I know that most of you are soooo over Christmas by now, and I promise, I’ve been meaning to finish this Christmas post for more than a few weeks… but life got in the way, as it tends to do. The Bean has returned to school and has jumped right into all her extracurricular activities, so she has us running around like crazy. We’re back to work and little man is teething, BIG time and has been really cranky for the first time in his life, while also deciding that he prefers to wake up 3-5 times a night! So, we’ve been hella busy and exhausted! I’ve come to terms with the fact that this is life as we know it now and as I told G this past weekend, let’s just anticipate that we’re going to be busy for the next 15-18 years, ha! This came following a conversation that sounded a little like this, G: “Do we have anything going on this weekend, or do we finally get to just relax?” K: “What do you think?!” – end of conversation. ;) Of course we have stuff to do, because we always have stuff to do. Thankfully, it’s usually relatively fun stuff – so that helps.
The entire month of December was a blur for me. The last week of November, I posted a video on Insta about how I had literally done nothing yet to prepare for Christmas, but was relieved that I still had a month to get stuff done – and then BAM, it’s Christmas Eve. For close to 10 years, I always took 2 weeks off during the holidays, which gave me all sorts of time to shop, bake, craft, clean for houseguests, volunteer in the community and prep for all our usual holiday activities. Then I changed jobs, going from 6 weeks of PTO, annually to only 3 weeks, which means I’ve had to be super proficient at managing my time. G helped a ton with planning what we, (I mean, Santa) got the kiddos this year and God bless her, because I had no idea what to get them. I’ve always been the one to plan our holiday festivities, pick our Christmas outfits, schedule Santa pictures, order Christmas cards and pick the big presents, but this year the wife was way into the spirit of things! I appreciate that she happily helped with so much because all in all, it ended up being the first Christmas in forever that I didn’t feel stressed and actually had time to relax and write! I consider it a bonus that Gracie and Will also managed to stay healthy and flu-free for the holidays, especially considering Grace has been sick for 3 of the past 6 Christmases. It was a Christmas miracle!
Christmas Eve | Baby Bro’s 1st Christmas Eve!
I was so excited to celebrate Gracie and Will’s first holiday as siblings, that I was absolutely giddy by the time Christmas Eve rolled around. G’s brother and his partner, uncle C, rotate holidays and were intown with us for Christmas this year! We always spend Christmas Eve with G’s family, as the night before Christmas was when her family did all their celebrating and opening of gifts when she was growing up. Is that weird to any of you? Because it’s weird to me! I’ve asked G, “what did your mom tell you about Santa since she gave you presents before he could deliver them on Christmas morning”? Her response was that they usually talked her mom into giving them all their gifts in the weeks leading up to Christmas and that they stopped believing in Santa at a very young age (which is so sad)! She said that by the time Christmas Eve rolled around, they would have already opened everything, so they would just hang out and eat together… Holidays for my family growing up could not have been more different and we celebrate Christmas with Gracie and Will pretty much the same way my siblings and I did as kids. We participate in all the fun festive stuff leading up to the big day. We bake and leave cookies out for Santa and carrots for his reindeer and the kiddos DO NOT get one single “Santa gift” until Christmas morning! That’s the way it’s supposed to work, people! ;)
Our Christmas Eve started with getting the kids all gussied up in their holiday outfits before heading to the movies to see Disney’s Coco. This was Will’s 2nd movie in a theater and he did great! The movie was adorable and between the extremely comfy reclining chairs, extra buttery popcorn and all the candy Gracie could ask for, everyone really enjoyed it! We then came home to open presents, play games and have family dinner at our house. G’s mom brought the cutest photo props, so those made for some pretty great pictures! She always thinks of the cutest little things.
Gaga, Papa and the uncles spoiled the kids beyond belief, as they do every year and they got us mamas some awesome presents too! Mostly though, we all just watched Will play with this one Mickey Mouse present that he adored. We could have watched him smile and laugh at that thing all night! Wifey’s a great cook and along with her mom, they prepared all the usual New Mexican must-have foods for Christmas Eve and we ate a ton. Once we finished up, cleaned and put the kids to bed, we got started on my absolute FAVORITE part of Christmas – setting up for Christmas morning! The Guncles spent the night so they could be there when the kiddos woke and kept us company as we set up Will’s “Pop ‘N Play Deluxe Ultimate Playard” complete with canopy and colorful balls to crawl through and Gracie’s Elena guitar and Disco Light-up Mic & Speaker Stand! Santa gifts are never wrapped in our house, but they do get a big sparkly red bow and oversized Christmas tags showing that they’re special gifts delivered from Santa himself! We also have a sack Santa fills with a few other small gifts from that year’s wish list.
