Lots and lots of pictures from our present fest on Christmas morning. Carter really got into it this year and would exclaim, "oh my goodness gracious" or "wow, can you believe it?" as he opened his gifts. Kennedy enjoyed playing with her kitchen while we opened her presents for her. We were all spoiled and have so much to be thankful for.
The kiddos got matching pjs on Christmas Eve, but I don't have the best shot of them together. This was as close as I got!
Loving her kitchen...it even has a phone!
Jake was so good and mellow this year. Just sniffed the packages and enjoyed being in the thick of things. Our good dog.
Kennedy's new toothbrush! Definitely one of her favorite gifts. This girl is a little OCD and loves to brush her teeth and wash her hands.
Yet another toy that needed assembling. Good work, Kyle.
Grandma and Papa gave the kids a wagon and Kennedy was thrilled. We pushed an pulled it around the house all morning.
We had a houseful on Christmas Eve and it made for a wonderful celebration. Uncle Justin, Auntie Stacy and cousin Bennett were in town from SF, and it was great seeing the kids together. My mom was here from Arizona and she was a big help with all the preparations. It would not have been the same without her. Kyle's parents, sister and Aunt Peg also joined in on the festivities, so it was a special evening.
Another attempt at a group photo. Someday we'll get them all looking at the camera and smiling, I promise!
Very happy at the start of the evening but short nap and busy day made for a very cranky Kennedy as the night wore on. Poor girl was fighting a cold, too.
Daddy's girl, for sure
Uncle J and Carter-man
Grandma and Auntie Val with the kids
Carter and his apple (juice) martini! Not one to be left out, he was thrilled to have a big glass.
Kennedy opening a few presents...she's such a girl - loves clothes!
K and B: A tale of two binkies
These two are so funny together, quite interested in what the other is doing.
The sweetest nephew ever! This little guy is such a mellow, happy boy. We love him dearly and were thrilled to be able to share Christmas with him this year.
Carter opening his new cash register. One of the highlights of the evening, I'm sure!
Setting out the cookies for Santa, placing them just so...Santa (with Nana's help) left a little thank you note that Carter found the next morning. He was thrilled that Santa actually ate his cookies and then was thoughtful enough to say thank you.
Father of the year! Kyle started assembling Kennedy's new kitchen around 8:00 on Christmas Eve. Who knew it would take 3+ hours! Good thing she absolutely loved it!
One of the best gifts of the holiday season is the opportunity to get together with friends and celebrate. It's always nice when friends come home for Christmas and we manage to get together. I feel so blessed to have such amazing women in my life...and that we make it a point to get together on a regular basis.
The Portland girls at our annual holiday brunch/book exchange/charity giving party. It's a great excuse to get together, eat too much food, support a good cause and kick off the holiday season. Carrie, Lisa, Shanda, Kirstin & Lilly, me, Cheri and Lindsay.
All dolled up at Kirstin and Tim's Christmas party. Cheri, Carrie, me, Lisa, Shanda, Kirstin and Lindsay.
Care, Kirst and I at the end of the night. I'm happy to say that we closed down the party (which is practically unheard of these days!) It was such a fun night.
Our annual Linfield girls get together. Carrie, Sarah & Julia, Andrea & Brock, Alex, me, Emi, Ian, Ali and Melissa & Luke. We have managed to have 11 kids between us in the 9.5 years since college, so our group continues to grow! It was such a fun afternoon. Love these girls!
Some of my oldest and dearest friends - Jenny, me, Jackie and Julie.
Even though our lives have taken us on very different paths, we can still talk for hours and really enjoy one another. Some of the greatest friends ever!
Carter loves to help in the kitchen, and he especially loves to bake. My mom and I make Christmas spritz cookies each year and of course Carter had to get in on the action. He had a hand in all parts of the preparation (measuring, dumping, etc.), pressing and decorating. He was very proud of the finished product!
A little flour mishap
Not one to be left out, Kennedy wanted to "help" too. Unfortunately for us, her idea of helping is anything but helpful! Nana had her hands full just trying to keep Kennedy from dumping out the entire bowl's contents!
For part of my mom and mother-in-law's Christmas gifts, Stacy, Val and I arranged for a night out to see the Nutcracker. It was a beautiful performance, although much different from years past. The set design was gorgeous and the dancers were wonderful. And I think it put us all in the Christmas spirit. My mom and I got downtown a little early so we were able to swing by Carafe (a great French bistro) and enjoy a little vino before the show. I wish I would have thought to take a picture off the five of us after the show.
I'm a bit behind in documenting our December, but I'll do my best to catch up before Christmas...otherwise, it might just be a lost cause. We've had such a fun month - doing lots of festive things to celebrate the joy of Christmas. Here are a few pictures of the fun we've been having:
Kennedy got in on the action of constructing our gingerbread house this year. She was all about helping until we told her she couldn't eat ALL of the candy. We ended up putting the finishing touches on after she went to bed.
Carter was so proud of the finished product. He had been looking forward to making another gingerbread house since we completed last years, I think. He still enjoyed eating lots of candy, but more ended up on the house as decoration this time around.
A few snapshots from our visit with Santa downtown. Carter was so good and really enjoyed the experience.
Too cute. My little munchkins trying to get a peek
Kennedy was much more fond of the reindeer than of Santa.
Unfortunately, I didn't really get any good shots of Carter's preschool program. My camera is old and awful and the lighting didn't help matters. (Hoping to get some good pics from my friend, Sarah, who's daughter is in class with Carter. hint hint :) All I can say is that seeing three and four year olds perform Christmas carols is quite possibly one of the sweetest things on earth. Hilarious, too. You could easily pick out the future performers and hams of the bunch. Carter didn't sing much but he did do the hand motions. When I asked him why he hadn't sang much of the songs, he replied "the girls next to me were shouting and it was bothering me." Hmm. Don't think he wanted to share the stage!
Miss K with our tree.
Carter posing with the Happy Birthday Jesus crown that he made at school. It's funny how sometimes they love having their pictures taken and then at other times I can't buy a smile!
Baking sugar cookies with Grandma. Thankfully they made and decorated the 2 dozen cookies he needed for his school program. Thank you, Grandma!
Funny times in the kitchen!
We were fortunate to bump into another Santa at our local QFC. Guess he's the hidden gem of Camas. They had a nice little set-up - cookie decorating, hot chocolate from Starbucks and a wonderful Santa and Mrs. Claus. Carter loved seeing the big guy again, but Kennedy was fully freaked out. T-R-A-U-M-A-T-I-Z-E-D! She went ballistic as soon as she saw the red suit, screaming in fear and digging her little fingers into my shoulder. Poor girl. Hope she forgets by next year.
My neighbor was there, as well, and snapped a few pics of Carter. Such a cutie.