It wasn't white, but it was beautiful!
Christmas Eve morning, I decided to take some pictures of the kids for one of Mom's gifts, a cute frame, before we went over to her home. We'd planned on having a photographer friend take family pix while Liza was here last week but when Doug got so sick, the shoot had to be cancelled. The kids were more than happy to pose, at the last minute and Mom was thrilled.
We spent the afternoon at Mom's for "Nana's Christmas". Mom really outdid herself! VERY tasty food and then awesome gifts. Doug and Quayd passed out on Mom's couch for a quick nap after gift opening and eating waaaaaay too much, while the girls, Mom and I gabbed.
Afterward, we came home to try our new gift game. It will definitely become a permanent fixture in our holiday traditions! Christmas Eve afternoon is the perfect time to play the game because it took half an hour to open the gift, then an hour and a half to stop laughing about it. Almost as funny, was when the babes woke up on Christmas Eve morning and discovered this gift under the tree. Quayd said, "Uh, Mom, did you get a little carried away there?"
We were all still full from Mom's lunch at dinner time, so we simplified the meal and "ate ourselves into a coma", as Doug puts it, again. It was just the five of us, which is a first in the babes' lives. We, actually, quite enjoyed being just us all alone. Following dinner, we went into the living room, as always, for Doug to share the Christmas message. He always does such a beautiful job of "likening" the story of Christ's birth to us today. The kids listened intently.
After Doug's message, it was time to open the jammies. This year, the girls asked about every fifteen minutes, "When do we open our jammies?" No more surprises for them. They've got it all down, as to what happens next. Traditions are a wonderful thing!
After we got the kids to bed, I had to laugh when I walked into the gallery and found Doug napping on the LazyBoy, wearing my mother's stocking on his right foot. I think it started as a joke, but he was so tired, he fell asleep before he finished the joke. I still laughed!
Christmas morning, every one uf us woke up SICK, feeling all the same symptoms that Doug had all last week. Fevers, barking coughs, sinus headaches. Lovely. We felt that we should not pass it to the rest of the ward, so we ended up staying home from church. Christmas on Sunday is my favorite, so I was the most disappointed about the situation. Sadness. But, even in a lower gear than normal, we made the best of it.
On Christmas Eve, Denise called for a recipe and while I was looking it up, I happened onto a recipe that just "flipped my trigger". I bagged all previous plans and prepared a breakfast souffle that was to die for! It's a must try! Recipe tomorrow!
Quayd was really starting to worry that he wouldn't get an iTouch because he' heard me tell Liza, when he mentioned a song that gets on my nerves, "And that's why he's notgetting a Touch." Fooled him! He was the last one in the family to have his own iPod. Later in the day, we all agreed that next year, we'll have a non-electronic Christmas. (Until they announce something else that's new and wonderful that we don't think we can live without.)
ZJ brought Doug and I to tears with her reaction to her "best" gift...a sewing machine. It was so much fun to watch her as she opened her stocking stuffers ~ pins, scissors, a tomato pin cushion then a container to store them all... she's so crafty, that it was a natural gift for her. She teased that I'd bought it all for her so that she'd leave mine alone, but never did it occur to her that she'd get her own sewing machine!
She also spent the day asking me, "Now, Mommy, tell me again why don't we sew on Sunday?" I'd taught her a while ago that my grannie always said, "Every stitch you sew on Sunday, you unpick with your nose on Monday."
Since Grace stepped off the bus from girls camp in June, she's been enamoured by a girl in our ward who'd brought her guitar to camp. Gracie spent the afternoon sitting on the floor with her very own guitar, which was wrapped and tucked into the rest of the gifts so well since day one that she had no clue until we pulled it out from under the tree. Immediately, "It's my guitar!!!!"
Santa was good to me this year too! Fun stuff! Doug and I received a fondue pot as a wedding gift...back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. It was the kind you had to fill with alcohol and try to regulate the heat. It never worked. I gave up and tossed it. Guess what we're having on New Years Eve?!
Go-Go didn't seem too interested in the gifts, but he loved the little bites of turkey, ham and sausage throughout the weekend!
We enjoyed skyping with Liza and Buddy while they opened their gifts from us. They started some new traditions of their own, spending their first Christmas away from both of their families. Christmas Eve at the Mesa LDS Temple, seeing the spectacular lights. Kelly worked most of the holiday, but celebrated bigtime with Zaylee on Christmas Eve. We talked with Dale on Christmas Adam. My dad called a few times. Doug's mom called. Technology is a great gift during the holidays!
This shot of ZJ was one of my favorites. To me, it said,"Life is good!" We heard from the kids, probably twenty times each, "This is the best Christmas EVER! THANK YOU!" Even their prayers were filled with gratitude... and requests that we all get better quickly!
Even with all of us being sick, it's been a perfect Christmas Day! I'm reminded of the quote on my kitchen wall, "Life doesn't have to be perfect to be perfectly wonderful."
Now, a full week of time together...Doug at home, kids at home, a fridge full of food, new movies to watch, games to play and time to do it all! Merry Christmas! Only 364 days til we do it again! And if you don't count today, and you don't count Christmas Day and..... Woohoooo!
Indeed, life is good!
Life: It is about the gift not the package it comes in.