Christmas was in almost every way perfect.
After an early afternoon nap, we got dolled up for Mass and the Christmas Eve party at Aunt Jayne's immediately following. As soon as everyone was dressed, it was picture time. Quick -- while everyone is still looking pretty, hair's still fixed, and all clothing is in place!
|Delaney wouldn't smile without fake coughing. I think she did it on purpose just to push my buttons.|
We went to Mass at St. Peter's, where Tim and I were married and Delaney was baptized. We got there early so we could sit. The kids were well-behaved, and Timmy fell asleep on Karen's shoulder. Hearing the beautiful Christmas songs and looking at our happy kids all dressed up, made me overwhelmed with gratitude for all we have, but also brought tears to my eyes. I fought them back the whole time because I was so grateful for this good life we have, but sad because I wanted Tim to be here. Soon!
As we left the church, we stopped to say hi to Father Jim, a family friend. He gave Timmy a blessing.
We went straight to Aunt Jayne's house. Jayne is Tim's mom's sister, and this was a gathering of e-e-e-everybody on that side of the family. Before long the house was bursting at the seams. The girls ran off to play with their cousins, Timmy greeted his admirers, and I ate lots of shrimp cocktail and cheese and crackers. As usual, I was starving. Soon after, I fed Timmy and laid him down on a folded quilt in Jayne's bedroom. I laid down next to him for a few minutes because he was a little unsure at first whether he wanted to be there. I felt the vibrations of kids jumping around, and heard muffled laughter and conversation. This is what Timmy would be feeling and hearing in his sleep the whole rest of the night until it was time to go home. It was very soothing. I could have almost gone to sleep myself.
We ate a delicious dinner, sang Christmas carols, and opened gifts. I took a lot of pictures and videos with my phone and sent them to Tim throughout, so he could see them first thing when he woke up. I was so glad that he could glimpse the smiles and the look of wonder on the girls' faces as everybody sang. This will be one of the first Christmases they remember, and it will be a great memory.
|Delaney was excited to be staying up late and having fun. Here she is with her second cousin Maddison.|
|This is how Annie looked at around 7. The night was still very young, and I didn't know how long we'd make it.|
|Delaney's ready for Christmas carols with her song book and candy cane.|
|As it got later, it started to look like a slumber party with all the pajama-clad kids lying around.|
|Annie loved goofing off with her Great-Uncle Bob whom she dubbed "Snowman." She got her second wind!|
We didn't leave until close to 10. Everybody was exhausted. The kids all fell asleep in the car on the way home. They still wanted one story at bedtime, so I read them their Hallmark recordable storybook, The Night Before Christmas, read by their daddy. Karen and I ran around the house trying to restore order to the chaos. After making sure everything was in place, I fell into bed around midnight. Between Timmy waking up numerous times, and mysterious noises, it was not a restful night for me.
Timmy woke up at 6:30, and Annie came running out at as soon as the clock turned yellow at 7, searching for Chippy the elf, forgetting that he had gone back to the North Pole with Santa. Delaney slept in until 7:30. We opened all the presents from Santa and my family, and Tim's parents came over.
|We both wanted to help Delaney with her new puzzle, but there was a lot of confusion. I joked that as soon as we left her alone, she'd probably finish it herself in two minutes. She did.|
|It flurried for about 20 minutes, and that was as close as it would get to a White Christmas.|
|The girls are wearing their new nightgowns from Auntie Grace.|
We spent the rest of the day grazing on fruit and breakfast foods, playing with the kids and their many new toys, and trying to take a nap (me!). Then we had dinner at Tim's parents. It was a laid-back day, just the way Christmas Day should be.