Christmas Eve

Today is Christmas Eve, always an exciting day. Maria woke up at 8:00 with a cheery, “Merry Christmas Eve, Mama.” She is like that. Sweet and happy and always excited about something.

What have I been up to today? Well I finished my mom’s Christmas gift. Ohhhhh it’s pretty freaking cute. Creative and fun, and took SO MUCH TIME. But she is going to love it. And those are the best gifts – the ones that take time and patience and thought, and it’s all so worth it because you know they are going to just love ’em to death. And if she doesn’t, well then this post is just embarrassing now isn’t it?

I’ve also been planning Christmas dinner. In an effort to be fun and different and make Christmas dinner memorable, I thought, “Oh my gosh, how fun would it be to have fish tacos for Christmas dinner?! It’s like we live in Mexico or Hawaii or an island somewhere and this is just our annual tradition!” (that part about living near the ocean is a fantasy of mine so I try and work it in any way I can). I passed the idea on to my mom who thought it sounded great. So the other day, I get an email from my dad saying he talked to my older brother and they thought tacos sounded like a fun idea. Different, but fun. And they were just so happy that I was providing them with a dinner and how great it was that I was hosting. Uhhh, puke. This email was oozing with sarcasm and disappointment.

So in the spirit of Christmas, we’re having ham.

Ham and brussels sprouts and potatoes and rolls and green bean casserole.

Who are we having over? We are having my parents, my brother and his wife (they arrive tonight, yippee!!), my aunt and her kids, and maybe a couple friends. Tonight I am taking the kids to church and then eating hamburgers at my parent’s house while Danny (who doesn’t go to church….hmmmm…..) goes to his parent’s house for crab.

But last night….last night was fun.

After having dinner (Thai Taste, delicious) with our friends the Kubiaks and exchanging gifts (slate cheese plate? awesome!) the big kids and I bundled up in jammies and jackets and left these nice lights…

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…in search of some bigger, more colorful ones.

We got in the car and turned on the Christmas tunes.

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Not one of my favorite songs, but it was followed by “The Twelve Days of Christmas” which totally is.

We picked up Lala and headed to Starbucks to get some hot cocoa. And then we arrived down at the train park, where the lights were waiting for us.

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The kids ran and ran.

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And it was so cold, especially in the tiny igloo:

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And after a dance with the penguins…

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…we got back in the car where a sleeping Alice and Lala were waiting for us. We took the long way home to admire other lights. Love Christmas.

And tonight we will go to sleep early, leaving cookies and milk and reindeer food for Santa and his helpers.

Merry Christmas!

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