Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Let the good times roll!

Christmas morning was kind of a blur. I anticipate that Christmas mornings for years to come will feel that way. I tried to mentally absorb it all and take it all in - every expression, every moment of gratitude and surprise but it proved too difficult in all the chaos and ripped up paper and tissue. I tried, and I succeeded to some degree, but the overwhelmed with it all feeling crept in too. 

The adults were up before all the kiddos (go figure). I woke early to brew coffee and make baked oatmeal and just kind of allow myself some time to get my mind right. Once the kids were up and everyone had eaten we started with the Christmas story and prayer before letting them at it. 

 These trains are every bit as big of a hit as they were the day he opened them - he adores them! 
 Kennedy came up with the idea on her own to give Avery a gift for Christmas. She wanted to give her a book and one of her stuffed animals. Well, the girls share a room and essentially everything in it (including the stuffed animals and books) but Kennedy was so excited about this idea of giving two of her things to Avery that I supported the whole concept and my Mom helped her wrap it up and put it under the tree. I really didn't know how Avery would react but when she opened it up and Kennedy explained it all to her she was so excited and it was a really sweet moment. Sisters - nothing beats them :). 

 Every year Nana and Pawpaw send musical cards to the kids and they absolutely love them - they are a huge hit. Grey's face when he opened his (all 4,972 times that day) was so precious - complete awe and amusement. I did get video but it's super long so I'm not going to post it, just trust me! 
 Aside from the trains, this gift from Honey and Big Jim was a "winner". He was either playing with his card, this truck or his trains for the next several days. 
 The girls liked all of their gifts from us but their favorites seemed to be their reindeer which I literally purchased about 3 days before Christmas after Kennedy told my Mom that a stuffed Rudolph was one of the only things she wanted from Santa. Who knew finding Rudolph would be so hard - I ended up getting these at Walgreens of all places. Score.

After all the gifts were opened and wrappings were cleaned up we all got showered and headed over to my sister Melissa's house where my other sisters and their families would be for our big Christmas dinner. Speaking of dinner: 

I love Christmas. All things Christmas - I love them. I love the traditions, I love the nostalgia, I love the smells, I love the weather, I love the decorations and twinkling lights everywhere, and I especially love the food...the hardy, the fun, the sweet - all of it. Planning the meal is half of planning the get together...I hope that's not just our family anyhow ;). So:  a few days before Christmas I'm sitting in the pediatric dentists office with my three crazies and after Kennedy gets taken back (yes, she goes back by herself and no, I can't believe it either...moving on) I grab a magazine because Ave and Grey are self entertaining: hallelujah! The cake on the front of this magazine - it was amazing. Y'all know I love a culinary challenge where cakes are concerned so I proceeded to rip out the recipe from the inside of the magazine. Don't act like y'all have never done that! I didn't have my phone and I NEEDED that recipe because I most certainly was going to make it since I volunteered for dessert and this was going to be the best Christmas cake ever. EVER! I mean, look at this deliciousness: 
Let's just say the picture of this cake is deceiving because once I started on it I realized that it was going to be a MASSIVE cake. I followed the recipe exactly (pan type and size and all) and this picture just doesn't actually show well the scale of this cake. Seriously...massive. 
 I am really thankful that my husband will voluntarily pick up the camera every now and then because he gets some really good pictures. Typically they are of my butt or my boobs (true story), but every now and then he also captures gems like this one: 
 I feel compelled to caption it with " my yummy Christmas cake!!!!" Not sure what I was going for. Anyhow...onward - look at this yumminess! 
 I'm not going to lie - after I saw how big it was I was a tiny bit cake self conscious - is that even a real thing? See, here's the thing: my family can be a bit health crazy at times. Love my sisters and Mom though I do - we can be a bit hypercritical of ourselves and dare I say of each other at times. Keepin' it real: sometimes we can be a bit too rigid about calories so I was worried that everyone would stay away because well, it wasn't exactly low cal - you feel me? It took a long time to get eaten, but it did get eaten and I just allowed myself to move up a belt loop hole for the sake of indulging during the holidays. The cake? Heavenly! So, so good! 

More of our family Christmas to come...

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