Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Eve 2011

What a Christmas! And it ain't even ovah yet. Not for this family, anyway. :) We still have one more family party to attend on New Years Eve before we haul IN the holly, de-Christmasify the home, and call it a year. I'm hoping beyond hope and wishing beyond wish that we can party it up with gusto one last time to make up for the fact that poor Gracie spent her entire Christmas Eve and Day in utter agony, cutting not one, but TWO molars on either side of her mouth. It was a long two days. Wonderful, but long....

One year a girlfriend at church stopped me and asked which Sunday Evelyn would be wearing her Christmas dress that season, to which I replied, "Oh...we didn't really get a specific outfit to wear for Christmas this year." But in my head a cyclone of thoughts began furiously circulating and what I really wanted to say was, "Holy cow! I totally forgot about a Christmas dress! What the heck am I gonna do?? I'm the worst mother in the world!!!" You get the idea. Cool on the outside, freaking out on the inside. I have no clue what Evelyn ended up wearing that year, but I do know one thing: I vowed to never make that mistake again. As a mama who loves to play dress up with her kiddos, how in the world could I forget about the dressiest event of the year on a child's calendar?

So we really made up for it this year by going as traditional Christmas as it gets, in the quintessential holiday fashions of red and black plaid.

I am in love with traditional. And I am in love with those girls.

We had three stops to make on Christmas Eve this year: Grandma and Grandpa Robert's, my grandparent's house, and my mom and dad's. We knew it was going to be a very long day, which was scheduled to begin right smack dab at the start of our usual nap time. Woohoo! :) We actually spent twenty minutes driving around town to try to get the girls to sleep - which we successfully did - but as soon as we walked into grandma and grandpa's the girls were up and they weren't about to lay down when there was so much stuff to get into fun to be had.

Grandma set up a super adorable kid's table this year for Evie and Austin, but Grace thought it was the bee's knees. Despite being terribly crabby, she sure was stinkin' cute.

Evelyn spent most of the afternoon with her chubby fingers fishing over her head into the candy platter for chocolates on the hors devours table. I'm not sure if she ate a single nourishing thing all day, but boy did she get good at unwrapping colorful foiled treats. Sneaky, sneaky. :)

Of course, it's not a party until cousin Austin shows up!

Grace wouldn't keep her bow on, but one of the first things Austin did was to pick up the abandoned accessory and plop it on his own head.

The kids got a kick out of their matching headgear, and while we ladies were hooting and cackling (and snapping pictures) I'm pretty sure Austin's daddy was in the background cringing for his son's future feelings about this documented dress up session. Baha.

We didn't wait long to open gifts and let the kids have their fun. It is SO hard to believe that just a few short years ago there wasn't a single child at the Robert family's Christmas, and now it is all about the kids. What a change!

Grace got a rocking chair just like her big sissy did last year. She LOVES it, as I knew she would. Hooray for no more bruises over rocking chair fights.

Grandma Robert recorded Hallmark story books for all of the grandkids this year, and oh my goodness...thank you Hallmark for such a great idea. It's a gift to be treasured forever and always. (Grandma, the girls have already been listening to their stories!)

It's a tradition for all of the family members to receive an ornament in their stocking each year, but this year instead of brand new ornaments, we were told to choose a decoration straight from grandma and grandpa Robert's tree. Eric and I chose one ornament that Grandma Robert made herself, and another that hung on Grandma Robert's mother's tree. My sentimental meter was buzzing off of the charts.

We received many wonderful and generous gifts, and the girls were very happy with their new presents. :) But by the time we were sitting down to dinner our girls were so over Christmas, haha. They hadn't napped, Gracie was in pain (which we still didn't know - we thought she was just getting sick), and they were way over stimulated. We still had two more stops to make, so we maybe got a few bites of food to eat before we packed up and headed to my grandparent's house.

Sadly we didn't get any pictures here, because we knew it would have to be a short visit. We chowed down on some delicious home made pizza (a Linnertz family Christmas Eve tradition), and the grandkids ran around like wild banshees. Ah, just like the good old days of yore.

Grandma Linnertz got all of the little girls the same present this year, and they had a blast with their totally rad light-up microphones. Pretty sure they locked themselves in the bathroom with all of the lights off and squealed themselves silly. Pretty sure some boys got their fingers smashed in the door when they tried to join in the party. What's Christmas without a little violence among family members? :)

It was loud and crowded and chaotic, just like I always remembered it. Evelyn was in her element around all of the buzz, but it was here that we realized the reason why Grace had been so fussy all day. Over a bowl of chex mix I reached my hand into Grace's mouth and felt the culprit. I knew that the best thing for our baby was to get her out of the noise and change her into more comfy clothes. Poor kid! So after about an hour of visiting with my relatives we said goodbye and headed for the quiet sanctuary of my parent's house.

It was here that I realized we hadn't gotten a single family picture all day, so before we changed the girls into their Christmas jammies we snapped a photo in front of my parent's tree.

Whew! I would have been so mad at myself if I had totally forgotten that one.

Since there are quite a few people just in my immediate family, we've adopted doing a gift exchange over the past few years. Between my parent's five children, my kids, and our significant others, gift buying can get a little out of hand. So we gathered all together, figured out who had who, and got to opening. We are very straight forward gift givers in my family. Skip the frills, get to the fun. It's just how we do.

One of Evelyn's gifts was a remote control car, and that thing was awesome! (Too bad it eats batteries - sorry Ev! Mom and dad need to get to the store.) But it was too funny because John got one too, and their signals kept getting crossed so that one controller was controlling both cars. Um, maybe you had to be there. But Eric and I were cracking UP.

My parents always try to get Eric and I a bigger joint gift, and this year we received a rotisserie, which is super cool. We cook a lot of chickens and turkey breasts and lots of other stuff that will be even more delicious now!

Our cue to leave. :)

We visited with the family for a bit, but the hour was getting late and we had lots of business to attend to at home still. All we could do is hope and pray that the girls would go down easily so that we could work our magic and get some rest! We had big plans to do our Christmas morning, go to church, and then head out to another family gathering that afternoon.

Too bad things never go as planned. But since this post is already monstrously long, I think we'll save Christmas day for tomorrow. :)


Cassie said...

oh grace, you make me laugh. this is EXACTLY stella. we leave her "B" in the car when we go places and when homegirl starts looking for B it's not cute and we need to exit FAST. lol. so i feel your pain with the screaming babies my dear.

ps - my kids got those hallmark books from their great grandma also, oh my word it makes me wana cry. i just LOVE them!!

Ashley Mitchell said...

That last pic could be Mason Christmas day at about 6pm, he was OVER it! :) Good times.

Melissa W. said...

Thanks for sharing your day. The pictures turned out great!! Especially for it being the end of the day!

Heather said...

Love long posts with lots of pictures!! And I LOVE that picture of Gracie in her rocking chair. She looks all chill watching TV.

Melissa Cheek said...

Great post, love all the pictures! They looked adorable in their Christmas dresses and the bows ended up matching great!


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