We started out meeting at my parent's to head out for Christmas Eve Service and for some pictures. The service was great as always and Peyton actually attended the big church service as opposed to her nursery because she did not want to leave her family (Granny, Papa, Auntie Ashley and Auntie Shannon). Since we all drove to church together and walked in, Peyton was not happy about everyone going into church and her having to leave them and threw a temper tantrum. Instead of trying to force the nursery who I am sure were already pretty full, we let er come with us and she was perfect. She didn't try to talk or do anything and exceeded my expectations and I loved having her there with us. Pretty emotional singing Christmas carols holding your precious toddler, feeling your unborn son kick and having your Godly, loving husband put his arms around you....oh and looking down the row and seeing your family....I didn't loss it but was close!
Following service we all went back to my parents for our Christmas Eve tradition of TONS of snack food (cheese, canapes, meat balls, egg rolls, shrimp, dips etc) and spend the time hanging out and playing games. We finally realized it was getting pretty late and finished up the evening with our other tradition of reading the Christmas Story and then the Night Before Christmas before writing our note to Santa and putting out his cookies and milk.
The next morning (John, Peyton and I....and our dog....oh and my sister and her dog which equaled three dogs in one house....spent the night) we all woke up and put on our matching PJ's which is pretty amusing since growing up we NEVER had matching PJ's on Christmas but this year my mom decided she wanted us to match and get a picture. It was cute and I loved having fun new PJ's to wear on Christmas but I just thought it was funny that this many years later she wanted to do something like this!
We then read the letter back from Santa and checked out the empty plate of cookies. Peyton was not really into the whole morning until she realized all of the cookies were gone. She was a little confused then and I could see her starting to think this whole Santa thing through more.Then it was stocking and present time and she loved it! Like last year she wanted to play with everything as soon as she opened it and would ask to "open it" constantly. She wouldn't push it much more when I told her she had to finish opening the rest of the presents and she would just head back to the tree and grab anything to open so we had to make sure to keep an eye on her. She did get tired towards the end and couldn't open her remaining four presents so we took a break, played some and then finished up! She had a wonderful morning and was very blessed by all of her gifts from family and Santa.
Probably one of her most favorite toys of the year was her Thomas the Train track. Santa knew she loved them everywhere we went and she was excited to finally have her own. She played with it multiple times during the day and would just sit there for a long time pushing Thomas around the track. I am excited to get her more of the different expansion packs and seeing her build more complex tracks. I was glad it was a hit!
John's favorite present was a gift certificate that my mom got him and my dad for a class at a local shooting range. John has always wanted to own a gun which I am totally against and so he never goes shooting. So, when my mom called and asked if I thought he would like that I knew it would be a hit. I am excited that they get to go do some guy stuff together and John can fulfill his shooting/gun need without owning a gun!
Some of my favorite gifts this year (I didn't get any pictures of me opening presents) was my new Skip Hop diaper bag! It is super cute and I am excited about using it with Graham. I had bought a gender neutral manly looking one with Peyton so John would feel comfortable carrying it but quickly realized especially when I decided to stay home that I am the one using it all the time and I wanted something cute this time. So, this one looks like a big purse and is a pretty charcoal color! I also got some nice cake stands, a really detailed and interesting dessert cookbook, a shoe mount flash for my camera and lots of other goodies! I was very lucky this year!
We ended the day with Christmas dinner at my parents where John's mom and his brother joined us and as always my mom prepared a delicious meal complete with chocolate fondue as the dessert!
It was a great Christmas and we were all very tired from all the business and excitement of the day. I am so very blessed to have the family that I do and love spending the holidays with them....crazy to think that next year we will have another one for Santa to visit!