Sunday, December 30, 2012

Wrapping up Christmas

This weekend was all about wrapping up Christmas...both literally & figuratively.

Friday night we had an option of something to do, but decided that with all the running we had been doing that we would just stay home.  Hubby grabbed a pizza on his way home from work & we spent the evening playing with Elyse & putting her to bed fairly early.  Instead of just sitting around all evening we decided to tackle the task of de-Christmasing our house.  With the two of us we were able to box everything up and have it all up in the attic in a little over 2 hours...success!

Saturday morning Hubby had to work & Elyse went to stay with Gigi while I headed to Zumba.  We had a 2-hour Holiday Recovery Party & I'm still recovering!  My whole body aches today, I can't do anything without feeling the effects of what I did yesterday.

After Zumba & lunch, Elyse went down for her nap & then we headed to Hubby's sister's house for our last Christmas of the year.  We wrapped up our holiday festivities with some Christmas-themed Minute-to-win-It games & then enjoyed yummy food and spending quality time with family we really only see once a year.

Today we had church, a late breakfast & then some time at home before heading out to a Missouri State Bears basketball game.  We were able to see a win and now we're at home, resting & relaxing before the start of another week & the end of another year.

No pictures in this post...I took a few, but nothing really blog-worthy.  More on photo-taking in another post this's part of one of my resolutions!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas with our Immediate Families

Sunday night after the family festivities...Hubby & I got to work playing the role of Santa's elves for the first official time.  Last year, the toys were small & handheld...this year, not so much!  Elyses's big Santa gift was a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe!  It was a pretty easy assembly, and with Elf on the television in the background & I have to admit I had a blast putting together toys for our baby girl!  I'm sure I'll get tired of it someday! 

Since our usual Christmas Eve morning plans were moved to the previous Saturday, we really had absolutely NO plans for Christmas Eve until the evening; this was actually the case for my parents & both sets of grandparents as well.  So...instead of sitting at home in anticipation of the next Christmas gathering, we organized a casual lunch with my parents, both sets of grandparents, and our family of 3 at the local Ruby Tuesday.  We had a wonderful lunch and everyone got to see Elyse practically eat her weight in food!  This girl can put it away!  It was so nice to not have to fix lunch at home & while...if there aren't other plans during the day on Christmas Eve in the future-I can definitely see this being a new tradition!  
Our tree before a single package was removed!  
My sweet family before Christmas Eve lunch
Christmas Eve night has been designated as time to spend with Hubby's immediate family.  So we loaded up our car with presents & headed out.  Elyse just loves spending time with her cousins Hunter & Jackson so she had a fabulous time; however, poor Jackson was fighting a sinus infection & spent most of the night curled up on his momma's lap.

This was the first time since we've been married, and actually for much longer than that, that my in-laws were able to host Christmas at their own house.  They've lived in Michigan for the past 11 Christmases and always traveled back here to celebrate with family.    It was pretty special to hang out with them and start some new traditions in their new home.

The first new tradition was to have the grandkids read Luke 2:1-20 before dinner.  Hunter is 7 and is the only grandchild able to read, but he did a great job!  This is a tradition that my FIL used to have with his grandma & I think it's so neat that we'll be continuing that tradition.

The second new tradition was a request from me.  Since Elyse & the other kiddos would be asleep before we got home & had time to read "Twas the Night Before Christmas", Mamaw read it to all the grandkids before we started opening presents.  It was so sweet to watch Elyse & Hunter as Mamaw read to them.
I think Elyse got some of her crinkly-nose tendencies from her Mamaw!  
The best we could do of all the kiddos with Jackson not feeling well!  
 We got home and pulled out Elyse's Santa present so it would be all ready for her in the morning!

Elyse was still fighting her post-shot fever & a little bit of a cold, so we all ended up sleeping in bed a little longer than I had planned....but thankfully once we got her up she was feeling much better!  
I think she really LOVES her car!  
...but when she wants out, she wants out!  
She was actually pretty interested in the packages; well maybe just the bows!
Eating cheerios & opening presents...what could be better!?!
 We had a wonderful Christmas morning with just the 3 of us!  Elyse got her Cozy Coupe, some new books, some new clothes, a Dog-in-the-Box (like a Jack-in-the-Box, but a puppy pops out), and a wooden activity cube.  Daddy mainly got some new clothes, both for running & for work, a new book, and some other random things that I had picked up.  And I got some new workout gear, a Boogie Board (which is an LCD notepad that hangs on the fridge), a gift certificate for a 16x20 photo canvas, and a few other things that are not coming to mind right now.

