Merry Belated Christmas! The last four days have been jam packed with Christmas festivities around here. Lots of family time, tons of presents, much laughter, and the usual amount of meltdowns peppered in between every thing. We’ve been busy! It’s been great, but also a little bit exhausting. I love all of our yearly traditions, but I do wish we could spend more time at our own house with a little more down time. I guess that’s what the week after Christmas is for, though. Anyway! I’ll try to keep my explanations brief, but I wanted to share all my photos from all our Christmas celebrations.
On Friday after school we had our family Christmas! Like I said in my last post, I like doing ours early when we (usually) get the boys at their best. This year everyone was a little short-tempered (everyone being mostly Caden and I) and we had to take a few breaks in between gifts. But we made it through.
Annie was a little hesitant about opening her presents, but she sure wanted it once the paper was off!
Shepard got Greg a Groot poster. Fortunately, Greg decided to hang it in Shepard’s room and not our family room. 🙂
The ornament Shepard made me at school. I love it!
During one of our breaks.
I love Annie’s face in this picture! Give me some chips!
Greg made me a Lego brick head Raggedy Ann! This is my favorite present.
I laughed so hard when I opened it!
Greg also managed to surprise me with this necklace I’ve been wanting. He usually has the very unfortunate luck of ordering me things that then arrive in the mailbox in their actual packaging. I’m pretty much never surprised.
Found this limited edition Brick Headz set at Target.
Now he can alternate sweatshirts. I don’t think he’s taken his gray sweatshirt off since October.
I gave Annie a one month Bark Box, trying to see if the subscription would be worth it. The treats looked great, but the toys for the Christmas box were so ugly! And her “long lasting chew” lasted about thirty seconds.
After the present opening we just spent the night enjoying our gifts. I also got an Instant Pot, which I’m anxious to learn how to use. And a calendar, passenger seat protector for my car (for Annie), a couple of Willow Tree figurines from the boys, and a lot of coffee. In the evening we had our usual Friday night pizza.
On Saturday morning we went over to Greg’s parents’ to follow them to Oshkosh. We gave Andrew his belated birthday gifts first.
In Oshkosh, we attended Greg’s giant extended family party. I think there were about 50 people there this year. The grandchildren have been repopulating like crazy. 16 great-grandchildren in the last nine years. 15 of those, age 6 and younger! We also celebrated Grandma Penny’s 80th birthday with her favorite cake.
The kids had a Secret Santa type exchange this year so they could take part in picking out gifts for one of their cousins. I know my kids really enjoyed picking individual gifts for their two matches. Shepard got this fun lego set from Natalie.
And Caden got lots of fun art supplies from Reese. He was really excited!
The highlight of the party is always the huge white elephant type gift exchange. This year’s theme was gifts that start with “S.” It’s definitely always a crap shoot on if you’re going to get something good or not. I personally think it’s a lot more fun when everyone actually brings something they think is a good gift. Some years that’s pretty rare. Greg was very happy with Star Wars lounge pants that he stole for the final time. I ended up with socks, skittles, a Santa hat, and silly putty. After the game Caden traded my socks for someone’s giant pack of spearmint gum.
Hanging out after the gift exchange. When we got back to Beaver Dam, I went on home to take care of Annie and do some baking for Sunday.
Christmas Eve is always our really big day with present openings and meals with both families. It’s always fun to have so much excitement in one day, but this year I was kind of wishing we could have split it up somehow. I was SO tired by afternoon. It’d be nice to just give each family one full day with a little more relaxing and less rushing. But I’m not sure that’ll ever work with so many schedules to work around. At least every year it gets easier with the boys and them not needing to be on such a tight sleep schedule.
We started with a big brunch at Noe’s.
I need a better powdered sugar duster lol. It tasted okay. Most of the butter and cinnamon sugar leaked out overnight. It probably would have tasted better warm. I cooked it at home so it was cold by the time we ate.
Shepard was so excited about his snowboard! Even though the wind chill was like negative ten degrees, he spent at least an hour outside trying it out down the little hills in the yards. He’s pretty good at it! If there’s enough snow I’m going to take him to a real sledding hill later this week.
I could barely see Caden behind his present stack! This was a paper telling him they were going to WI Dells next month with Grandma and Grandpa.
Greg wrapped a single lego piece from a creation he made a few years ago for her and Melissa lost. She actually guessed what it was before she opened it, to everyone’s amazement.
Salad Shooter. I use mine solely for cheese! But I think she’ll hopefully find some good uses for it!
My favorite gifts this year were silhouette bracelets of the boys (and Hudson for Brittany and my mom) from La Papier Studio.
We had video chat present opening with Sarah, Alex, and his parents in New Jersey. We missed having them around this year, but I think it’s great they were able to at least spend it with his family.
I’m pretty sure our present opening took three hours! I got all kinds of awesome gifts! I got the final four chairs to match my work table I got last Christmas. That table has been like the greatest gift ever. I use it every single day for a million different purposes. But it’s amazing for sewing, which is its intended purpose. Anyway, I also got some new pots and pans, some awesome taco cookbooks, fun new makeup to try out, and lots of other fun things.
In the early afternoon, I went back home with the car loaded with presents to get Annie for the second half of the day. Then I went back to pick everyone up and we headed to my parents’. Once again Hudson was sleeping when we got there! 🙁 So I snuck in to peek on him. I used to HATE it when people did that with Caden because it was so impossible to get him to sleep in the first place. But I am now the annoying relative that does it too.
