Time for the big holiday wrap-up. I'm going all the way back to several days before Christmas when all of the Christmas-y things started, so buckle up!
CHRISTMAS IN OUR HOME
PETER PAN LIVE // THE SOUND OF MUSIC
We watched the magic of live theater from our couch with Duke, Brandon, and Bailey while eating white chicken chili and cornbread. Duke was mesmerized. The Sound of Music also came on TV one night and Duke loved it. He kept saying, "That Captain's not very nice. He's grumpy!"
CAROLING AT CUPPIES & JOE
This was the 4th annual caroling night for our little group of girls and it was so fun! Next year is the big 5 year anniversary and we plan on finding some way to make it extra special! (And by special, I mean that maybe it'll finally be the year that I don't mix the tenor and bass parts up while singing "Carol of the Bells." I'm telling you - LOTS to look forward to.)
LIGHTS AND STARBUCKS
I absolutely loved driving around and looking at Christmas lights as a child. I want this to be one of our traditions every year. Maybe as our kids get older it will be less about lights and more about a good excuse to keep them in the same space as us so we can have a conversation. I'm good with that.
Duke devoured his hot chocolate and kept Nova very entertained with all of his Christmas light commentary. It was a wonderful night that I won't forget.
CHRISTMAS PIANO RECITAL
The past several years, my mom and I have done our Christmas piano recital at a nursing home or an assisted living center. But this year, I was flooded with memories of doing music with my family at a place just like this. Growing up, my parents would load us all up, instruments and voices ready to go, and we'd go perform a set of Christmas tunes for a nearby nursing home. I'm sure I rolled my eyes at times, but I always left feeling very satisfied. It's a wonderful thing to give your music away, and I would love to be able to continue that with my own family someday.
CHRISTMAS MUSIC AT CUPPIES & JOE
Karlie (my sister) and I gathered all of the most depressing Christmas songs we knew, and then we sang them at Cuppies. Happy Christmas! While we did sing Jingle Bells and a few hymns, it was mostly a night of melancholy melodies. It wasn't in our plan to be depressing, but as we made our way through the set, we realized this wasn't a haul-out-the-holly-deck-the-halls kind of performance. But we enjoyed it anyway! Here are a couple of clips for you. (Thanks for videoing, Reese!)
CHRISTMASES WITH GREAT-GRANDPARENTS
Duke and Nova have 5 Great Grandparents, which is nutso. We're pretty lucky. We celebrated with my Grammy and Papa before Christmas and had a good old-fashioned sing-a-long complete with instruments and a dancing Duke.
My Mama Lue and Grandad had us over after Christmas to celebrate. Duke stuffed his belly full of jelly beans, peanuts, brownies, and gingerbread men. He kept asking my Grandad, "Let's go in the kitchen and find somping!" The kid loves to eat. Can't imagine where he got that.
CHRISTMAS EVE-EVE AND EVE
On the 23rd, we went to my parents' house to have dinner, open presents, and spend the night. You guys know how it is trying to get out the door with two kids and a thousand bags and gadgets. When it was 1:30 p.m. and the kids were down for naps, I realized the only taste I had tasted all day was toothpaste. I was so glad to sit down and watch "Saving Mr. Banks" (Oh my gosh, so good) and drink some hot tea.
One of my favorite memories from Christmas with my side will be opening our presents leisurely and having cinnamon rolls and milk after the kids went to bed. It was such a relaxing and quiet time to talk and enjoy each other.
Colt and I both played in our Christmas Eve service at church. My parents kept Nova at their house and Duke sat on the row with his friends. Kelsey, Evan, Sara, and Megan get huge applause for holding the fort down.
Later that night, Brandon came over for a late night dinner and some quality sibling time.
This was our first Christmas morning to wake up in our own home. It was absolutely perfect. Colt served up a big breakfast, and we got to have the joy of watching Duke open up a few presents from us. This was the first year we bought him anything, so it was sweet to see him get excited about the things we picked out.
After cleaning up and throwing bags and gadgets back in the car, we left for Stillwater to be with Colt's side.
One of my favorite memories from Christmas with them this year will be learning/playing Ticket to Ride. This may be my new favorite game.
NEW YEAR'S EVE
We invited some families over (mostly OBU folks) to our home. I knew people would be coming and going because most everyone has children. By 9:30 p.m., it was just me, Colt, and Sara. We watched the NYE shows, group texted with our friends who were also at their homes with sleeping babes, and Colt fell asleep on the couch. Then it was midnight. I said Colt's name loudly, he woke up, and I said, "Happy New Year, honey." None of us moved. It was a really great and relaxing night! It was so great, that the only picture I took of the whole evening was of Duke, Camryn, and Cooper watching "Cars" in the music room while we all ate and talked in the living room.
We had a busy and fun holiday season as a family of four, but it is always nice when the normal life schedule resumes and the festive clutter of Christmas decor is put away. I'm looking forward to this new year and there are several new years-y posts coming your way. Hope you all had a wonderful end to 2014!