Christmas Day | Gracie & Will’s 1st Christmas together!
On Christmas morning, Will had us up before anyone else, even Gracie. We all somehow managed to fall back asleep, but were woken again 45 minutes later by a very excited little gal! We told her that she had to be patient while we woke her uncles and let the dogs out to potty, and even though we only left her waiting like 5 minutes, by the sounds of the excitement coming from the master bedroom you’d think she was waiting all morning! Grace came out holding Will with the biggest smile on her face, wearing their matching jammies and then practically tossed him to Georgia after turning the corner to see what was under the tree from Santa! She was the most excited for her guitar, but was equally excited with brother’s Pop ‘N Play, so both of them were in there in no time having fun. Like most babies, Sonnie Bear was more fixated on the bright wrapping paper than anything else and LOVED the stuffed buddies his sister made for him at Build-A-Bear! We intentionally only picked out a few little things for the baby, because we knew he was going to be spoiled by friends and family and I’m so glad we went that route, because both kiddos were spoiled beyond belief! We spent the remainder of the early morning having coffee with the Guncles while the kiddos played their little hearts out.
Every Christmas my mom hosts Christmas morning brunch for our immediate family and it’s my favorite family tradition. The rule is that everyone must show up in Christmas jammies, both kids and adults and you aren’t allowed to get all gussied up. We all bring breakfast dishes and enjoy mimosas while opening presents, before sitting down for a huge brunch together! This Christmas was extra special because it was my mom and stepdad’s first Christmas in their new home, which they were moving into the whole week leading up to Christmas morning. It was a mad house, but they managed to get most furniture in and the kitchen set up before the 25th and that’s all we needed for a yummy brunch!
Will hung out in his giant Jeep walker most of the morning and was just as happy as ever playing with the blue dinosaur his auntie Missy sent him from Vancouver, BC. Gracie and Mia LOVED this year’s matching Christmas jammies and brother even joined in on this tradition, that started in 2012 for Grace and M’s first Christmas! The 3 of them looked so adorable that my heart nearly melted. These girls – don’t they look so grown up in these pictures?! What happened to the little babies in the pink and red jammies?? How was this their 6th Christmas and how is it possible that they’re both half-finished with Kindergarten? Where did our baby girls go? Waaaaa…..
Following our morning and afternoon at the new house with my side of the family, we returned to meet G’s fam back at our house for our traditional steak and lobster Christmas dinner! Baby boy got to finally take a stroll in the 4-in-1 Radio Flyer his Gaga and Papa gave him and Grace pushed him around the block until it was just too cold and we had to go in. Gracie also got to try out her new Magic Flying Fairy, which unfortunately malfunctioned and flew back to China (like seriously, it flew completely out of sight)! Her little heart was broken that the fairy Nani gave her flew to the moon, but thankfully Gaga got her one too, so she had a backup. It was hilarious for us adults watching that thing fly away, btw, LOL! We had to do everything we could to keep from laughing in front of our sad little gal.
If there’s one feeling that seemed to radiate through all month, it was love (said at the risk of sounding super cheesy). It just did! It was such a great first Christmas for our sweet boy, where he was loved on so very much and spoiled rotten. There are so many special holiday memories that I’m sure will live in my heart for years to come of our sweet babies celebrating their first Christmas as brother and sister. We LOVED having G’s brother and Chris here with us, making the days so much better as they are both just the most happy, positive and loving guys. And it was awesome to see my mom and K enjoy their first holiday in the dream house they’ve been putting every bit of their energy into these past 2 years. So many blessings. We’re a lucky bunch.
I’ll leave you with a video of my favorite 2017 holiday highlights! I hope you all had a Merry Everything this holiday season!
To read about Sister Bear’s 1st Christmas back in 2012, click here. :)