Christmas Eve

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I will admit that there is stress and chaos associated with the holidays. However, once Christmas Eve arrives, I am in my happy place.  It is one of my favorite days of the year.

Over the years, I have tried not to have very many specific traditions because, when something comes up and those traditions cannot happen, I do not want anyone to be disappointed.  However, there are a few things that I do try my best to do every Christmas.

On Christmas Eve, I make a pancake breakfast.  The kids either make snowmen or Santa Claus.  I love watching their creativity at work, and eating together, as a family, is one of the best ways to begin one of my favorite days.

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Last year, we started a tradition of letting the kids have a sibling exchange on Christmas Eve.  So much happens on Christmas Day, that their love for each other was being lost in the mix.  I wanted a day where they could celebrate each other by exchanging gifts.  They joy on their faces let me know that it was absolutely a great decision.  They smile as much when they watch their siblings open the gifts that they chose as they do when they open their own gifts that their siblings chose for them.  The pure love and happiness on their faces is just priceless.

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Candle Light Services are one of my favorite things.  We almost did not go this year because we had been enjoying the comfort of home all day long.  Gabriel kept pushing for us to go because I had mentioned a few weeks ago that it is my favorite part of Christmas Eve.  Sean started singing me my favorite Christmas Eve Service song, and, with tears in my eyes, I knew that we had to make the made dash for us all to get dressed and presentable in 30 minutes. I am so glad that I have children and a husband who love me so much that they wanted to make my evening special.

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We ended to day with pizza and movie night.  I made individual homemade pizzas, and we watched Elf.  It was the perfect ending to the perfect family day.

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Christmas in McKinney

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In October, Sean’s mom and dad moved from College Station to McKinney.  Because of our school and soccer schedule, we had not been able to travel to see their new home yet.  Needless to say, everyone was very excited to travel there for an early Christmas, once school was finally out for the holidays.

Even at 12, Gabriel said that he was too excited to sleep.  Summer and Ethan were equally eager to begin our road trip.

Scout had never been on that long of a car trip, so we did not know how she would handle it.  We should have known that she would do great.  As long as she is with us, she is always happy.

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When we arrived, we had dinner and presents.  Everyone had so much fun visiting and playing. It was a perfect family holiday night.

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The next day, we took a girls’ trip to American Girl.  Summer is Grandma’s only granddaughter, Aunt Jessica’s only niece, and my only daughter.  She was definitely the princess for a day, and she loved it.  I was so happy to treat her to a special day.

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On Monday, we went to Pin Stack, and everyone had such a great time doing a ropes course and playing games.

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We ended the trip with a game night at Aunt Jessica and Uncle Steve’s house.

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It was truly a magical holiday, and we all had such a great time.

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The Voice of an Angel

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Gabriel has an amazing voice.  Honestly, when he sings, it often brings tears to my eyes.  I am so happy that he is in choir.  When I am able to pick out his voice from the group, it makes my heart smile.

His winter concert was fantastic.  I loved the holiday songs and the festive mood that they created.

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I especially loved seeing my oldest boy all dressed up in a tuxedo for the first time.  It literally took my breath away for a moment because there was a brief pause, as I realized that he really is growing up so fast.  All I can do is continue to embrace the memories, holding on as tight as I can, knowing that, no matter what, he will always be my first born son, the boy who made me a momma.

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