I forgot about the snow we had in Raleigh the day after Christmas - holy snow!! We did lose power for about an hour and I was really nervous how to entertain four children, but luckily it came back on right when we needed it to. We had so much fun playing in the snow!
My last year in my twenties!! My mom did not believe that I was 29 - she thought I was 28 - thanks mom! I did some returning/exchanging at the mall with the kids, mom and sister in the morning. The girls took a good nap when we got home. Bo came home and then we all went to Olive Garden. I was not expecting a big birthday - we just purchased a very nice camera for Christmas plus a new kitchen. But, Bo surprised me good. At dinner he gave me a big Coach bag and inside was a huge box - which means....yeah!!! a new purse! I was thrilled - hadn't bought a new Coach bag in two years! Then, he said.....that is from the girls.....what?? That was a big present to be just from the girls. So, he hands me a Finks jewelery bag. If you know a Finks jewelery bag - you know it is good! He surprised me big with a David Yurman bracelet - diamonds and pink stones. I was SHOCKED. It is definately "me." I love both of my presents - couldn't believe he thought of that without help. My mom had brought a cake for dinner and she gave me new Coach sunglasses - great birthday! Especially, since I was not expecting anything big at all. Emma kept saying, "mommy's appy bifday" throughout the day. It was so sweet. Thank you to everyone who sent me a birthday wish on Facebook too! It was a great day!
Emma with her tongue out and Hannah snorting her nose - got to love children in public!
We celebrated my birthday in Raleigh before leaving and Bo's parents gave me new brown Uggs and new Pandora charm - the purse!
Mary, Britt, Gibby and Owen gave me a new 31 bag to store DVD's in the car and a headband!
This Christmas was wonderful. The girls had an amazing Christmas. The girls came in the hallway and Emma said, "whoooaaa" and off she took into the living room. Hannah followed her and went over and just stared at her things. The only thing Emma asked for the entire month was a Minnie Mouse bowl. Every time we asked her what she wanted Santa to bring, that is the only thing she would say. Sure enough, that is the very first thing she went to Christmas morning. She also said that Lilly wanted treats and was so excited to see a bag of Lilly's treats left for her. They also got American Girl Bitty Baby dolls and some furniture, Pottery Barn bean bag chairs, lots of Elmo toys and Barney figures. Hannah got the new dancing Mickey Mouse. Emma got the Leap Frog Tag Junior, which she loves! Overall, they had a good time and it was so exciting to see them happy. Bo and I gave ourselves a new kitchen this year. We got new appliances - stainless steel stove, microwave above stove, dishwasher and fridge. I also got my new camera earlier in the month. After about an hour and a half with the girls it was time to begin the craziness of Christmas Day. We had to get ready, load the van and head to my mom's house for our Christmas with just my parents and sister, brother in law and nephew. After that we had my mom's immediate family for Christmas lunch and finally we headed for the road at 2:30 to head to Raleigh to be with Bo's family for the rest of Christmas Day and a few days afterward. I will also remember how Emma was so sweet when she received a present from someone. Without even knowing what it was or opening it, she would say thank you to whoever the person was giving it to her - it was so sweet.
Some of my presents were: a new North Face Jacket, new jewelery, a ring modeled after the Sex and the City engagement ring, black Uggs, sweaters, cardigans, hat and scarf - I am sure I am forgetting more.
Bo got a nice long, brown dress coat, two suits, t-shirts, Polo shirts, dress shirts, gift cards for his I-Pad - can't remember what else.
Christmas was so much fun with the girls this year. We did lots of fun things and I will remember how many times we watched Christmas videos this year. They loved Christmas Minnie/Mickey, Barney, Elmo, etc. They have been played and played over and over. I enjoy this time of year so much and cherish these memories with my children, husband, parents, grandmothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, in-laws, nieces and nephews. I am so blessed and I remember how fortunate I am this time of year to be surrounded by so much love.
Christmas Eve morning, this is what I woke up to as I walked out of my bedroom
Here is Emma, asleep in the hallway. She has her books that she sleeps with stacked nicely, her few characters that she took to bed and her two blankets. I have no idea why she was sleeping in the hallway. I guess she thought Santa was coming the night before instead of tonight. It absolutely cracked me up of how she decided to sleep in the hall with her favorite things around her, all organized!
Christmas eve lunch was at my grandmother's on my dad's side. My mom, dad, sister, newphew and us had a great lunch and exchanged gifts with my grandmother and my cousin Robbie and his family.
The rest of Christmas Eve was quite restful. The girls took late naps, we had dinner and gave the girls their presents from us. They went to bed at a decent hour and were ready for Santa Claus to come.
Thursday, December 23rd was our big family party on my mom's side. This included extended aunts, cousins, etc. I look foward to this night because I see many relatives that I do not regularly see. We also have quite the spread of good food, including my Aunt Shelby's cream cake that members of the family get a slice of before their meal just to ensure they get a piece! Santa always makes a visit, the children sing, my Great Aunt, the eldest in the family reads the Christmas story and this year we even had some adult talent. We were all very thankful to have our cousin John who battled cancer this year and is still healing from his surgery. He gave his testimony on what life holds for him now. It was very special to hear his story and remember past Christmases. It was a very nice evening.
Tonight we went to Busch Gardens. It was beautiful at night! It was amazing how the park looked all lit up. We did a quick stroll and ate at the fest house. Then we went directly to the elmo and abby Christmas show. It was precious. Busch Gardens does the best events with Sesame Street. They sang all kinds of Christmas songs that the girls knew. After the show we headed home. It was too cold for us to take our time through the park and ride rides. But, it was a fun night out and a great start to Christmas vacation!