We started another new tradition for mid-Christmas morning this year.  I had whipped up a couple of different breakfast pastries the day before and we invited both sets of our parents over for a quick breakfast so they could see everything Elyse had received from Santa, and what Hubby & I bought each other as well. This worked out really well, and we definitely plan on doing this again in the future!
Elyse went home with Papa & Gigi after they stopped by so she could just nap at their house!  Talk about a  mis-matched baby girl!  ha!  
Christmas night up next on our celebration list & was time for me to spend with my immediate family.  Santa still visits my parents' house & we always have a big gift waiting for us with our stockings.  Santa brought Elyse a brown & white polka dot chair from Pottery Barn...she loves it!  It'll be such a perfect place for her to have her snack & play with her baby dolls.
Checking out her chair...
Giant pink puppy dog...check.  Snack catcher full of Cheerios...check. Sippy cup of milk..check.  This girl is set!  
Elyse was feeling the side effects of her MMR booster for most of the Christmas holiday, she had lots of moments when she just wanted to cuddle...
...but she also had lots of moments when she really wanted to play!  
Add another car to our living room...we've now got a Little People Musical Car!  She loves to dance to this thing!
We were so incredibly blessed, and honestly incredibly spoiled by our families this year.  We got lots of wonderful things for Elyse, and lots of fun things for ourselves.  But most importantly we got to spends some extremely quality time with our precious friends & family, which we honestly enjoy spending time with!  I can't believe it's all over for another year...but if I'm being honest I'm actually ready for the hustle & bustle to be gone and just hang out at home and play with all of Elyse's new toys!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas with my Extended Families

Whew...Christmas is over.  Well sort of, we actually have one more family gathering on Saturday afternoon...but for the most part, it's over.  & man were we busy.  We had one Christmas every day from Saturday through Tuesday and by the time Christmas night came I was worn out!  However, our family is so incredibly blessed & thankfully we were able to see EVERYONE this year!  

Saturday started off with Christmas for my mom's side of the family...which considering she's an only child, is really just my grandparents, my parents, my brother & his wife (& soon to be baby Harper), and our family of three.  FOREVER, we have had this Christmas celebration on Christmas Eve morning...but with changing work schedules and other Christmases to juggle around, that just couldn't happen this year.  So we gathered on Saturday afternoon at my grandparents' house and had a blast.  
The obligatory family photo before opening presents...
Elyse all dolled up...but it was a little warm in my grandparents' house so it wasn't long before she was down to just her leggings and a diaper! ha! 
Check out that nice little bump in between her eyes...yeah, we have NO idea how she got that!
Opening presents with Gigi
Look mom!  I've got your lip gloss!
My grandma got these new boots for Christmas and I honestly think her reaction was the best of the night...even though she KNEW she was getting them!  It was priceless!  And with all the health problems she has had in the last 5 years, it's nothing short of a miracle how well she is doing!  
All the ladies...with Elyse all ready for bed!  4 Generations!  
3 generations... Grandma, Granddaughter & Great-Granddaughter!
Who's There?  This is Elyse!  
On Sunday morning we headed to Christmas Sunday service at church & then Hubby & I drove around awhile so Elyse could get as much of a nap as she could...because however much she slept in the car was all she was going to get!  Sunday afternoon was Christmas with my dad's side of the family...which is quite a bit bigger than my mom's.  There are 24 1/2 (including Baby Harper) of us now and we were actually ALL under the same roof for the first time since 3 more great grand-kids have arrived!  
The whole crew!  
My family with my grandparents
My precious family of 3!
After making the kiddos wait long enough by taking too many family pictures & playing outside in the gorgeous weather, we headed inside for some present opening.  We only do gifts for the little ones now, but it's still so fun to watch their excitement and joy as they ripe into each present!  
Elyse was Aunt Millie's buddy for quite awhile!  
With her nose stuck in a book...again!  
All of us crammed in...LOVE MY FAMILY!!!
A picture of the great grand-kids with the great grand-parents...5 & counting!  
See...I told you someone would be sleepy since they missed their afternoon nap!  
& one last family photo of all the grandkids & our grandparents!  I don't see these 6 near as much as I used to when we were younger...but I still love them to pieces and am so lucky to call them my family!  
We headed home around 5 not long after we realized Elyse was running a pretty good fever.  She had her 1 year well check on Wednesday and is still having a little bit of a delayed reaction to the MMR booster she was given.  She runs a fever, we give her some ibuprofen, and she goes on about her day...but this momma sure doesn't like it when she feels even the slightest bit warm!

These extended family celebrations were a pretty awesome way to kick off our Christmas gatherings.  I try not to take for granted how incredibly lucky I am to still have both sets of grandparents' here with us to celebrate each year.  It's such a special time for them to see Elyse and be able to participate in raising her along with the rest of the army we've got behind us!  & when our entire family can get together and spend some quality time together, there's nothing more precious than that!

Next up, immediate family Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter ONEderland...the big ONE!

Elyse's big party was on Saturday at lunchtime.  After doing some looking on Pinterest & Etsy, I decided to embrace the fact that Elyse is a December baby and throw her a Winter ONEderland themed party complete with snowflakes and candy cane stripes! While I honestly would have loved to invite all of our close friends & their kiddos, in the end we decided to only invite our close family, which by itself ends up being 30+ people.  

We served sandwiches & chips for lunch (we were definitely going for simple) and then the present opening began.  Elyse wasn't too sure at first, but then seemed to catch on.  Of course then she opened up a book and her nose was stuck in that book for the rest of the present opening...what can I say, this girl loves to read!  

I printed off one of each of her monthly sticker photos & stuck them to bright was so crazy to look at how much she's changed!  

After presents, it was time for the main event...the cake smash!  For the most part she was a very dainty smasher, but she managed to get a little messy & still needed a bath afterwards!
Sleepy toot...

Checking things out...
Hey Gigi!  Have a bite!



Thanks again to T.White Photography for taking all the photos.  It was so worth it to have someone there to capture all of the priceless memories!