Friday, January 22, 2016

Merry Christmas! 2015

"Why can't we have Christmas the whole year around?" Those are lyrics from a song on one of my favorite Christmas cassettes (yes, tapes!) that my parents have. And this year, I'm spreading Christmas as far as it can go... to the end of January ;) Partly because I haven't had a chance and partly because if I wait any longer than I may have a newborn in my arms and then it will truly NEVER happen. So, Christmas continues...

My parents had a beautiful, slender tree this year. They have so many ornaments, that not all of them made the cut, but it was a gorgeous tree! Ian spent a good deal of time looking at all of their ornaments and Äma happily obliged and talked to him about each one.
 The biggest joy of this Christmas was watching Ian enjoy it so much. He loved all of the new books and stories that came out for the season, he loved the singing, he loved being around family, and he loved opening presents!!
 Mom & James were the chefs. On Christmas Eve they made a delicious baked pork, sweet potato, and apple meal. My mouth still waters thinking about it.
We were fortunate to have Jim around for a few days around Christmas. We drove up to my parents' home on Christmas Eve and stayed for two nights over Christmas.
 Christmas morning we awoke to a 60 degree F day... what?!?

Ian wore his new onesie from Äma that said, "Santa's Little Helper" and he was such a joy to watch throughout the morning. He carefully ripped each gift open and played with each toy until it was his turn to open another gift. We always start with the youngest member of the family and lap around and around again.

It was such a pleasure to spend Christmas morning with him. We couldn't soak up enough of him. It's amazing to think that next year there will be two little ones sitting on that braided rug under the tree.

As per family tradition, we hiked up to Paris View on this very foggy day. 

 It was the first time we've EVER done it in shorts and t-shirts. I can remember one time I thought I would die of wind chill... this was definitely not the case this year.
 Ian hiked most of the way up and down, but here are a few cute shots of this inseparable duo.
We timed our hike perfectly because as soon as we stepped inside the house, it poured down rain. Whew!

Grumps wasn't feeling up to the hike, but he happily snuck away for some reading & playing after our amazing roast beast and yorkshire pudding feast.
 After dinner and before dessert we sang carols. Ian immediately resumed his perch on the stool (where he sits every time Grumps plays for him) and listened to all of us sing carols. It was a really heart-warming time for me, singing these songs with my siblings on either side and my son in rapt attention.
 And, once again, he took his spot behind the piano after Grumps left it vacant.

 He had obviously been carefully observing Grumps' stance. He looks so much like my dad here!!!
On Boxing Day we headed home after a delicious raclette lunch. Thank you, Mom & Dad, for hosting us and for the amazing meals!! What a wonderful visit.

Ian napped while Jim and I enjoyed lots of time to chat and enjoy each other's company. Car rides have a nice way of lending themselves to conversations and purposeful time together.

Late that night Jim's parents arrived to celebrate Christmas with us. The next morning, as usual, Gramee was up with the sun and ready to read and play with Ian!! He was happy to show her his huge stack of library books that sit next to his bed and they read through each and every one of them.
We ate breakfast and then hopped straight into opening Christmas gifts!! We saved our big one for Ian to open at home. Here he is with his new barn!! A home for all of his animals.

Gramee & Grandpa brought their gifts and Aunt Erin & Uncle Russ' gifts with them, so the tree was, once again, full of presents!!

I love watching Ian stick his tongue out as he concentrates. It has always made me think of my grandpa, who did the same thing. John, Jim's dad, commented that Grampy always did that when he was focusing... so, he gets it from both of his great grandfathers!!

Ian was blessed to receive so many wonderful presents, toys, clothes, and books from all of our loving family members. It was an amazing Christmas for this two year old!!
Such a focused little man.
As I mentioned before, we didn't take for granted that Jim had a few days off to enjoy with us. Ian LOVES rough-housing, chatting, and working with his papa.

Gramee & Grandpa came with us for a nice outing to the playground in the morning.

I love this picture of the two of them.
That afternoon we went for a walk on the Huckleberry to stretch our legs and enjoy the weather.

The next morning we had breakfast and then John & Kim headed back to Pennsylvania and Jim started back to work. Thank you for a great visit! Thank you for our wonderful gifts!!

Two days later, Christine arrived and we had our third Christmas!! See, why can't we have Christmas the whole year around?! Once again, we had a lovely gift exchange. It's so fun to have Christine visit and stay with us for a while. She gets into our routine, enjoys doing things in our area, knows many of our friends, is such an easy house guest, and a welcome companion for me & Ian during the day! We're so glad she feels so comfortable with our family.

In the middle of her stay she watched Ian for two nights while we went on our babymoon (already posted about this). THANK YOU SO MUCH, Christine! Our friends Chris & Jess ended up having them over for dinner on Friday and Anna & Steve invited them out to dinner on Saturday. We're grateful for the friends who make up such a great village here.
And that's a wrap on Christmas, 2015!

Next year we'll have another child in the mix. Our baby will be about ten months old by that point and that's crazy to think about right now.

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