Sunday, December 27, 2009

What a great Christmas we had this year...and how quickly it flew. As should be expected with an almost 18-month old underfoot, I guess, but I wish Christmas could truly last the whole month. After a lot of careful deliberation, we made the decision to stay at home this Christmas to enjoy what we feel may indeed be the "calm before the storm" with BGT's arrival in a few months (three to be exact). And while we thought we might regret the decision - due to the lack of our ability to see family and visit and have "help" with our little one - we found we would be the most at ease, the most relaxed, and the least pressed for time (on other people's calendars) if we stayed at home and began some of our own traditions...even though Aiden will not remember these years. This fact in and of itself is something that still makes me sad no matter how many times I recall it. All the more reason I find myself trying my hardest to track his habits, take his picture, and capture what I can of his cute personality on camera before this time, too, passes all too quickly as all the other phases have.

Since most of the heavy work with our jobs took place at the beginning of the month, Nate and I luckily had some PTO to burn the last few weeks of the year and were able to take advantage of some down time and enjoy the respite from our "go all day" norm. We began to love this and I think Aiden did, too, as he was sleeping in till 8 most mornings - can I say PRAISE JESUS for this!? :) Those without children will probably not ever really "get" this, but to have your little one make the jump from a 6:30 wake up call to 8 am is such an ever-loving thing to behold and appreciate. It made our transition to Christmas all the more lovely. I spent my days with my boys buying last minute gifts and decorating and my nights wrapping gifts and baking, two of my favorite holiday pasttimes. It was a lovely time. I love wrapping gifts. It brings back memories of when you purchased it and why, and then you get to wrap it with careful attention to detail, and tie it all up with a simple or overzealous bow...both of which have their value, repsectively. It is both a soothing and memorable time for me each year and makes me remember how very much I love giving and why I ask continually for the resources to be able to do so with whatever means I can over the course of my lifetime.

Before I knew it Christmas week was upon us. At the last minute, my family decided to come visit for a few days, making our Christmas celebration a bit more full and that we were able to share it with others and appreciate some QT. The week flew by. We visited with friends on Christmas Eve at a little shin dig in the 'hood and had a great time meeting and enjoying the company of others before coming home and diving into a few of our Christmas traditions. One of which is opening one gift from our Poage relatives since they celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day. I found myself up until nearly midnight putting together and wrapping the last of Aiden's big and little gifts...and realized this would be the first of many nights I (and Nathan) would spend being up until all hours of the night preparing for the festivities of the next day for our little ones. Before we could blink Christmas morning was here and we were off and celebrating. Luckily, we were able to take it S-L-O-W since Aiden is in the mode of "open and play for a while" with his gifts (rather than the open and ask "that's it?" - which I do NOT look forward to). I hope he always appreciates the time and pleasure in opening each gift...though I know there will be years when quantity seems to matter so much more. (sigh). It was such a joy for me to see the utter joy and amazement on his face after opening each gift - it was like he had just opened the BEST THING EVER...EVERY TIME! How quickly we forget the innocence found in these precious moments. It allowed me to breathe deep his joy and excitement over the course of our three-hour open-fest prior to a brunch of homemade cinnamon rolls and breakfast casserole.

And then, another blink, and Christmas Day was ending. After a fabulous (if I do say so myself) Christmas dinner - really my first complete feast! - Nathan and I headed out to our traditional Christmas movie (and date night). What a nice and relaxing way to complete this nearly perfect day full of love, laughter, giving, joy, eating, and others.

We were off in the cold post-Christmas weather to get our discounted Christmas wares for next year and enjoy one last meal before sending Mimi and Pops on their merry way. We were blessed to have the help in caring for Aiden...they played SO HARD with the little guy and kept him going in his typical non-stop fashion for us for nearly their entire trip. He loves them and the fun they bring to the house every visit. How hard it is to believe at this time next year Aiden will be nearly 2 and a half and we'll be toting around a 9 month old baby girl. Whew! I get stressed and tired just thinking about maintaining that! Nevertheless, how much more joy will be found in those moments of the four of us? I'm sure countless. I hope you all took time to appreciate the big and small things in this Christmas season. I know I find myself grateful, full, and in anxious anticipation of what 2010 will hold. I am holding on tightly to the last few days of 2009 and enjoying every minute of rest and love shared in this little house of ours.

Aiden listening to Mommy's tummy...and what is inside!

Aiden and his daddy...two of a kind! Stuffing face with Christmas brunch while we open gifts! :) Hungry, growing boy!
Playing with his music table and making sure EVERYONE is clapping along. If you don't clap, he stares you down until you do! Really!!
Our tree and "family" decor! My sweet boy shared his tricycle with the twins down the street, Chase and Lily, and even pushed Chase while he rode. Such a giver!! Boogs decided to put on a pair of mommy's Uggs. He wore them around trying to walk for a good half hour. So funny!
This little towel came from Aiden..they made it at school and he came home with it on his last day. I love that I can have the memory of his foot at this stage! I might do this for grandparent gifts next year from my kids. Such a sweet rememberance! :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Aiden made Santa's List- It's the NICE list this year...HOORAY!


Monday, December 14, 2009

So every year our neighborhood has Santa come to us. This treat is quite awesome because I'm sure if you visit the mall anytime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you have seen the lines awaiting three minutes on Santa's lap. The process for this "experience" is an experience in and of itself:

  1. They set up a night to offer tickets to residents.
  2. The tickets are on "sale" for three hours and are on a first come first serve basis. So we all stand patiently (or not so patiently) in line awaiting our turn to choose a day/time.
  3. There are two days you can choose from.
  4. Each day has a three to four hour time period set aside, from which you select a 30 minute time slot (if the time you want is still available when you get to the front of the line).
  5. You show up five minutes early on your chosen day and get a professional picture with Santa...along with some hot chocolate, juice, teddy grahams, and goldfish.
It is quite an ordeal! But it beats standing in line at the mall for who knows how long and potentially even long enough to see nap time come and go. NO THANKS!

All in all our trip was a success. And by success, I mean NO TEARS - who knows if we actually got a good shot in the few minutes we spent with Santa, but at least we weren't crying! :) Whew! Despite runny noses and a time bordering on nap time, we managed to get in an out unscathed. So we'll post the "pro picture" later, but for now, here's a look at the Westhaven Santa and my cute little curious peanut!

He's asking, "Who is this guy, Mom?"

Oh, and AFTER our nap AFTER Santa, Daddy got out his old cowboy boots (his FIRST PAIR EVER) for little man to try on. How cute is he? He couldn't quite figure out how to walk normally, but had a nice cowboy jaunt going funny! :) Why this cowboy is carrying around tennis balls, I really couldn't tell you, but how cute!