It was a fantastic Christmas for us this year.
The only crazy-ish thing I did was, one week out from niece's college graduation, decided I was going. To Tennessee. A day of driving, a day for her graduation and to be with family, and another day of driving. Woo-hoo!
I took Blue and got Kaden and Toby covered. Blue and I drove over to my Dad's first and then headed up with him.
Erni's on the stage!
Blue and I here with my brother and dad at the after graduation celebration lunch.
And in spite of the tight schedule we really did have good family time and even got in a few sites. Even the car ride was the most time I've spent with my dad in a long time.
And then we were just home. Enjoying the school parties and being able to cook our favorite Christmas foods and not be rushed or frenzied. There was a day after Christmas when Kevin said to me, "We're almost out of Cookie Dough Truffles, you should make Buckeyes today," and I thought, Ha! This boy is about to be in for a rude awakening!
When the actual "big days" arrived we were at my mom's Christmas Eve and our house Christmas Day. Christmas Eve we also went to church where I sang (and got through!) Oh Holy Night as a solo. I've kinda always wanted to do that.
Blue works on his gingerbread house at his class party.
Christmas Eve at Mom's- opening up new, matching pajamas to wear that night.
At church, after the service.
I think I spent a sum total of $100 on all three boys for their Christmas day under-the-tree presents (three presents each, two were toy consignment finds, for the lego stuff I had coupons, other stuff was on sale - they don't need to know it was cheap!) It was not a holiday that focused on "stuff" and yet no kiddos were deprived or disappointed.
When I look back and think that between Thanksgiving and Christmas we potty trained Toby (one of these days I'll write a post about that) and that all of Kevin's spare time has been at our other house as he has been the sole contractor and laborer... (Two more weeks and then that puppy is going on the market. Can't wait to have my husband back! No more single parenting!) and yet we still managed a non-frazzled, Christ-focused Christmas, I'm pleased. I think the Christ-focused helps with the non-frazzled, but maybe that's just me. :-)
Christmas morning we got up and did stockings, brought Gus in for his present, cooked breakfast, opened tree presents, and then lounged and played until we went to go see Rise of the Guardians that afternoon. After the movie, the boys played some more while I prepped dinner for our family, my mom and her friend, and another couple, new neighbors who moved in across the street. I love having my table full!
He pulled out everything one. at. a. time. and gave it a full inspection before setting it aside. So cute!
Merry Christmas, Gus!
A little pre-breakfast entertainment. The fruit is part of his "appetizer" a banana/strawberry candy cane.
Followed by happy play time.
And then it was back to work for Kevin and park time and lounging for me and the boys. Until Friday night it picked back up... Kevin and I went on a night-time kayak paddle at the Savanna's Preserve. They plan them once a month during full moons in the winter months when gators aren't breeding provided there's enough water. (The preserve waters are supplied solely by rain.) It's supposed to be a moon-lit paddle but it was cloudy. (So I guess we'll just have to do it again.) Then we went out for live music at a local pub and then it was another late night for me as I had to wrap presents and pack for another round of Christmas.
Saturday we headed to Tampa by way of LaBelle, where my dad lives. And then... more sugar! more presents! and cousins!
Cookie decorating at Poppy's.
Cousin pile-up at Gran and Papa's.
While and Tampa I sang with my sister-in-law at Kevin's home church. Apparently we haven't done this since before we were in-law's so it was time and I'm glad we worked it out. I got to hit up Nordstrom Rack, my favorite Tampa store, and drop a little Christmas present cash and we also had the best possible boat day. Kevin and I said good-bye to 2012 at a party at his brother's.
Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Hello 2013!