Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas 2014

This Christmas season was a bit different with our tiny baby in the mix.  But it was kind of lovely. There was not the pressure to do-all-the-things and we were able to relax and just enjoy the days a bit more (all be it bleary eyed from a typical newborn sleep schedule).

Looking back, we really did quite a bit of celebrating.  Miss Julia's first Christmas was quite special for her and the rest of us.

We kicked off the Christmas events with the first of the extended family parties. I love how the cousins always have a good time together.

We took Walker and Eli to the Behold the Lamb of God concert for the first time.  It is one of my favorite Christmas traditions and we loved being able to share it with them. Julia snoozed through the entire thing, which is no reflection on how wonderful the concert was this year.

We had an early celebration with Pops and Grandma Jayne. Maybe my favorite present this year was giving them pictures we had made with all the Brown grandchildren when Elaine (my sister -in-law) was in town with my nieces and nephew. My brother and his family moved to Japan on Thanksgiving for several years with the Navy and it is a treasure to have a picture with the kids together (sans Julia, since she wasn't quite here yet).

Julia was shocked to learn she wasn't represented, but Grandma Jayne assured her she would have her fair share of pictures.

Also, when all the presents started getting passed out ole LJ made some observations and then sat herself right down in the middle.  She was so on the present game this year.

We made it to the candlelight service at church. It was raining buckets, but it was completely worth it. The older boys really paid attention and even though I had to slip to the back of the room to nurse Julia during the actual candlelight part, it was lovely to be "together" as we focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

(not my choice for church outfits, but we were there and I'll be satisfied with that)

We were able to do our Christmas Eve tradition of dropping off the kids with Gammy and Grin to make cookies for Santa while mommy and daddy have a quiet date morning of wrapping up some loose ends. We got off to a late start (shocking, I know). Our usual Cracker Barrel was packed, so we headed to Waffle House.  Which was surprisingly nice in it's own right.

That afternoon we celebrated with Gammy and Grin and the cousins.  Again Lydia was on the present game. Never do the kids sit so still and listen so attentively as when waiting for the open command.

The final night of our advent readings.  It really is so nice to have something with just the boys.  Well, and the baby who can't talk or grab markers and run.

It got me thinking that our days of doing things with "the big boys" are fading. So here is to one more year of sharing the lego calendar three ways.

There were showers and Christmas pajamas and then the tucking in for the evening.

And the quiet wait in anticipation of the next day's celebration. After last year's 2 am wake up call we set up several rules and barriers that made it clear there would be no coming down stairs until after 7:00am.  They made good and in fact I was up and ready and busting with excitement before Eli finally got the party going around 7:45.

The boys had a bit of time to explore their gifts before Lydia woke up and joined the fun.

They were eager to help her find her presents.

Can we talk about the fact that our Christmas now involves baby dolls and dress up jewelry. {love}

A pause for a picture.  Well the toddler never pauses, but I'll take what I can get.

There were sausage spins and sausage balls, because of course their were.

Julia seemed thrilled with her playmat and enjoyed the buzz of happiness going all around.

Julia's part of the matching pajamas were way to big, but I did manage to get one picture of them together before she spit up all over them and I got her in something more her size.

(because you know I don't want to miss the first in what will clearly be an annual event)

Julia is such a smiley baby.  Or gassy.  Whichever, it isn't like you can tell in a picture anyway.

We spent Christmas Day at home.  It felt like this wonderful pause we had been waiting on the whole year.  The boys got a WiiU and this is pretty much the scene for most of the day.
Christmas Morning 2014 from jason.mccay on Vimeo.

Jason and I made The Pioneer Woman's Fancy Mac and Cheese for Christmas dinner.  It was really fun to do it together and Walker kept calling it "the bacon mac and cheese."  So you know, it's awesome.

The Saturday after Christmas we had the last family party.  The family graciously agreed to come to us and it was lovely having it in our home.

Julia with her great-grandmother.

The kids being outrageously gifted by the aunts, uncles and cousins.

Aunt Ally even got some Julia and Lydia loving.  It was a special day indeed.

Grin got a turn before the evening was out.

Feeling pretty grateful and a little solemn as we close the book on Christmas 2014.  It really was quite magical.


Drea said...

You have such a beautiful family! I love all the cuties lined up together on the sofa.

taylor lane said...

well. cue the christmas tears. just beautiful! I love this place.