These wooden puzzles were the first thing Caden opened in the morning and he worked on them all day.
We gave my dad his belated birthday present. A new wallet filled with gift cards to his favorite restaurants. It’s the first year I ever remember him not working on Christmas Eve! Because it was a Sunday and FedEx was closed…I think. We’re usually waiting for him to get home from work to get on with the present opening. This year it was Tyler who was working. But only till six, so it was fine.
Hudson woke up! Those eyes!!
He loves his jumperoo!
Working on some shrinky dinks.
Tummy time! He’s so cute!
Time to bust out the snacks. My pizza braid tasted delicious!
So many snacks! My mom has so many bowls!
Once Tyler got home and settled we opened gifts! I made Brittany open her Hudson silhouette bracelet first.
And my mom had to open her three grandson bracelet at the same time. I really liked how they looked with three silhouettes. I’m kind of tempted to order one for myself with the boys and Annie as my third child. 😀
Speaking of Annie…we had the room sort of gated off so Hudson could go on the floor safely. Annie had no problem jumping over the first gate. She’s much more agile than my mom’s dogs! After the taller board was up she just stood here looking sorrowful lol. I was literally close enough to keep my hand on her. But it wasn’t good enough. We opened it up after awhile and then she was content to go somewhere else and take a nap!
My dad opening his third pair of socks in a row. That’s what he asked for!
Keeping Annie company.
Awesome mini versions of classic toys from Uncle Tyler.
My mom found this awesome sign at an antique store! On Timmy’s birthday we walked by Shepard St. in Milwaukee and Shepard thought it was so cool. Now he has his own sign!
Gigantic peanut butter sauce. I really want this for myself, but they only make the gigantic jars! I’m not ready to pull the plunge for myself, but I gifted it to him.
We gave Hudson an octopus themed gift. This stuffed octopus is so cute, but way bigger than him!
Shepard was getting so tired by the end of everything. He just kept laying on the floor about to fall asleep. Even though it was probably one of our earliest Christmas Eves, I was super tired too. And because it surprised us and snowed all day, we knew we still had to shovel when we got home, so we got out pretty quickly when gifts were over. It was lots of fun, though! I got many more great gifts. We’re pretty spoiled at Christmas!
Caden was still awake when we got home. For what I think was the first time ever! So he arranged a tray of cookies and milk for Santa.
While I was waiting for Caden to fall asleep and Greg was shoveling, I entertained myself by watching Jack sniff out his new cat pizza from Grandma. They’ve both been using the pizza as a bed today! So funny.
Santa came! And then I could finally go to bed.
Christmas morning! It was kind of an odd morning. Shepard said he was up at 4. Caden was up at 5:30. I went downstairs at 6. And the boys were much more interested in playing on their chromebooks than getting Greg up to open presents. I mean, they’ve already opened a million presents in the last few days. But it really bummed me out how little they seemed to care about the magic of Santa coming. It was kind of a rough morning for me. My kids are growing up. And maybe it’s a good thing they don’t care about presents that much? It’s just hard not to take it personally because that’s what I’m good at and that’s what I love doing.
Once everyone was finally up we opened stockings.
In my stocking was a Lisa Leonard Passage ring that I’ve been coveting for years! I didn’t plan on wearing it with my wedding ring stack, but it’s the only finger it properly fits on. I think it looks pretty nice all together! Maybe a little bit over the top, but I still love them. Santa even surprised me with an unexpected bracelet and pair of earrings in my stocking!
This was the biggest box, so Shepard was thinking there were not one, but TWO Nintendo Switches in it. Sorry, kid! He didn’t say anything about the lack of an air hockey table, so I don’t think he was overly disappointed.
No Nintendo Switch, but they did get an SNES Classic! That won as their favorite gift, of course. Pretty much haven’t played with anything else since opening it.
She seemed to enjoy her first Christmas with us! Maybe a little bit confused and probably a little sad that she hasn’t been to the dog park or on any long walks. But there’s been a lot of excitement to keep her entertained.
Shepard LOVED this thing.
Jack was so happy after he played with his new toys! He hasn’t had any new toys since we got Annie and she ate them all. He’s always loved playing with toys, so I feel bad I haven’t gotten him new ones in nine months.
Late morning we went back to Noe’s to open stockings and have lunch. Santa brings some stuffed stockings at their house!
And then we stopped at my parents’ again for more stockings and more food and more shrinky dink making. I think we can guess what Shepard wants for his birthday!
Back at home I had to document all of our new books! I had a ton of books on Caden’s wish list and he received quite a few of them! Plus a bunch from us. He’s pretty hard to buy for. He doesn’t play with toys. He specifically told us he didn’t want any legos this year. And he never once said a single thing he did want. He reads whenever he’s not allowed to play games, so books it is! I’m really excited about my own stack of books! I’m going to be making so many tacos! 🙂 🙂 🙂
I finished Christmas spending two hours in bed reading a great Christmas book with the cats snuggling around me and Annie on the floor next to me.
Overall, it was a great Christmas! Now onto the week of aftermath!! I spent the morning clearance shopping for my annual wrapping paper stock up. I had many great intentions of cleaning and organizing the rest of the day, but really didn’t do much of anything besides editing all these photos! Tomorrow will hopefully be more productive! I know the rest of break will just fly by and then the pressure to get back to work will start to overwhelm me. So I need to make this week count! And do a lot of resting in between.
I hope you had a fantastic Christmas weekend!