Part 2 of our Christmas was amazing once again. After leaving Terrell's parents' house around noon on Christmas Eve we came home for what I like to call our Christmas breather. It's pretty much our only downtime between the evening of Christmas Eve Eve and the evening of Christmas night. We all relax and chill and just hang out for several hours. It is wonderful and needed. =)
While I got started on some cooking/baking, Layton took a nap and the rest of the guys went to the basement to watch the Falcons game. That left mama with some quiet time in the kitchen and eventually an opportunity to lay on the couch and watch Christmas Vacation. #MerryChristmastome
After our afternoon of peacefulness and rest we got ready to head to AnAn's and Frankie's house for our Christmas Eve night tradition! We gather around 5:00 with my parents and grandparents and have chili and hot dogs and yummy desserts. It's a fun, delicious, and pretty crazy night!
Once everyone finishes supper the grands all get to open Christmas pjs from Granna. It's a sweet tradition that kicks off our preparation for Santa every year. =)
Then everyone changes into pjs so we're all ready for bed when we get home. And of course we have to make pictures in front of the tree! We took a combined 127 pictures and came away with ZERO in which everyone is looking and smiling. Ha! We tried.
We got home in time to watch The Grinch before bed! It was the absolute sweetest being all piled onto the couch together watching one more Christmas movie. It may be one of my favorite memories from this Christmas. Layton had never seen it so he kept saying He being mean. Mama he is being mean. He tattled on the Grinch big time. Haha!
Before bed we left out a few goodies for Santa and this year each boy chose something different to leave out. Layton left out one of AnAn's chocolate chip cookies she so graciously shares with us every year, Garrison chose a piece of cinnamon cake that I made for Christmas morning, and Austin chose a silver bell/Hershey's kiss. Then our magical night was a little interrupted during the reading of The First Christmas Night. Sigh. We made it through the book but not before we had some mini meltdowns and at least one boy got in trouble and at least one of us shed a tear. Gracious. Thankfully all's well that ends well. =)
It took the big boys longer than normal to fall asleep but once they finally did, Santa came! Santa typically brings each of the boys a few things and maybe something combined, and Terrell and I usually give each of the boys 3 gifts to unwrap plus something combined. So it's not totally crazy but definitely plenty. It works for us so I think we'll stick with it for a while. We had just turned off A Christmas Story when I started making pictures. Watching that movie on Christmas Eve is definitely a favorite Christmas tradition too!
This year they each got a new basketball for outside, Pokemon cards and mini figures, a small set of legos, and some power ranger toys. Their combined gift was a wooden marble run.
Terrell and I woke up and got ready and heard the big boys a little past 6:30. Garrison told Austin he was pretty sure he heard Santa's reindeer on the roof during the night. =) Thankfully they knew to wait in their rooms and hung out and played quietly for 45 minutes! Layton eventually woke up and then we went upstairs to round up 3 excited boys!
I love this picture!
Terrell captured their reactions to walking in the living room... Priceless!!
We had such a sweet Christmas morning together. It was full of fun and full of joy.
After a morning full of giving and receiving everyone got dressed and we went over to Granna's and Papa's house for Christmas morning with them!
(Unfortunately we couldn't make it to church. Christmas on Sunday is tricky. Given that we all have babies now and we all fit 4 different Christmases into Christmas Day... Anna and Frankie going out of town for 1 of their get-togethers, and the fact that the celebrations couldn't be postponed due to family members having to return to work on Monday, we just couldn't work it out. And that's okay. We didn't stress over it or worry over it, we just accepted it and I'm thankful for that!)
This year we made sure to get a family picture on Christmas Day!
A few actually. =)
We arrived at my parents' around 9:45 and had a simple brunch together which is perfect for us. The boys even had their Sunny D in Christmas mugs. =)
After finishing up our sausage balls, cinnamon cake, biscuits, and pigs in the blankets we were ready for presents!
Celebrating with Baby Girl was so fun this year!
There is truly nothing like Christmas morning at Granna's and Papa's. A Garrison/Selph/O'Mary Christmas is SO fun!! Plus loud, chaotic, joyful, exciting, crazy, magical, and all of the above. Our love tanks are so full afterwards! And then we have a huge, glorious mess to clean up! =)
Tractors may be this little man's favorite thing. This little ornament went right on his tree as soon as we got home. =)
The big surprise gifts of the morning for the boys were brand new bikes! They are already loving them and begging to ride everyday!
After a super fun morning at my parents' house we came home to let the boys change into shorts (boo to warm weather on Christmas!) and then we were off to my Nanny's for Christmas Day lunch. The highlight of the afternoon was a long golf cart ride for our fam plus an extra little man/cousin.
After a full afternoon with cousins, babies, more presents, and lots of family we came home to let the boys take baths and change clothes once again before heading back over to my parents' house where my mom hosted Christmas night for my grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins. We partook of another huge and oh so delicious feast and enjoyed wrapping up our Christmas Day with lots more family.
And we remembered to get a picture of the boys with Papa and Granna! It wasn't easy but mama was determined and we took what we could get.
Christmas 2016 was such a blessing. So special, so fun, so full of sweet memories. It definitely wasn't perfect but I love the new motto I heard recently and have decided I should adopt as my own.... It doesn't have to be perfect to be perfect. When we look back and remember this Christmas we'll remember the WONDERFUL most of all. We had our challenging moments but I'm still declaring it perfect, imperfections and all. =)
He was created of a mother whom He created. He was carried by hands that He formed. He cried in the manger in wordless infancy. He, the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute. ~ Saint Augustine
Throughout all of our celebrations and fun, at the forefront was His grace. Jesus. The "always Gift for all our days". Christmas continues for us who know Him every single day!! So, so thankful for Emmanuel. Merry Belated Christmas from our family to yours!