Our vacation was a calm, family-filled time, and just what our home and my heart needed.
Christmas Eve brought Tommy's brother Dan and his family to celebrate with us. It was just starting to get bitterly cold, and Tommy still braved the weather and grilled some amazing steaks.
We played games, and enjoyed lots of silliness.
My kids complain because Christmas Eve is Sooooo loooong, so the kids all shared in their excitement, and the day went so much faster.
These photo booth props were a hit this season. Don't be too surprised if you see them again.
The good news is I was up on my wrapping ahead of time, and was able to get to bed at a reasonable hour. The only problem is I forgot to tell the kids that they need to wait for us to go downstairs. We knew we were going to get up early and do Mass on Christmas morning (our parish had 6 Masses, just on Christmas Eve! It's just too crowded, and I love the feel of beginning our most special day with Mass) but 5:15 is a bit much. He organized all the gifts, and I really tried not to be too grumpy that the culprit woke up the smaller kids.
I am ESPECIALLY proud and excited that all of my stockings are finished! Everyone has a name, and I have the honor of saying I made them! I need to figure out how to hang them better so you can see the names, but I am just tickled that I finally can say they are all up!
This Christmas I think we went a little overboard with gifts, but I will say the best part of this year was William. His excitement over each gift, (giving, receiving, watching another open) was priceless. He was all about the joy, and had so much happiness to share that day. I took a lot of photos on Christmas, and most of them have that boy in his striped shirt with a face about this excited in each one.
Next stop was my sister Jenn's house for dinner. My parents and a family friend joined us for the day. It was the calmest day we have had in a VERY long time. And just perfect.
Happy Birthday, dear Jesus!
2 days later we visited with the Reynolds side. Grab bag, and family visiting from out of town is always special.
Tommy is thoroughly enjoying his new grab bag find.
As are the big kids.
Prayers of thankfulness and praise for a great vacation, and we are looking forward to 2018!