Sunday, January 31, 2016

christmas eve {2015}

[Above: Reading Santa Mouse Meets Marmaduke on some other day. Below: Christmas Eve in the morning.]

It's Sunday, it's the last day of the first month of the year, I haven't finished a piece of my own writing in at least ten weeks, and those feel like some good reasons for hiding away with a keyboard today. I was looking back on a blog post from two Christmases ago and it made me remember how special it is to have the memories time capsuled by the words and photos swirled together. And then I started sorting through this year's photos and I didn't even make it past Christmas Eve.
The anticipation had been building since Thanksgiving and vacation had just begun and in all my life I'd never seen a day so warm in December. We didn't have much on the agenda other than being together and harvesting the rest of our brussels sprouts and watching a holiday movie or two. For the harvest we had two very willing little workers (who also ate a surprising number of raw sprouts).

The oldest little amigo was immersed in his play. He likes to run away from my camera; sometimes it turns into a game that's quite funny and it's a bit of a challenge but I get some great real shots that way.

And he did get the tiny garden workers to join him after a while...

And baby girl has ruined countless pairs of pants, because you never know when adventure will strike.

Pupper is very proud of his little Padawans.

Owen isn't always up for a fight or an adventure, and when he is it makes Bob really happy. Maisy gets right in there too and we all think she's amazing. Babies skilled with lightsabers: super cool or super nerdy?

Letting them run and roam outdoors, following and observing and photographing them -- it's my favorite thing. "Show me a day when the world wasn't new," especially for little ones, and with them too!

To see all three playing together, interested in the same thing and enjoying each other-- that's magic and the very best feeling in the world as a parent. The ol' "ahhhhhhhh, I'm doing it right after all." Which doesn't last long, be assured-- but here's to hoping and praying that all these little moments of connection add up to a long lifetime of sibling love.

And by now I bet you've forgotten that this post was supposed to be about Christmas Eve! When we came inside and day turned dark the excitement reached a whole new level, especially for the six year old in the house. He dressed himself up as an angel (costume based loosely on this video) and went flying around the house.

Maisy wanted to sit sleepily at the table for a while (if I'd left her alone she would have put herself to sleep); Owen quickly ditched the excitement for a long solo coloring session, in true Owie fashion.

The kids got all jammied up and the cousin party arrived just before bedtime. Maisy and Owie were smitten with Erica, and Bob was distracted watching Elf.

We read The Night Before Christmas and cozied the littles into bed (Bob had started fake yawning and asking about bedtime somewhere in the mid-afternoon; they were so cute and so ready.)

And then-- cousin Christmas Eve party! (Plus Dan this year-- honorary cousin :) We tried to play Clue but mostly we just ate and talked and laughed and there were a few rounds of Mustache Smash involved and basically it was all uproariously loud and the kids must have been deeply dreaming of sugar plums because it felt like a miracle that they slept through it all. We set up a couple self timers (because we are awesome like that and that's what we do) and with the iphone 10 photo burst that amounted to a ridiculous 30 or 40 shots, which were obviously amazing and candidly carried out and of which these are a few of my favorites...

We always have a Christmas present project to work on together for the kids... this year we didn't really have one planned but it turned out to be a little spontaneous field trip to fetch Erica's old American Girl doll to make Bob's wish come true. We said goodnight and set up the Christmas morning setup...

And I spied on my sleepers...

And I collapsed into bed. Christmas Day: coming at you hopefully sometime in February. :)

{just in the nick of time before another month ends}

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