Wasn’t it just Christmas? How are we at the end of February and more importantly, how in the world is Georgia already 33 weeks pregnant and in her 3rd trimester! 33 WEEKS and 3 days, to be exact! Ekkkkkk! This pregnancy has flown by, like for real, and I have so much to share but Christmas must come first – because it was so much fun!
We had one of the busiest Christmas seasons that I can remember us having in years. We didn’t have a whole lot of visitors this year, but we did a heck of a lot of celebrating and no one came down with a 24-hour bug or flu (thank gawd)!
I feel it would be easiest to share our Christmas catch-up in bullet form, so here goes!
*Twinkle Light Parade*
As I’ve shared in the space many times, my amazing Ma started a philanthropy more than 20 years ago called Operation Santa’s Child and it’s a big part of our holiday outreach in helping the community every year. This year, for the first time ever, we participated in the Twinkle Light Parade as in, we had an actual float and outfits and everything! The float was made by my Mom’s good friend J and he went all out transforming his already decked out Hummer turned sled used in previous years, to a Santa’s Workshop themed float complete with as many lights as he could power with 3 generators! The float looked amazing and everyone was in such great spirits!
Gracie and her buddies were all dressed as Elves from Santa’s shop complete with aprons and tools and even our pup joined in the festivities. It was freezing but she wore a beanie the entire parade and did great! And let me just say, people go crazy for a cute dog in a beanie! It was adorable.
*Operation Santa’s Child*
This Christmas was the 22nd year of Operation Santa’s Child and that’s just crazy to me. I was just 13 years old when we adopted our first family and gathered as a small group at my Mom’s house before delivering presents. Now, fast forward 20+ years, thrown in 5 times as many volunteers, so many gifts we have to gather at the local Elementary School before making our deliveries and a Santa sled that looks like it could be in a Christmas movie.
This event is something we all look forward to every year and is the best way that Georgia and I know to truly teach Gracie what Christmas is all about and with each year she seems to get more into the spirit of it! This year, the Bean delivered gifts to the kiddo’s we visited and sang her little heart out. It was the cutest!
*Annual Cookie Baking Exchange*
Years ago, when our nephews were teenie tiny, my mom started the tradition of getting all the kids and aunties together to bake cookies and make gift plates to share with family. We would each bring our 2 favorite recipes with enough ingredients to make several dozen batches and then we would bake for hours. The boys loved it because they got to eat as much cookie dough, cookies, frosting and sprinkles as they could handle and we loved it because it gave us the chance to make yummy gifts to bring to our various holiday events throughout the month.
We missed getting together to bake the past 2 Christmas seasons because of busy schedules, but we made it happen this year! The girls had such a blast and so did our nephews, one of which is already a sophomore in High School. I swear, time flies! It was just yesterday that our little guys were the girls’ age at our baking parties. *tear*
Check out these cuties the weekend of our baking party. :)
Mommy’s baby bump @ 23 weeks!
*Merry Christmas Eve*
As tradition would have it, we spent Christmas Eve with Georgia’s parents and because her brother and his boyfriend didn’t come home this year, it was a quiet evening with just us. We opened presents, which is all Gracie was dying to do and it was worth the wait because girlfriend got hooked up! Gaga and Papa gave her the most adorable pink scooter that she rode all night and the cutest pram baby stroller. She also got her first American Girl Doll from her uncles and while it was adorable and came with the most beautiful backpack, I fear it’s going to become a pricey collection for our family… ;)
Have you ever seen all the American Girl Dolls, accessories and whatnot?! They have entire American Girl stores full of just AG swag. Goodbye all my money, lol!
*NM Luminaria Tour*
The family ended our Christmas Eve going on the NM Luminaria Tour for the first time and it was beautiful! There are entire neighborhoods in Old Town New Mexico (where the local mansions are located) that cover their entire estates with luminarias, top to bottom. We took the shuttle through all the neighborhoods and viewed home after home uniquely designed for Christmas. It was beautiful and Grace went crazy for it! Our tickets were for the last tour of the evening, so the shuttle wasn’t crowned and the Bean had the space to jump from seat to seat getting the perfect view of both sides of the streets we went down.
*Christmas Day 2016*
Each Christmas, Santa leaves a few special BIG presents for Grace, unwrapped under the tree! In past Christmas mornings, he’s left her a wagon, a play kitchen, an art set with easel, a princess bike, and this year he left her a Little People Town, complete with a farm and camper set to go with the pieces she already has! The best thing about this year’s Santa present is that it folds up nicely and fits right into the corner of our gal’s closet. It’s like Santa knew that Gracie’s moms have officially run out of space and can no longer accept gifts that take up square footage in the house with our growing family!
Everything was laid out and set up for our girl when she ran out of our room Christmas morning and she couldn’t believe her eyes. She spared no time tearing through her gifts and while I loved watching her open everything, I was a bit sad that my sister wasn’t there with us. M always stays at our house when she comes home for Christmas and just loves spending Christmas morning with Gracie. Because she was out of town, we called her up on Skype and she watched Grace open all her presents over the ipad. It was the next best thing to sister bear actually being there with us and that made me happy!
Following the opening of presents at our casa, we met the rest of the family at Nani and Grandpa K’s house for Christmas brunch and more present opening. This Christmas, even our sweet baby boy got presents! He is all set with Christmas outfits for next year and the family is already doing everything they can to ensure that he will be a Dallas Cowboys fan, ha!
The girl’s wore their matching Christmas jammies that auntie Kristi (me) and auntie Georgia picked out and all the cousins had so much fun playing with their new Christmas gifts together! It was a pretty fantastic day and my heart just bursts at the thought of having a 9-month-old chunky little dude with us for Christmas next year. It’s going to be amazing!
Here are a few more favorites from our Gal’s 5th Christmas and last as an only child!
I hope you all had a fab holiday!