Christmas 2013

This holiday season has been my favorite in a long time, probably since I was a kid. While last year and the year before were fun with Annabel, they didn’t compare to this year’s excitement. This year she understood a lot more of what was going on, and we were able to do a lot of Christmas-y things with her.

We spent the weeks leading up to Christmas explaining everything to her and pumping her up. We told her all about Santa and Rudolph, we let her watch the Grinch almost everyday for about two weeks straight. I couldn’t believe how much she loved it. We’re going to have a tough time convincing her that we have to wait until next year to watch it again!

We decorated the front of the house with lights and put up our Christmas tree. We pulled out the stockings and nutcrackers and her Santa hat.

We took pictures for Christmas cards for ourselves,

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(and cousins!)

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and I even put together a little makeshift studio in our office to attempt some cheesy portraits.

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We took her to the Trail of Lights and watched as she excitedly recognized some of the characters.

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We took her to spin under the Christmas tree, which she loved!

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We rolled out cookie dough and cut out our favorite shapes.

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And then she learned about the joy that is sprinkles as we decorated our masterpieces.

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Once she confiscated the bottle, our cookies got really heavy on the sprinkles!

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Christmas cookies would not be complete without a few Christmas cats, hearts, and neon colored icing!

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Next we took her to our neighborhood Christmas celebration where she got to meet Santa,

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and go for a horse-drawn carriage ride.

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Finally it was Christmas Eve. We had decided to do our Christmas celebration at home on that morning so that Christmas Day wouldn’t be so hectic. The night before, we set out all of her gifts and wheeled in her new tricycle.

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When Annabel woke up the next morning, we took her into the office to see everything that Santa had left behind.

She went right for the trike.

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I love this age because she’s so excited by the little things. As adults we forget that she has literally zero expectations for Christmas, so she’s happy with anything. That said, I think we probably did a lot more than we needed to and should consider that more carefully next year so that we don’t set her expectations too high.

But it was so fun watching her get excited about everything!

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That night, we met up with my family for church, dinner, play time, and gift opening.

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I tried to get a picture of all of the cousins together, but found it to be nearly impossible to get them all looking happy and at the camera simultaneously. So instead I got these much more realistic (and funny!) photos:

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I love all of those cuties!

We also attempted a family photo, but that was mostly unsuccessful too:)

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The photos of my sister and brother-in-law turned out pretty neat though!

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On Christmas Day, we headed up to celebrate with Nathan’s parents and brother. By then, Annabel totally had the routine down.

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She got all sorts of goodies,

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and helped everyone else open their gifts as well!

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I’m a little sad that Christmas is over. Without the holidays approaching, I can no longer justify the horrible eating habits I’ve picked up, and with a new year coming, it’s time to get working on some projects and other goals I’ve put off. Both of those are good things of course…but neglecting responsibilities and eating a bunch of junk has been so much fun!

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Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season!

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