Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Holiday Recap--Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

 What is it about mustaches lately?  They are so funny, even on five-year-old boys!
I know I'm two weeks behind with these pictures, but this has been the first minute I've had to go through them.  I guess it's a good thing I didn't take as many pictures as I'd hoped to--less to sort, right?

The worst of Christmas Eve--Evie was running through my cousin's house just before dinner, and she wasn't watching where she was going (because she didn't want to be caught and taken downstairs).  She ran headlong into a desk and rammed one of her front teeth through her lip and moved it out of place.  All the screaming and crying and blood--and then I had to yank the tooth back into place.  It's turning grey already, so I know it didn't survive the impact.  Blessing--it's a baby tooth.

Christmas Eve around here always means three things--a trip to the Phoenix Zoo to pass the time quickly, guessing wrapping paper (wrapping paper tradition discussed here), and new pajamas.

I love watching the kids gather together with a tally list in hand, shaking and feeling each present, trying to determine which paper belongs to which kid.  They've only guessed them all right once, and that was last year.
Micah's pjs were the sewing nightmare this year.  Nothing makes me madder faster than sewing.  I had to scrounge up and piece together extra fabric just to get them to work--and they won't be sold in stores any time soon, that's for sure.

 The little boys were so excited that they dropped trou right in the family room and changed in front of all of us. 
 Evie was still recovering from her tooth incident, but new jammies went a long way towards cheering her up.

Remember the Christmas that your mom bought you new clothes and stuff and everything you opened was just a little off and just a little not what you wanted?  Welcome to Lily's Christmas this year.  Can you tell by her face?

 I've made pjs for my kids for 21 Christmases in a row now.  It's a labor of love, to be sure, but I don't know if I'm going to be able to keep up with all the grandkids and inlaws. 
 But how could I resist that face and fabric that said, "I love Grandma"?  I ask you. And I whipped up Nathan's in less than 40 minutes.
 Sam's a pretty good sport about the whole tradition.  I can't tell if he really likes them or if he's just humoring me, but I loved the flannel I found for the three big guys and Heidi this year--such a great fabric, and the colors were awesome.
I had to include this picture. Look at Mom and Dad and what Ellie is doing to Nathan.  Sometimes things happen right under your nose as parents and you don't even notice.
After everyone is decked out in their new finery, the traditional pose under the tree.  It's getting harder and harder to get a good shot of everyone.  I was so happy to have the Brubakers under the tree this year.  All that really matters is family, ya know?

Then we tried to read the Christmas story together.  That wrestling match made the pj picture under the tree look easy.
I have tried the four-gift challenge for the last three years (one you want, one you need, one to wear, one to read), plus one gift from Santa.  Every year, when the presents are wrapped and placed under the tree, I question myself--is it enough?  Are they going to be disappointed?  And every year, as they unwrap the gifts, I am reminded anew that four gifts is plenty.  Really.

Note to next year's self:  IT REALLY IS ENOUGH. DON'T GIVE IN AND BUY MORE!

 Santa brought the little boys green machines, and they were a hit with everyone under 180 lb.  That meant even dads and big brothers can ride--when the owners were willing to share, that is.
 Santa brought Evie a kitchen that she mostly shared with Ellie while she was here.  Santa may or may not have found it on Criagslist for a steal--you decide.
 I've learned and relearned every year that it's not what gifts are under the tree that matters--it's the thought that goes into selecting them.  Hyrum loved this double bladed light saber from Ben, especially since it is "WAYYY taller than me!"
 Even though every clothing purchase for Miss Lily seemed to fall flat, I surprised her with the best gift ever.  Remember Lily's obsession with Cake Boss? My sister happens to be in pastry school, and she cleared it with her instructors to allow Lily into class with her over Spring Break.  That right there was the best surprise of the day.
 Another reason to love AZ at Christmastime?  You can ride your new bikes and stuff outside all day long.
Without a coat, or even without shoes.  Now that's awesome!

I found a nice puddle of sun and curled up under my new soft throw.
Helping Santa is exhausting!

Best of Christmas--Skype session to Long Island, NY
I was so happy Sam snapped this moment with his iPhone.  We had the best time talking with Tucker and seeing his face for the first time in nineteen months--his previous mission president wouldn't allow Skype, so this was a real treat. 

This will be our last Christmas apart from Tucker, then we'll have one more and Ben will have his turn in the mission field.  I'm not going to spend time worrying about the future Christmases--I'm just going to file these memories away, because it was truly one of the best Christmases ever.


  1. I loved this entire post right down to the surprise moment of the skype with your oldest. What an amazing thing blogging is - we may never meet, but we feel a lovely connection and I'm happy that you had such a good family Christmas.

  2. Ok that photo of Lily is priceless...Leslie picked out all of her clothing gifts this year, because I wanted to avoid that look!

  3. Like Gabe, I've seen "the look," too. More than a few times.


    How cool that you got to Skype! I can't even imagine how great that would have been when Ryan was in the Phillippines. I'm glad that the new MP allowed it! (He looks GREAT, btw.)

  4. I am with you on the presents. I always say 3 but end up doing 4. Less is more.
    Kobe has his "Blah" Christmas last year. I think once they find out about Santa, that next year is the BLAH year. Poor thing.

  5. You definitely look like you had a great Christmas this year. Reading through your post made me realize just how much I really missed being with our family this year for Christmas. We have traditions that we follow every year too but since we had to stay in Tokyo this year, we didn't get to partake in many of those traditions.

    I really love how you make pajamas for your kids every Christmas. It's really a great tradition :) And poor Evie with that tooth. At least she got a great kitchen for Christmas. I know my Ellie would love something as big as that if we had room at our place.

    So glad you guys got to see Tucker on Skype. He'll be home soon!