Dec 31, 2013

Christmas! Shut it. I'm only a week late.

I was fortunate that although I had to work a few days while my sister was visiting, I was still able to spend plenty of time with her in the evenings. And last Monday evening, we were so excited that our amazing cousin Harry was able to come over to supper ... and then she and I met him at Panera the next morning REALLY EARLY before I headed in to work.

That was a huge sacrifice for Harry, who is in the music business and basically keeps vampire hours. I literally can't believe he made it to Panera before 7 a.m.

You know those people in your life you just adore to bits? Harry's one of those people in my life. ADORE HIM. TO BITS. As far as I'm concerned, his only flaw is that there's not more of him to go around.

So, all of a sudden Christmas Eve was here.

The kids were decked out in their Christmas-Eve PJs, and Nick and Jake had taken the ribbons off of their PJ packaging and made ninja headbands out of them.

Of course it was tough to get them to go to bed that night, because they were really wound up about the next morning's events. But finally they were off to sleep.

The next morning, Jake ran in and woke me up around 7:30 yelling, "Mommy! Mommy! Iss CWISSMUSS!!"

We held them all off until 9:00, because my parents were coming over at 8:30 and I still had their stockings to load, too. You would have thought the sky was falling or the world was ending or we had poured acid directly in their eyes.

Anyway, they behaved so abominably while they were waiting to get started that I literally had to walk in the den and say, "I need to turn my Christmas playlist on so I can FIND THE JOY."

Oh, and remember the superhero pictures? They each got an ornament in their stockings that represented their superhero (or princess) from those pictures. (Yea!)

Nick (The Hulk):

Jake (Batman):

Nathaniel (Spider-Man):

Amelia (princess):

And of course Grayson got a stocking, too. His ornaments were a box of popcorn and a movie ticket, in honor of our monthly date night.

Do I even need to tell you that the boys were all up in Amelia's business?

Yeah, I didn't think so. I'm not sure how much help she needed with her stocking -- IF ANY -- but they were right there to give it to her.

They emptied it for her and told her exactly what everything was for and how to play with all of it. God bless.

Next they opened their basketball goal from us, which they really liked ...

and then they opened the xBox from my parents.

I'd say THAT one got the bigger reaction.

Those are some happy, happy kids right there.

Double dimples were out in full force for the xBox 360 reveal.

Finally, they opened the brochure that detailed The Big Secret! The trip to Disney World from my parents that we'd been keeping secret for months.

Once they saw the title and the characters on the front, they realized what was going on and got really excited!

Well, Jake and Nick were thrilled.

Nathaniel said, "I would've been more surprised if Mop and Pop hadn't both talked about it earlier this morning." OOPS.

Still, even with two small, unintentional slips of the tongue, Jake was bowled over enough to pass out on the ottoman ...

... and Nick on the floor.

But they managed to recover sufficiently enough to bestow hugs on my parents.

Following all that love and affection, the rest of the day was spent relaxing in PJs, playing on the new xBox ...

... and enjoying a big meal with our extended family.

Also, there was a lot of hitting, punching and kicking. But I'm sure you expected that, as even though it was Christmas, it was still OUR HOUSE, after all.

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