On Saturday, the day after Christmas, we packed up our van and our unwrapped packages and set out for a full day of gatherings and fun with the Ubben side.
We first headed to Aplington for Christmas with Grandma Grayce and the whole bunch. It was a full house, and we feasted all afternoon on loose meat sandwiches and soups and cheesecake. We opened more gifts and played with our cousins until it was time to head back to Cedar Falls for one more night of Christmas.
We spent Saturday night at James and Cassi's for our celebration with Papa Tim and Nana Deanne, Ella and Ivy and James's family that all flew in from England.
Aunt Louise sketched gingerbread houses for Brandon to color, there was plenty of wine and food... and of course, more presents.
We gifted Tim and Deanne with a Weber grill for their pontoon boat and received Stretego from James and Cassi - an incredibly addicting board game of capture the flag - so addicting in fact, that the guys opened it up right away to start playing a few rounds.
Brandon got over his fear of baby Ivy and spent a lot of time on the kitchen floor, patiently rolling her little ball back and forth with her. It was the sweetest thing.
And of course, the cousins picture. We should really have someone take video of it while I snap the pictures. We all look and sound ridiculous as we make fools of ourselves to get all kids looking and smiling at the same time. :)
And still more gatherings with family...
Sunday night was for grandma Nanny's famous lasagna at Aunt Rita's and Uncle Bud's with the Justis clan. Aunt Sally has taken over the roll of cooking Nanny's lasagna - the only one in our family with the recipe - and it's a meal full of memories and good taste. Aunt Sally said on Sunday evening, as we gathered around the tables to eat, that the day had started out cloudy, but as soon as she started whipping together the lasagna ingredients, the clouds parted and the sun came out. Nanny was watching!
My cousin Randy - the other photographer in the family - picked up my camera and started snapping pictures. I so appreciate having another photographer around. ;)
And then there was the Monday night after Christmas - Sally and Bob's last night in town - when we gathered for games around the table while the snow storm wreaked havoc outside. We only got two different cars stuck in two different streets that night. But that's neither here nor there. :)
Aside from my posts coming up about our mini-getaway, this wraps up our Christmas season. It included a wonderful two weeks of vacation time, lots of relaxing, sleeping in, no alarm clocks, pajamas, games, family, food and memories. I already can't wait to recreate it next December, but first - let's have some spring and summer. :)
Before I close, a few more pictures from our special Christmas Eve. Now bring on Tulips and flip-flops! ;)