...I left off on the 23rd. After celebrating our own little Christmas at home, we packed up and headed for Christmas with my family in Iowa. The celebrations began with the candlelight Christmas Eve service at church. It is and always has been one of my favorite church services, though the whole candlelight thing is
a little a lot nerve wracking when little ones are involved! No photos at church, but here are the boys beforehand. I swear, trying to take a good picture of them is near impossible. Of course, it doesn't help that I have a husband who hates despises my need for special occasion photos and his negative attitude may or may not wear off on the boys. #grrrrrrr
After church on Christmas Eve, we headed to my Grandma's to celebrate with my dad's side. My dad is one of eight siblings. Each of those siblings is married. There are 17 grandkids among those eight siblings....six who are married. And there are 11 great grandkids among the bunch. So needless to say, it's in.sane on Christmas Eve. Furthermore, I think this was the first year in many that everyone was there. Brantley only sees many of these family members once per year (or less), but that didn't stop him from wanting to be center of attention (see video here). I mean, just look his face in this photo. He's well aware of my cousins looking on and laughing. #suchashowoff
Since this was our third celebration, Holden knew exactly what to do and wanted to dive in to all of those presents ASAP! And can we talk about how BIG he looks in this picture! At first glance, I truly thought this was Brantley!
Brantley's favorite gift of the night was this handmade cat from my grandma. Similar to the stockings, it's sort of a tradition that each kid receives one of these. Pretty sure my very own cat still graces the floor of my old closet at my parents' house!
Our Christmas Day was pretty low key. We hung out in our pajamas for much of the morning, checked out stockings, and watched the Disney parade on t.v. My sister's family and my grandparents came over around lunch time and stayed until early evening.
Like Craig and myself, my mom stuck to the four gift rule for the kids - only she changed it to something they want, wear, read, and money. ;) Brantley got a pitching machine that he can't wait to use as soon as the warm weather returns and Holden got an indoor trampoline that both of the boys have already put to great use. He takes his trampoline jumping pretty seriously (video here).
Brantley's favorite gift, however, was the Hawkeye football uniform from my sister and her family. He put it on immediately and didn't take it off the rest of the day! This is such a great gift for any sports-obsessed boy and it comes in multiple different NCAA teams!
We headed to my grandparents on the 26th for our fifth and final Christmas with my mom's side. I tried yet again to get a picture of the boys and we got the family photo that we failed to get on Christmas Day.
This is how both of the boys ended the afternoon. Five Christmases is rather exhausting!