Well, here we are at the end of 2016. It's late Christmas night and everyone is in bed except this lady. I've been going through my pics and already reminiscing about today. My babies are starting to leave the nest. Abby leaves for college again in a few days and won't be home except for short visits for a year. She plans to teach English abroad during her semester off this year, so we won't be seeing much of her until next Christmas. Joey will probably be submitting his mission papers around this time next year. I reflect back to the 24 Christmases that I've been a mother and I just sit here feeling super nostalgic. I watched my kids play and have fun together all day today and I just feel so blessed to be a part of it all. The life that Chuck and I have built together is something that I am very proud of and I look forward to the next phases of our life.
Well, now for the fun part- the pics!
Yep, it's our tradition too. No matter how old they are, they must wait for permission to enter the living room on Christmas morning. Daddy was taking FOREVER to make the cinnamon rolls and they got seriously impatient!
Opening stockings from Santa.
Joey with his new hair accessory.
I just love, love, love this picture of T! He has been hinting/asking/begging/pleading/cajoling for a telescope for months. He couldn't even tell me why he wanted one other than, "but mom, it's educational!". The kid's got me figured out. Anyway, I really thought that this was a passing fancy and hadn't planned to buy him one. These things are pricey for a decent one and, honestly, I figured it would end up in the deep land of unused kid junk after it's first or second use. However, two days before Christmas I saw this telescope at Sam's Club. In a moment of weakness and Tom's incessant "educational" argument ringing in my ears, I bought the dang thing. After opening Legos (which he LOVES), awesome books, clothes, treats, drones, remote control boats, superhero stuff and the like, his response to all that stuff was polite, but hesitant joy. I had totally forgotten about the telescope because it had been shoved behind the tree because it was so big. Joey handed it to him and again, my mind wasn't registering what was in that big box. When he pulled off the paper of this last gift... the look on his face: be still my melted heart. Needless to say after that, I don't even care if that thing does end up in the back of a closet next month. But, I don't think it will. Daddy and Tommy took it out for a spin in the backyard and came back to report that they couldn't see any stars because it was too cloudy, but that the people who live half a mile away on the hill have a really pretty Christmas tree sitting in their living room...
WE LOVE THE GOONIES!
Sam's haul: lots of clothes, movies, coloring goodies, and a new portable TV.
Abby's haul: lots of clothes, heavy coat for school, makeup, purses, Fit Bit, Kindle... you know, college girl stuff.
Tommy's haul: aforementioned crap that takes a backseat to the mighty telescope!
Joey's haul: This guy chose to put the bulk of his Christmas dough towards new tire rims for the Sequoia that he inherited from his dad. The rims are black. The rims are round. The rims are teenager cool. The rims are overpriced for a 14 year old car, but what does this old mama know? I should probably get a pic of the rims.... Anyway, he also managed to get a mini drone to fly with his little bro, some clothes and ifly and NBA tickets. Oh, and a healthy supply of Nutella snack packs to keep all to himself in his car for after basketball practice when he's so hungry he could eat the steering wheel off said 14 year old car.
CHEERS! We went all out with our plastic tablecloth and mom's special "I got them for my wedding and we've only used them four times in 25 years, but you better not break them" crystal goblets.
After waiting through opening gifts and church, we were starving and daddy's dinner was wonderful as usual. I love the look on Joey's face as he dives into those funeral potatoes. Those aren't seen in these parts very often, and he'd been waiting all day for those babies!
As a Utah girl, I'm still blown away a bit by a 75 degree Christmas Day. As Grandma was snow blowing 10" of snow off her driveway, we headed out the front door in our T-shirts and flip flops on a walk around our neighborhood to enjoy the lights. #welovetexas
To close out the day, we got the wii fired up. It's kinda our thing to do on Christmas. Nope, no new games or accessories (do they even sell wii games anymore??), but for some reason the wii, that isn't touched all year long, comes out every Christmas day. My kids, particularly Abby and Joey, are very sentimental. Nine years ago today we got that wii. We have a Christmas home movie of the kids opening it and jumping for joy. That year we had just been on a cruise that had a kid area with a wii and our kids LOVED it. We aren't really a video gaming family, so their exposure to the wii on that cruise was a real eye opener to them to the world of video games and actually getting a wii for Christmas was almost too much for them. Anyway, they watch that home movie about the wii a lot. Not just because of the completely over-the-top-spaz-out they all had when they saw it (it's got good EV: we all know by heart the little ditty that Abby sings over and over as she is just bursting with joy over the thing: "we got a wii, we got a wii... "), but because of what happens right after the wii clip. Chuck and I gathered the kids around us in a circle on the floor and quietly announced that they were getting a new sibling. They were stunned to say the least. Joey was eight at the time and we had long thought that any more babies weren't in the cards for us. Anyway, their reaction to a new baby was even more euphoric than the wii and we caught it all on tape. And, therefore, the wii and our new little brother are all tied up together in one happy Christmas moment many years ago. So, when they dig out the wii every Christmas and try to figure out how to get that thing all hooked up, I smile inside because this here is happy stuff.
Merry Christmas, y'all.