Scenes from Christmas

Making cookies with Mimi.

The finished product for Santa!
We had an awesome Christmas. I hosted my family for the first time, with everyone arriving the day before Christmas Eve for our traditional celebration. Surprisingly, I wasn't stressed at all, even with the cooking and cleaning preparations. Between my mom and I, we made all our favorite foods for the event: Swedish meatballs, Italian stuffed shells, a ham. We had a blast opening presents, drinking coffee, lingering around the Christmas tree.

New kitty.

Deep, manly thoughts.

My handsome little brother and my happy little girl.
Me and my mom.

Daddy finally convinced her to take a nap before we opened presents.
Christmas Eve we headed to church to listen to Matt play in the band and freak out about Violet with a lit candle in her hands. Fortunately my mom was there to supervise! We stuck around afterwards for dinner with my neighbors. Even though we had a reservation, the place was packed and we waited forever. The kids hung in there and then practically fell asleep at the table! Violet was so tired she barely acknowledged putting out Santa's cookies by the fireplace. Good thing we had already sprinkled the reindeer food!

Christmas morning was a first - the first time we've been just our little family of four in our own home. Violet had so much fun looking through her stocking, opening her Santa presents and seeing what we got her. It was strange to be home, but a good new tradition. Then we packed up and hit the road to see Matt's family for the rest of the holiday.

Just doing some light reading.

Family game night.
Little baby on a big bed.
The last part of our Christmas was spent with Matt's family. His parents gave up their bedroom for us, seeing as we now have a pack-n-play, and mattress on the floor for Violet, and gear galore. It was very generous and so appreciated. At their house we had another round of gifts and fun - even when the power was cut for most of a day! Everyone (minus Annie and me) took a trip to the aquarium (I let my mom babysit so I could get a haircut!) and we even left all the kids with their brave grandparents so we could take in dinner and a movie on the last night in town. It was a good, relaxing time. For the most part, both girls behaved themselves beautifully. We even had a professional photographer come to the house to capture some family memories. I think a good time was had by all.

Now we're home. I took down all the decorations yesterday while Violet was having a pajama party with her best friend Emma. The house looks a little dull without all the beautiful lights, but it's also nice to have it done. I'm going to try and pack in a lot in this last week before heading back to work, but I'm trying not to think about all the school things I need to do until after the new year. Then I'll tackle the grading, report cards, lesson planning, and general anxiety that will come along with returning to work. For now, I'm going to try to enjoy my two girls at home. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

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