We are still alive (barely) over here. I am slowly but surely trying to get a little more caught up on the blog, so lets go back in time and rediscover Christmastime 🙂
Christmas is my favorite time of year. Yes, it gets crazy and chaotic, but it is a good kind of crazy. It’s not only the actual day of Christmas that I love, it is the entire season. We did all kinds of fun things to celebrate the season and to prepare for Christmas at our house. I wish I could say that I had my camera out at the ready and was taking all these wonderful photos to document the season…however, with two small children, time is not my friend. And the time and effort that goes into taking those beautiful, creative photos with the perfect lighting and setting just didn’t happen for me this year. But it doesn’t mean I didn’t whip out my iPhone to snap away, so I do have pictures to share.
First off, baking! For as long as I can remember, my grandma has always made an old family recipe for pecan sweet rolls that we would have on Christmas morning. When my grandparents moved out of their house into their retirement community, they didn’t have the kitchen capacity to make them any more and it really was too much work for her to do at that point anyway. That first Christmas after they moved, it dawned on me that she wouldn’t be making the sweet rolls and I couldn’t let that tradition stop! So I called her and told her to email me the recipe and I went to Costco to buy a mixer with a dough hook and ever since then I’ve been making the rolls for our Christmas morning. The past few years, my mom has come to help (especially once the kids started showing up!) It is an all day process and they are so worth the work. This year my grandma (Oma) came over to visit with us while we made the rolls. It was a bit of a chaotic day juggling, making the rolls, taking care of the kids and Oma and making lunch, keeping the kids entertained, etc… but we got it done and Oma really enjoyed the day with us and it made for some fun memories!
A few days later, the boys helped me make cookies. I love how Dylan is just plain happy to be a part of anything we are doing, especially if his favorite person (Jake) is involved. Jake is really good at using the cookie cutters, and he is even better at eating the cookie dough!
This year we experienced another parenting “first” when watching Jacob in his preschool Christmas Program. His class is the youngest, so they were only onstage for about 7 minutes and they sang “Go Tell it on the Mountain” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, then they came back onstage for the grand finale. Even though Jacob knows the words to the songs he pretty much just waved his star around and searched the audience for us. I could tell when he found Grandma since his face lit up and he started waving back to her.
It was pretty cute, he had a lot of fun and we are proud of him for going up on the stage in front of all those people!
We had my family Christmas party at my Aunt and Uncle’s house. Jacob loved playing with the new trains he got.
And Dylan was a real life doll for his girl cousins. They were completely enamored with him and he loved the attention!
That night we drove to my parents cabin with plans of staying a few nights and going to Wildlights at the Living Desert in Palm Desert like we did the year before. However, we all got sick…miserably sick. So we took it easy for a day before heading home. It was too cold and windy to work outside with a cold, so Jake and grandpa watched the National Finals Rodeo on TV
and we gave Dylan a warm bath, hoping it would help with his congestion. Even when he’s sick, he’s my smiley happy boy!
We were all so congested and plugged up, we could not hear anything. The pressure from driving over the mountain really bothered the boys and they cried the entire way home. It was a long drive. And the cold lasted a long time, but we finally got better. And we kept celebrating the season…
Growing up my mom sang in the choir and they would always sing at the community Christmas tree lighting ceremonies, or Christmas programs or some other kind of Christmas event. I remember going to many of those events with my dad to watch my mom. There was something magical about the music, lights, hot chocolate and bundling up on a cold night. Now we are still enjoying these community events, but with the added bonus of seeing it all through our kids eyes. The first one we went to was at the Bernardo Winery. They had a great train village set up and Jacob could have spent the entire night there! Every time we would go do something else, he kept saying he wanted to go back to the trains, so we made several trips there. We had some amazing food from the food trucks they had, but the wait was ridiculous, thankfully we had the train village to entertain Jake while we waited for the food! This year Jacob really started understanding the concept of Santa Claus. So while we were waiting in line to see Santa (he hadn’t arrived yet), we were talking to Jacob about Santa being on his way and how we were going to sit on his lap and tell him what we wanted for Christmas, etc… Jacob was excited! He kept watching the sky and waiting to see Santa in his sleigh with his reindeer.
And when Santa did arrive Jacob was starstruck to see him in real life! While we got closer and closer in line, he watched all the other kids sit on his lap and take their picture with Santa, however, when it came his turn…he wanted nothing to do with it! But Dylan didn’t mind at all.
So then we thought if we did the family photo, Jake would be more comfortable, but he wouldn’t leave his daddy’s arms.
A few nights later we got together with some of our neighbors and went to the Christmas festivities at the Rancho Bernardo Inn. They had carolers that Jacob loved listening to, they had a giant gingerbread house, beautiful decorations, a fun lighting show/display complete with fake snow and again Santa Claus. This time we were able to convince Jacob to at least stand by Santa, I told him that Dylan needed him to hold his hand.
Poor Dylan has these crazy cowlicks at the front of his hairline, no matter what I do, it won’t go one way or the other and it’s going to be a battle for him the rest of his life. But with the twinkle in his blue eyes and that big smile I still think he is pretty darn cute regardless of what his hair does 🙂
On Christmas Eve we had family and friends over for a German food feast! And we went to the Christmas Eve service at our church. It was a special service singing Christmas songs, watching the adorable kids program and hearing the heartwarming message, which is always a nice reminder of what Christmas is truly about. Celebrating the birth of our savior is the reason for the season! And even though I didn’t get photos I wanted to with my camera, we were sick most of the time and Jacob didn’t want to sit on Santa’s lap, it really doesn’t matter, we still had an amazing time with family and friends and created memories to last a lifetime.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. – Luke 2:11