Wednesday, December 26, 2012

~It's a Wonderful Life~

I can’t articulate why, but I think this is one of my favorite Christmases to date. I laughed more than I have in a long, long time. We were as busy as always but were more relaxed than ever and fully enjoyed all the moments that are unique to the holiday season. Cinnamon rolls and Holiday Tea for breakfast, movie nights in comfy clothes, fun with neighbors and friends, and deeply steeped traditions with family.

We had get-togethers with both of Sean’s families before Christmas. 

{The Grays at Christmas #1}

{Sean's cousins with Meemaw}

This is what happens when you fall asleep after Christmas dinner...

Christmas Eve with my extended family was held at the church gym. We ate pasta shells and casseroles  prepared by the best cooks on earth. 

We also played bingo...

 Looked A-DOR-ABLE in tiny baby Christmas pigtails...At least Abby did.

Goofed around...


And took a couple of our bingo wins outside to fly (kites)

 {Marissa, me, and Bella}

We had a puppet show for the kids about Jesus, played piano and sang carols, had an ornament exchange, and listened to the Christmas story in the Bible. 

{The whole crew}

The chaos was fun, lively and full of Christmas spirit. Back at home that night, we built a fire and unwound with some homemade Holiday Tea and a Hallmark Christmas movie. 

Then these three girls came over to complete our night. 

Avery buttered up to Seany for "popcorns"

And tried her best to imitate KK's fishy face. Bless her!

She shared her popcorns with "Oliber"

And they joined forces to beg for more.

(I would give in every time to that...)

Then the boys got suited up in their Christmas Eve-ning attire.

Poop knooows he looks fresh!

We all danced through the house, sang, and then snuggled by the fire to rest up for Christmas Day.

As is tradition, the babies opened their own Christmas presents on Christmas morning.

So sweet of those boys to "share"!

Owen wanted to take his new friend outside to play.

Sweet baby boys!

It was hard to capture Fiona with her toy. This is her first Christmas here with us and we don't know how often, if ever, she had things of her own. She darted away with her monkey with lightening-fast toenails clicking on the the kitchen...back down the hallway...through the living room to the bedroom. We caught glimpses of her every now and then but she was not going to sit still with her toy!

Sean's parents and Meemaw came over to give and receive more presents.

We eventually found that Fiona had hoarded every toy into the bedroom.

"Mua-Hah-Haaaaaa...My master plan has worked!"

It was already an eventful Christmas morning and the day was just getting started.

...And the poops were pooped.

Next stop was Nonnie's for Christmas Day.

Iphones, Ipads, O-geez...

{Can you tell there are 3 of them in this picture?}

{EC and Izzy}

Present time brought more entertainment and laughs than I ever could've imagined. But all in great spirit and good fun.

{Ellen-Claire, Jenni, Tim, and Bella}

Phillip might have been just a wee-bit big for this jacket...

O.m.g I died. I was crying/laughing...which is the best feeling in the world.

{Ellen-Claire, Lexie, Marissa, and Bella}

Aaaand then, the "Christmas" sweaters were doled out. 

And no one was safe.

Marissa loves hers!

Yay Joan!

 Sean was not the recipient of this shoulder-padded piece of heaven, however, he was dying to wear it. The sensible, stylish, and well-fitting shirts he got were nice, but where's the fun in that?

Group shot!

"Oh what fun!"

Dad and Joan put together a basket for well do you think they know us two?? Sports Authority, TJ Maxx and Lowes...sums us up in a nutshell! Throw in an Italian, vintage Santa, a bottle of wine from the Biltmore, and Crockpot recipe cards and you've hit the nail on the head!

To top it all off, it did this...
...on Christmas night.

We bundled up the day after Christmas for sushi dinner (with a half off credit) and a movie in Memphis (with gifted free tickets) in the beautiful frosty weather. Just can't beat it.

How blessed we are, me and my love.

It sure is a wonderful life, this life with you.

We hope your holidays have been safe and warm too!
~The Grays