"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas, 2014

As far as Christmases can go, ours was pretty low key this year. Having already celebrated with some of our family weeks ago and Christmas with Cody's side not until New Year's Eve this year, the day of was pretty easy and not so much hustle and bustle. I didn't even take that many pictures. We stayed in our pajamas most of the day on Christmas Eve, playing games and making a birthday cake for Jesus, as is tradition. We attended our always favorite candlelight service Christmas Eve night, had our parents over for Pizza after church, spent Christmas morning in our own living room, Christmas afternoon with my mom and dad and Christmas night back at home with Cody's parents, some appetizers and a pork loin in the oven.

And now a few days later I can actually say that all the toys are put together and have found a home. And instead of awaiting Santa's arrival, now we're just anxiously awaiting the arrival of the garbage truck for its weekly pickup. Our garbage is just slightly overflowing!

A few pictures of Christmas Eve day in our PJ's. A few early presents opened from out of town relatives, Christmas pancakes in the morning and a frosted birthday cake for our Savior.

But my favorite part of our Christmas had to be Christmas Eve night. For the first time in his young four years, Brandon sat through the entire candlelight service, only getting quietly impatient towards the end when he was just so ready to light those candles. He loved the little intro video with the super heroes depicting the birth of Jesus, held tightly to his unlit candle during the whole service and looked absolutely adorable when that candle was lit, the glow warming up his face and his eyes twinkling like magic through the singing of Silent Night. Jaden sat perfectly still through the whole hour, and I felt so cozy and warm sitting amongst our family in our church home as Pastor Dave reminded us that because of Jesus, we can choose joy. No matter what our circumstances, we can always choose joy because He has chosen us.

After church, our parents joined us at our house for pizza, a slice of birthday cake and a watching of the Polar Express, which just happens to be the absolute perfect Christmas Eve movie, if you ask me. And the entire time, my dad was tracking Santa's whereabouts on his phone, the excitement building. Christmas with kids has to be the coolest thing ever.

And the closer Santa got, the more anxious Brandon got. As soon as everyone had gone home for the night, he was adamant that we get to bed right away. He was so fearful of Santa passing over our house while seeing us awake through the windows, and he has never raced through his bedtime routine faster. Cody and I kept exchanging glances and smiles with one another... so happy to be living those moments as they were.

But we couldn't go to bed without our reading of the Night Before Christmas, the same book we've read every Christmas Eve night since Brandon's first Christmas.

We tucked the boys in tight before realizing that we had forgotten to put out Santa's cookies and milk! Brandon had everyone so anxious to get to bed that we completely missed a very important step. :) I walked back into their bedroom and asked them if they wanted to get back out of bed and help put the cookies and cake on Santa's plate, to which Brandon responded, "No! You do it!"... and pulled the covers back tight over his head. ;)

The boys woke up Christmas morning and tore into everything within about 20 minutes. They were thrilled to see that Santa had left them a hand-written note, and loved his personalized Santa wrapping paper straight from the North Pole. ;) And though the rest of the ground outside was dry and brown, there was a hint of snow and frost left on our deck, courtesy of Santa's sleigh and reindeer, and I think just a little bit of magic. I think that was Brandon's favorite part.
Jaden loved the Ninja Turtle game portal Santa brought and Brandon was super excited to see that his request on Santa's lap of a race car track was fulfilled. Other favorites included a football helmet, a Ninja Turtle house, NFL board game, Ninja Turtle laser ball game, the brand new Ninja Turtle movie and lots and lots of Lego's, just to name a few things.
More pictures of Christmas... with another fun one still ahead this week.

Of course we couldn't leave Dasher out on his first Christmas either... he got a nice set of candy cane bones from our house. ;)

We're completely soaking up break again this week with slow and lazy days and a few fun outings planned before we head into 2014. Lot's going on around here...

Wishing you all a strong finish to 2014 and a very blessed start to the New Year.
The picture from our 2014 Christmas card fits perfectly in our 2014 ornament. The years go by so quick, and I love the sentiment in each ornament on the tree...