Christmas and Christmas and Christmas.

we had our normal roll of Christmases this year.
but something about it seemed different.
maybe it was the fact that they were all completely missed last year.
or maybe we just had more time in between each celebration to get 
repacked and 
regroup enough
to enjoy them.

either way, they were pleasant, and not hurried or rushed or too packed in there.
maybe it was also the fact that B has been working 
night and day and 
day and night 
on his book and so when he took numerous days off in a row, 
it felt like it actually was Christmas.

i have already told you about our first celebration, 
way back in the beginning of december.
since then, we have celebrated with my Grammy, (the kids’ Great Grammy) 
and her husband “That Guy.”
and even though he is undergoing pretty aggressive chemo for lung cancer,
 “That Guy” had such a positive outlook. 
his faith in Christ is so evident even during this difficult time
and we are so honored to be able to pray for him 
throughout every step of this process.

we had a lovely dinner at their home with nearly all of my family on my dad’s side.
all except my preggo sister and her husband.

this photo was taken out of the bathroom window 
while i was held hostage waiting for D to finish going 
so we could both go back to the party.

i’m linking up to this blog with the above photo.
it’s one of my new favorites.

the evening was of course, a lively one, 
complete with elevator rides 
(yes, my grandmother has one in her house), 

hugs from my cousin,

a walk around the island, 

watching their sweet old neighbor agree to

running his train

which goes inside and outside his house
(which absolutely made D’s Christmas season complete)

and eating a scrumptious meal that none of us had to cook.

(as you can see, 
K was thoroughly enthralled by the conversation… 
or was it the iphone games?)

“That Guy” chatting with B.

our next celebration was at my parents’ house.

recently, every time i hand L off to someone, 
he is convinced i am leaving him.
even on Christmas?
i don’t think so, buddy.

B and i make it a priority to spend both 
Christmas eve and Christmas morning 
at home.
L, not wanting to miss a thing, 
got me up before the sun rose.

K was thrilled to receive new jammies from Auntie B. 

and here she is showing L how to play with his new toy. 

and here’s D, genuinely excited about the 
where the wild things are
characters we received from Gramma Pink,

and his toy story lego set from Aunt CC and Uncle NN. 
and yes, this was the face he made when i said “smile!”

after this celebration is when we headed to the snow!

a few days after that, 
we headed up to B’s mom’s house 
to celebrate with his sister and her family.

she has such a warm and inviting house. 

the visit 
(of course) 
included a lovely mug full of this with marshmallows. 
i think things like that are so much more indulgent 
when someone else makes them.
am i right?
i am so right.

D, as thrilled as ever to receive a magnet building set

the kids made this Christmas tree for Grammy with each of their hands. 
and if you know my mother-in-law, 
you know how much she loves holiday decorations.

for instance, she has these 
santas and snowmen 
all over her house.
K’s favorite thing to do was to turn them on.
at the same time.
i hope that i made it very clear that 
all of those “lovely” things 
can stay at Grammy’s house for the children to enjoy there.  
not here.
but there.

and this sweet little baby snowman 
(complete with a pacifier)
was in K’s arms the entire time we were up there. 
this girl loves to take care of her babies. 

happy new year!

626. the reflection of the Christmas tree on the windows
627. sipping hot chocolate and reading in the afternoon 
(all by myself)
628. the joy and reminder of simply loving my children
629. a sweet, sweet comment
630. the close of another year
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