Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Catching up with Christmas

I'm back. And I'm in my pajamas still this morning. None of our usual morning commitments {exercise class and Cate's preschool} are happening this week, so I get to snuggle with my kids and stay in my pajamas longer than usual. It's wonderful.

And so was our Christmas.

I love how Christmas covers the calendar in December, but there's still something special about the days leading up to the actual day. We spent a few days in Louisville, where we had our annual get-together with a couple of my high school friends, Bekah and Shelley, and their families.

We started the tradition in 2007, when our girls were little, and have done it every year but one since. Last year's post captures some of the history, in pictures, of course! It's become one of my favorite Christmas traditions. We share a delicious breakfast and then the kids have a book exchange.

Rhett and Ben are only two months apart, so it was fun to watch them together. The similarities are certainly there.

You'd think as the kids get older it would be easier to get a picture. Yeah, well, that didn't seem to be the case. But we tried anyway ...

From left, that's Ila (5), Rhett (23 months), Lizzy (4), Case (3), Cate (4), Ben (2), Nate (6), and Evan (8). Seeing my kids play with my long-time friends' kids is one of my favorite things about motherhood.

And then was more celebrating with my family. We are so glad Cassie and Zac are back in the United States. After their almost three years in New Zealand, I'm glad my sister has a U.S. cell phone and is living in the same time zone as me.

Mom even gave me a jacket that matches Cassie's. We wore them together on a walk around the neighborhood.

That's the four Hill cousins. They always have a good time together.

Greg was excited about his new game. And then Cassie, Mom and I beat him and Zac. Twice. First game we dominated. Second game we had a masterful come-from-behind victory.

We came home Christmas Eve so we could be at home Christmas morning for a little celebration with just the four of us. We read the Christmas story, exchanged gifts, and ate cinnamon rolls before going to church.

And then it was next door to Nana and Papaw's house for some time with the Taylor cousins. We ate a good meal, played some games, and exchanged presents. Again, not all the kids were exactly on board for the photo shoot with Nana. But we tried ...

And, admittedly, us adults laughed. Evelyn was mad Elijah pulled off her tiara. Ben didn't want to wear the reindeer antlers or sit. Immediately following the brief photo shoot, he took a nap.

These back scratchers from Uncle David were quite a hit too, as you can see. Funny thing is, earlier in the morning Cate had given me a back scratcher and fly swatter she had picked out from Gran-Gran's bag of random gifts. It was sweet she found me something practical.

There are photos on Facebook, of course, but that's was our Christmas in a nutshell. I hope yours was merry and bright and memorable.

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