So can I just say...whew?!
We are incredibly blessed to be able to spend so much time with family over Christmas. Aaron and I are both blessed in the in-law department, in which we actually get along really well with each others parents and siblings. I know that can be kind of rare, but there is pretty much zero interpersonal holiday stress when it comes to family get-togethers and I love that! However, with that much family to juggle it means that we have several "Christmases" and spread the holiday throughout the entire month.
My parents (who now live in Oklahoma) arrived the week before Christmas and spent a few days here on the Eastern Shore with us. It was so nice to have them here, just part of our daily routine and it gave them a chance to really start bonding with Baby Knives. My dad often travels East on business, so he sees her more often, but my mom hasn't been able to see her youngest grandbaby since last Christmas! Those of you who are grandparents know how hard that can be. We spent some time at the park and just playing, enjoying some low-key family time together.
|Using Grandma as her own personal recliner|
|Swinging with Grandpa & Grandma pushing is SO FUN!|
|My dad is mostly a kid too - not bad for a Grandpa!|
The weekend before Christmas we all caravan-ed up to Baltimore to celebrate our family Christmas at my sister's house. Baby Knives got to play with her cousins and we got to spend time with family we haven't gotten to see in 9+ months.
We also (unfortunately) discovered that Baby Knives has now hit what we hope is a short-lived phase of getting overwhelmed by lots of people in a different environment than she's used to and throwing giant screaming nearly-inconsolable tantrums. Any of my parent friends out there commiserating with me right now?
Even with the frustrations of a now-tantrum-throwing toddler, there were a few nice moments...
|We managed to get one decent picture of the cousins!|
|The kids had a great time in the warm weather this year|
|Baby's first lollipop - kept her quiet and happy at the restaurant!|
|Our 7-year-old nephew loved his gift from us this year!|
|Following in her daddy's footsteps with her own guitar|
We headed back home and started preparing for our own small family Christmas on Christmas Day. I made traditional oyster stew for dinner on Christmas Eve night, we wrapped Baby Knives' presents from us and her relatives from out-of-state and settled down to enjoy our evening...until I came down with a violent stomach bug.
Yep. Sick over Christmas and then my husband got it a few days later! Thankfully Baby Knives was exempt from all the pukey fun, but it definitely put a damper on our own little Christmas. It also is the reason you won't see many pictures of me below!
|New Christmas jammies are a tradition|
|Me, on Christmas Eve night before I started getting sick|
|Opening gifts on Christmas morning|
Are you still with me? I know this is a long post, but hang in there! Our final Christmas with my husband's family took place the weekend after Christmas at my in-law's house. Baby Knives has so many cousins, all the kids were there and I loved being able to see them (and my sisters and brothers-in-law too of course!), especially little Layla who is only 2 weeks older than Baby Knives. I love that she has a cousin so close to her in age, it's been fun so far seeing them grow up!
My husband's family is crazy. Hilarious, but insane. So, the photos definitely reflect our shared insane personalities!
|My brother-in-law AKA Captain America|
|Our oldest niece, modeling the tiara she made|
|Snuggle time with "Mimi"|
|Exploring the great outdoors|
|The 2 oldest cousins hanging out|
|Wrapping paper carnage is heaven for toddlers|
|Uncle Aaron reading a new book to the kiddos|
|Christmas is exhausting!|
And with that final celebration, I will end my post. Christmastime this year was eventful, exhausting and stressful at times with sporadic toddler tantrums, but there were some good memories too. Here's to a hopefully more stable toddler next year! Hope all of your Christmases were merry and bright and here's to a fantastic new year in 2014!