Sunday, February 23, 2014

Christmas 2013

This was the first holiday season where I knew exactly what other moms mean when they call it the most stressful time of the year, and when Mrs. Griswold says "It's the holidays. We're all in misery." Ok, it wasn't that bad, but the 2013 Christmas season was already short due to a late Thanksgiving and I had done no prior Christmas planning or shopping before Thanksgiving. Then I got the stomach flu twice in 4 weeks, the kind that knocks you out for a good 2-3 days. And for some reason I had the crazy idea to increase my work hours right at this time of year--what was I thinking?! Then we left town to visit with some extended family the day after Christmas, and really I just couldn't wait for it all to be over so I could put my house and routine back together! Seriously, I already made entries in my planner for next Christmas and holiday season, outlining which items I need to do way in advance in order to enjoy the season!

That said, the kids still had a great time, and I cherish holidays with my little family and am so glad to have captured some of my favorite moments through the craziness. So this post is mostly a barrage of photos.

Waiting for Santa to arrive in Memphis by helicopter from the North Pole! It was a cold morning!

Bringing home our Christmas tree! (And one for Grammie.)

Decorating outside with Daddy!

Decorating the Christmas tree

The kiddos decorating their little playroom tree!

Enjoying the season!

We went to see Santa on the day school was cancelled due to extreme cold and bad weather. We thought either everyone would have that idea, or no one, and it turned out to be empty! Santa was waiting for us, and Luke got to do all the fun boy stuff he loves there! Bass Pro's Santa's Wonderland really is a little boy's dream come true!

An adoring Luke and a very unsure Lacey...

Little Miss was thrilled to sit and color Christmas pictures.

 Train time! 

"This is how you do it, Lace."

Remote control monster trucks!

Not sure that we'll be getting one of these any time soon, but they sure thought it was awesome!

A little archery. Luke has the same bow and arrow at home and so he actually did really well and hit a few ducks. 

Harding had "Pancakes and Sleigh Rides with Santa" as they do every year. The "sleigh ride" is basically Happy Times Farm, decked for Christmas  That's Lacey and her super sweet teacher hugging her in the front seat. :)

Luke was using the ornaments on the kids' little playroom tree as presents to be delivered to all sorts of homes and stations, aka his various toys. Too cute!

This is my kind of Pinterest Christmas dish for Luke's class party. Easy peezy.

Christmas cutie!

I did get new Christmas dishes this year! Love them! 

Preparing for Santa!
Luke has been asking for a drum set for months, and was just sure that is what Santa would bring him. He wrote most of the letter the kids left for Santa, but we narrowed it down to just one item each to make it easy. Luke wanted a drum set, and Lacey wanted a Minnie bike. Santa didn't disappoint!

Not really sure what this was about, but I'll share a pic with my girl!

Santa brought the kiddos what they asked for and a couple other items. One of the fun gifts they received from family was a set of small musical instruments. Tee (Auntie Annie) and Uncle Kyle came over Christmas morning with Kyle's guitar and Luke passed out the instruments to everyone for a jam session while he played his new drums! It was hysterical!

We travelled to TX to see Allen's extended family the day after Christmas. I don't know how anyone travelled before LeapPads and DVD players! 

We made it back in town before New Year's eve so that we could join our friends for a super yummy adults-only dinner at Flemings, followed by an early night in watching the ball drop on east coast time. Perfect! :)

No matter what stresses the holidays may bring, we remain ever mindful of why Christmas exists and why we celebrate it. We are beyond blessed to have family and friends, and more than anything, a Savior who gave his life that we might live.