A Merry Christmas Indeed

I knew it wouldn't take much for this year's Christmas to top last year's.  After all, last year I did nothing but lay in bed and throw up all morning.  And not because I was hungover.  Or pregnant.  I had a horrible case of the stomach flu.  That sure made for a memorable baby's first Christmas.

This year was about a thousand times better.  One, I wasn't sick.  And two, experiencing the holiday through the eyes of a 17-month old is definitely something very, very special.

This was our year to be in Iowa with my family for Christmas.  Although I look forward to the day when we can stay in Kansas City and wake up to see what Santa delivered to our own house, I also enjoy being with family and celebrating Christmas the way I did growing up.  Church on Christmas Eve evening, Christmas with my dad's side immediately following, Christmas lunch with my mom's side on Christmas Day, and then Christmas with my immediate family on Christmas night.

I'll let the photos do most of the talking since there are lots of them!

Pre-Church on Christmas Eve - Tried to get a decent family photo...but I'm not loving it.

Christmas Eve at my Grandma Fritz's - Between my dad's seven brothers and sisters and each of their significant others, 17 grandchildren (and many of our significant others), and seven great-grandchildren, it's a pretty crazy, loud, and full house.  It was about zero degrees outside, but ninety and H-O-T on the inside!  Brantley was up way past his 7:30 bedtime, but did surprisingly well...and enjoyed showing off for many of these family members that we seldom see.

Christmas Morning - This may win us the award for Worst Toddler Parents-of-the-Year, but Santa didn't find us this year at Grandma's.  (Other than the stockings he Grandma filled.)  Brantley is still too young to understand, so neither Craig nor I thought it was a big deal to make all of Brantley's presents from us, instead of from Santa.  Besides, my Santa never wrapped things, but rather left them unwrapped by the Christmas tree for us to discover on Christmas morning.  Craig really wanted to wrap all of Brantley's gifts, so that's what we did!  We'll start the Santa tradition next year, promise!

Christmas Day at Grandma & Grandpa Rominger's - Christmas Day has always been celebrated with my mom's side at my grandparents' house across town.  What started as a pretty small family (my mom has only one sister and I only have three cousins on this side) has grown pretty rapidly and nearly doubled in size over the last ten years.  The five grandchildren are all married, there are four great-grandchildren (ages 5, 1, 1, and 1) and there are three more great-grandchildren on the way!

Christmas Night - Christmas with my immediate family has always been my favorite.  Even now at 30 years old, it's hard to wait all day for my favorite part of the holiday!  We tried for another family photo and I will say, I like this one much better!  Brantley made out well with Christmas gifts (lots of Elmo stuff!), as did the hubs and myself. 

We headed back to Olathe on Friday morning.  We had a couple of hours to unload, unpack, and grocery shop before Craig's parents arrived for the weekend to celebrate Christmas with us.

What a fantastic week-long celebration of the holiday!  I can't believe it's all over and done, just like that.  As much fun as it's been, I'm looking forward to a lower-key second week of winter break.  Hoping to get lots done, but also looking forward to some extra time with my little man!

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