Jon and I feel so blessed to have enjoyed our first Christmas with Eva. We did our usual marathon Christmas visits but for some reason they seemed less stressful. Who would have thought that a 2 month old would actually make the holidays less stressful. I guess we are just so grateful she was with us this year that we wanted everyone to see her! But it also could have been that we stayed in one place for the bulk of the time. Ron and Gerritt were sweet enough to let us stay with them all week while we went from place to place. Really it made Christmas so special! This way we got lots of time with them, was able to really relax in between family visits and most of all the girls got to spend Christmas Eve and morning together.
Christmas Eve lunch was spent at my Aunt Melinda's house with the McClellan side of the family. That is always a blast catching up with everyone, laughing at Uncle John's antics, and this year, Missing Dad. Grandpa goes up to CT every other year to see Laura's girls so this year was his year there. But we had dinner the night before to get to spend some time with him and cant wait for next Christmas when he's here with us.
That night, the Christmas Eve "Tacky Christmas Wear" party was a blast and too bad I dont have the pictures. But lets just say it was TACKY!!! And made for some great laughs and memories. I am thinking this may end up being a tradition.
Christmas morning we woke up to all of Santa's gifts and watched Abby open one present at a time, each one being so much fun. The highlights were the clippo table, choo choo from JJ and Pa and the plasma car. We all opened our stockings next. Eva got a Turtle toy, a new rattle, cute burp cloth and frame from Uncle Ron & Aunt G, a paci clip and a play ball. We had such a nice morning relaxing and playing! Jackey & Ed (Gerritt's parents) came by as did JJ and Pa so they could see the girls! That night (after everyone's nap time) we went to Ammie & Ampa's for more fun with grandparents, Uncle JC, Aunt Jill and cousins Blake and Davis. Dinner was incredible and opened more fun presents including a great new giraffe blanket!
Friday was dinner at JJ and Pa's where we had a wonderful dinner (seems to be the theme of our Christmas) and the traditional white elephant game. I cant wait for Eva to be old enough to play. The adults and kids always enjoy it. The joke this year was with a big can of pork n' beans! Some of us knew (or we thought we knew) what it was so we avoided it all night. Then Jill was last to go so she ended up with it. Little did we know a $20 bill was attached to it. Joke was then on us!!
The weekend was spent just enjoying our new stuff, our family and friends. Jon and I were even able to enjoy our anniversary Sunday night thanks to Uncle Ron, Aunt G and Abby babysitting. Leaving on Monday was very hard! We just love having so much family around that to come back was bittersweet.
As I think back on the awesome week we had starting in Ft Smith with the Orrs, to Lunch with my Mom, Kim and Grandmother before we left to the fun times with friends building gingerbread "creations", the week in LR with everyone and then topping it off by a date spent reminiscing about our wedding day, I cant help but count myself blessed. Times may be tough, we may not know what 2009 will hold, returning work is inevitable but there is no doubt that we have a great life. I have the most wonderful family & friends, we're all healthy and we know that no matter what is around the corner- God is in control of it all. Below are just some of the special shots of this Christmas season.
My sweet angel with the Christmas bear Abby put in her swing
Daddy & Eva first thing Christmas morning
Merry Christmas, Eva
She cant wait to put a cute picture in this frame next Christmas
Thanks Aunt G! We're ready for tailgating next season. Go Hogs!
Getting sleepy after all the morning's fun
And now.. peacefully sleeping
Christmas morning with JJ and Pa
Aunt Jackey had Eva all snuggled up that she slept for 3 hours!
The cousins Abby, Blake and Eva, at Ammies (Poor Davis was at home sick)
Loving on their new baby cousin
Hangin' with Uncle Ron
Loves her new Turtle toy. There is a mirror on one side that she loves looking at!!
Abby and Eva
Abby was telling Eva secrets. What fun they'll having growing up together.
Pooped from all the Christmas fun
Hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday and cant wait to watch Eva grow in this upcoming year!
Jon, Amanda & Eva