you in on "Christmas in France" and Callaway's Fantasy in Lights. :)