Christmas 2013 is in the books. I have again resisted the yearly urge I have to cover every flat surface in the house with Christmas trees of various sizes. Admittedly, if I didn't have two kids I'd be pushing other women in the Hobby Lobby aisles searching for various sized Christmas trees at drastically reduced prices as you're reading this, but alas, I am home with the kids wondering when the Anna who desires a clean & clutter-free home will win the battle with tired, lazy Anna who can't stop looking at boots on sale online. Until the former Anna is victorious, we'll continue to enjoy all of our Christmas decor, including the eight foot tree that is covered in ornaments, each & every ornament hanging on its own special, tiny hook. Fa la la la la.
Here's the tree as it appeared on Christmas morning, complete with a few of Reagan's goodies Santa dropped off late, laaaate, Christmas Eve:
Before I get to the Christmas specificities, I'm going to share my attempts at nice, respectable Christmas pictures of the kids. If you need a restroom break, you might want to go ahead & take it now.
I didn't attempt a picture with both of them in Santa's lap. I mean, come on. We sometimes eat Sunday lunch at The Lotus Club, & on our way to the elevator we pass this small ceramic Santa. These were taken before we ate one Sunday:
Reagan's mood was improved post-lunch:
And another Sunday attempt:
I took these at the house after church one Sunday. I'd already put Henry in his pajamas, but hey, they are at least red. Henry was tired & ready for a nap so he didn't give me much to work with.
Reagan was very fond of the snowman at Newk's:
Perhaps my best effort of the season, this was taken at my parents' house on Christmas Day:
And these are the outtakes:
Some nice shots of the cousins (I'm going to be honest, these next few are totally staged. These were taken a few days after Christmas; I even ran a special load in the laundry to wash the Christmas pajamas their Nana gave them so they'd be clean for the pics):
And a few of the ladies:
Trey & I are fortunate in that our parents live about fifteen minutes from us. I can't imagine, on top of everything else that Christmas entails, having to yearly decide where to go when & packing, traveling, etc. Grace & peace to those of you with small children who travel to spend Christmas with your families.
Our first fifteen minute journey took us to Trey's parents' home on Christmas Eve.
Reagan got a hold of my phone for a bit after dinner:
The gift exchange . . . . this is what Trey got his dad:
Reagan made out like a bandit. This is her attempt to free the large Hello Kitty pez dispenser from her Uncle Rocky:
Her daddy was called in to complete the extraction of the pez dispenser & the pez candy:
And Christmas day at my parents' house:
After the food was eaten & the gifts were opened & inspected, the girls wanted to ride in Reagan's wagon down to the park. The men who didn't cook the food or buy & wrap the presents, & who don't get up at night with the small babies, happily escorted the ladies to the park:
While the house was a little quieter, I snapped these of Henry:
The DHZs mooning over each other:
And he's over it:
And, to sum up the Christmas festivities,
And now a minute to discuss a few gifts. My sister got me this shirt:
And this mug:
If you don't understand why I love them, then you haven't done your reading & I feel no pity for you.
Jessica also got me this mug:
It's the truth. If you're a close friend or family member, sometimes the correction isn't so silent.
Trey bought me this shirt. Sometimes he does pay attention:
In other gift news, Reagan got a TON OF STUFF. I am currently buying Target out of their baskets, which are on sale right now, & in the new year, Operation Organize/Hide the Toys will commence. It may take some time, but I will win. I. Will. Win.
At eleven o'clock on Christmas Eve, Santa found herself putting the final touches on Cinderella's Castle, which comes complete with an array of pieces so tiny it makes you wonder if Mattel doesn't employ Satan. Before Santa placed the castle under the tree, she opted to take & hide Cinderella's tea pot & cup & saucer pictured below, preemptively saving her expensive Dyson vacuum cleaner from trauma.
I mean really Mattel?!?
This is my pinky. It's also important for you to know that the cup & saucer are not attached!
Why, Mattel, why?!? Get behind me, Satan!
Henry got a few toys that Reagan has laid claim to, & he also got a bunch of clothes. This works out well since he outgrows his clothes every week or so, & he's too young to know that clothes are a lame Christmas gift when you're a kid. Reagan's going to be really disappointed when she learns she won't always be able to open & then walk away with all of Henry's gifts.
me Henry this ornament:
It's a Spode Baby's First Christmas mitten ornament. I think I've mentioned my Spode on the blog before. Long before I was old enough to realize that Spode Christmas china is a great gift, my aunts began gifting Jessica & me with various pieces of Spode's Christmas china. At thirty-three, I very much care about all my Spode Christmas china, & over the last few years have been amassing Spode Christmas ornaments that will one day hang on an all-Spode ornament tree tucked into my future reading nook in the kitchen. At present, the reading nook is overrun with toys, but I have a dream, a dream that culminates in a clutter-free reading nook, a tree trimmed in Spode ornaments, Michael Buble's Christmas album, & steam rising from a cup of coffee.
Since he's almost seven months old, I took some pictures of Henry with the '6' from Reagan's number puzzle the day after Christmas.
He wasn't too interested in the photo shoot, so I quit & let him play with some of his new toys.
It was nice having Jessica & Heath & Maisie home for awhile. Our family was a hit with dining patrons everywhere we went as we traipsed in with a three-year-old, a six-month-old, & a two-month-old.
An added bonus was a companion in the nursery at church. Well, an adult companion. Jessica took these one Wednesday night. Henry & I are so cool we can't both look at the camera at the same time:
And so Henry's first Christmas comes to an end, as does the year of his birth. Minus my brief hospitalization for debilitating mastitis, it's been a wonderful year for us. I've thus far neglected to mention that, after two years in our house, we finally had someone come check out our gas log fireplace & got a remote for it. It is now fully operational, & its awsomeness cannot be understated.
I will ring in the new year snuggling with my babies in front of a warm fire. It's the best kind of fire, because it requires no messy, bug-infested wood & can be brought to life with the click of a button. I will, the Lord willing, return in the new year, perhaps with some deep thoughts on new beginnings, resolutions, & all that jazz, but at the moment my house is a mess & there are online sales that beckon.
Thanks for reading this year. A few people have asked me about how they might be alerted to new blog posts. I don't have a fabulous answer for you. Many blogs have 'Follow Me' options for readers to subscribe to, but as I understand it, this is designed for those who are on Twitter. I do have a Twitter account, but I never sign in to it, & obviously don't post blogs to it. I guess that's something to consider in the future (don't hold your breath though). I did add something at the top of this page that allows you to submit an email address. I assume when a new blog is posted, a link &/or the blog's content will then be emailed to you. I am unsure if this differs from the option to "join this site" & become a "follower." Please don't let my technical expertise overwhelm you. Now you see why we need a remote for the fireplace.
In the new year, you can look forward to riveting tales about my budding addiction to buying cardigans online from Macy's, the success of Operation Organize/Hide the Toys, &, coming in summer 2014, Operation Wean Henry.
That's all for this year, folks. Happy New Year, & we'll catch up with you in 2014.