We decided to stay put this year for Christmas. While we missed being with extended family it was definitely a nice change of pace. We loved being together as our own family, keeping things relaxed and staying healthy (well, for the most part!).
Christmas Eve, our friends, the Groesbecks, invited us to join them for a late lunch. It was delicious, our children loved all of the attention from their kids and we enjoyed a nice visit with Carol and Ben. I've road biked with Carol and Ben and Bryan both work with the young men at church. They are a fun family to be around. It was a pleasant afternoon and we were still able to enjoy Christmas Eve night with just our family. Bryan and I are still trying to decide what we would like as traditions in our family. Christmas Eve we watched/read the Nativity from the book of Luke, let each kid open one present containing new pajamas and a treat to enjoy while watching a movie/playing games.
Emma loved her soft pajamas. She is quite the girly girl. I love it.
Luke bypassed his pajamas and was most thrilled with his very own "soda root beer." Luke is all boy. I love it.
Emma loved playing hide-and-go-seek. This was her best hiding spot.
Bryan used our "Whirley Pop" to make yummy gourmet popcorn. We enjoyed a fun night together. Then it was off to bed...Santa Claus was coming to town! :)
Emma and Luke made Christmas feel so magical this night. It was fun to think about what the next day would bring.
I read the following and deleted it, but decided to paste it back because if I don't write it here, I'm not sure that I will write it anywhere and I want to remember these feelings:
When I was thinking about how much fun I had with our family I couldn't help but think how much my life has changed (for the better!) from just a few years ago. I can't believe how much love a child brings into the home. I know that there are plenty of hard days, but there are many sweet moments that touch my heart in no other way. I thought about the baby that Mary was bringing into the world. I cannot imagine what she was feeling that night. I truly believe a Savior was born into this world for us. It was a tender thought to think about the love that baby brought, not only to His home, but to the world.