A Magical ChristmasYes, I know, it is the 2nd week of January and I'm just now getting around to writing about Christmas. My excuse? Spending this year without worrying about surgeries, surgery preparation, recovering, germs, etc. was thoroughly enjoyable. We were very much into the holiday spirit this year and I just wanted to soak up every minute. And honestly between opening the kids toys that littered the living room floor for days (and cursing the darn things that are harder to open than the vault at Ft. Knox), stepping over the unpacked suitcases and finding the motivation to un-decorate - all I wanted to do was...well, nothing.
But it is now the 12th. The Christmas decorations are all a distant memory. The new toys have found a corner in the toy room to occupy. As for the suitcases, they have yet to be unpacked from the many trips we've taken over the past few weeks. Oh well.
Christmas this year really was magical. It was so much fun witnessing the twinkle in the boys' eyes each night as Ethan would ask "Is tonight the night Santa comes? Is it mommy? Yet?" I'd point to the books that remained unread in our "Countdown to Christmas" bucket, prompting him to count each one and declare how many were left.
St. Nick was a little confused, making his quiet appearance a few days late (oops ;). But as promised, he brought matching red and green Mickey pajamas for the boys to wear on Christmas Eve - a perfect find considering our upcoming trip to Disney. (That St. Nick always has been a good shopper!) And he filled our shoes with small goodies to enjoy.
A few days before Christmas the boys and I collected a few gently used toys from their play room, sanitized and bagged them, and delivered them as a family to St. Joseph's Childrens Home in Louisville. Ethan was very excited to "share" with kids who might not get many toys for Christmas. We hope to do this every year.
The boys awoke on Christmas Eve morning with tons of energy in anticipation of all of the fun things ahead. We relaxed a bit, enjoying the calm before the storm, then headed to my grandma's condo in Louisville. It has been a family tradition to spend Christmas Eve with my dad's side of the family and I'm so happy that we've been able to continue to do so even now that I have a family of my own. Although it could have started out a little better. No sooner than we walked into her place did Aiden "explode" through his holiday attire. Luckily, with some quick thinking, I was able to toss his clothes into my grandma's washer to get them clean and dry before we left there for church.
Last year, Christmas Eve mass was a joke. The boys wanted nothing to do with sitting still so after Ricky was dripping with sweat from wrangling our little monkeys as best he could we realized it was hopeless and made our exit before the choir even finished their pre-mass numbers. This year, I'm happy to report that even with an entire pew filled with just our family (Ricky's parents, sisters, their spouses and all of our kids ages 1, 1, 2, 2, 4 and 6), we were able to stay until the end. They were actually pretty good. Ask the people seated near us and you might get a different story. :) After church we went back to Ricky's mom and dad's for food and opening presents. It was "organized chaos", but all in all a lot of fun.
When we got home and tucked the boys snug in their beds the fun for Ricky and I began. Once the gifts were placed around the tree we made a drink, took some pictures and then exchanged our gifts to each other. Ricky usually gets too excited to wait until Christmas morning, and we agreed that it is kind of nice to have the time to ourselves to do this so we can focus on the kids in the morning.
At the surprisingly "late" time of 7:15am, Ethan yelled for us from his room. We grabbed the camera, woke Aiden up and headed downstairs to see if Santa had come.
"He did! He did! Santa came Mommy and Daddy!" Ethan could barely contain his excitement. Aiden clapped and ran to the Thomas Train ride-on toy that took up half the living room. We could barely pry him off of that thing to open the other presents under the tree! Last but not least we led them to the basement toy room to see their new Thomas train table handmade by the brother-in-law of my Aunt Susan and Uncle Chris. It was the perfect end to a perfect morning.
We then loaded up the car and drove to Northern Kentucky to my parents' house where we got to do it all over again!
We feel so blessed to be able to enjoy the holidays with our family. We feel so relieved to be able to do it all this year without the stress and anticipation of surgeries and hospitals. We are so very lucky!