Snippets from our Christmas morning!

Is it just me- or does it seem like each year the prep leading up to Christmas gets a little more intense and the whole month of December seems to go by faster and faster?...this is not okay. I'm still (the week after) listening to Christmas tunes. Shhhhh. It's fine.
My parents were able to be with us the week of Christmas! My Mom usually had at least one of the two grandbabies in her lap at any given time- and sometimes both of them!
 My Grammy came out as well, so we had a big family dinner with all the cousins living out here. These are just a few of her many, many great grandkids!
 The days filled up quickly with different things going on (and nights were dedicated to finishing our playroom surprise!) so we didn't get to make homemade gingerbread cookies as per usual, but the girls didn't mind one bit. Homemade or from a mix, they still rolled them out to death and decorated the snot out of 'em. (And we weren't tempted to eat any of them because of it- so maybe it was a win/win!)
Christmas morning, Olivia was the first to wake up (as usual). She ran down to my room and told me Santa brought her stocking (we put them in their bedrooms to entertain them for a bit before we have to roll out of bed!). I told her to go wake up Jillian so they could look at them, but she didn't want to- she just went back to her room for a bit and ate all the candy out of hers! A few minutes later Jillian woke up and they spent the next 30 minutes oooing and ahhing over the trinkets in their stockings before coming back down to get us.
Then we opened gifts. Olivia is still in the phase where she wants to get one out of the box and just start playing with that one instead of being bothered to open another one. And Charlotte is just happy to eat the wrapping paper! Jillian kept everyone on pace, however.

Christmas with kids is just five thousand times better, seeing the magic of it all through their eyes! It really is the most wonderful time of year.

sushi and santa

Every Christmas we go see Santa at Riverwoods (I always appreciate Santas with real beards). This is the first year since Jillian was a baby that it was actually a different person playing Santa. Fortunately she didn't notice! She was too busy having a full out panic attack. I always wonder if "this will be the year!" my kids aren't afraid of the big man in the red suit, but we're not there yet (note: Olivia's face). For some reason merely telling him the presents you'd like to receive as he hands you a candy cane is horrifying, but the thought of him creeping into your house in the middle of the night while you're sleeping to deliver said gifts is A-OK.*shrug

Jillian asked to be surprised (well, she asked me to ask him) and Olivia asked for Moana toys and a pink drum. Charlotte was thoroughly confused about it all.

This year we added to the tradition and went for sushi afterwards! Over the past year or so Jillian has come to love it and is actually pretty decent with chopsticks. Olivia? Not so much, but most sushi places have "noodles" so she's happy with that. 
Charlotte was just happy trying to grab at all the things on the table! I love that she's big enough to sit up on her own now- it makes grocery carts and high chairs much more applicable.
After sushi, we made room for treats from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory!
 It was freezing, but always is one of my favorite traditions! 

And maybe, just maybe, next year will be the year my kids aren't freaked out by a real-live Santa!