I apologize for the tasteless pun of the heading. I have no shame.
I was also going to try to incorporate the pictures into the actual story of our Christmas but blogger is irritating me to no end this morning. I really should work on my patience for 2011. But since it's still 2010, I reserve the right to be impatient and irritated. So pictures to follow at the end in no particular order.
Christmas 2010 will go down in history as one of my all time favorites for so many reasons. It was exactly as I had hoped, filled with lots of love, laughter, happy tears, and joy of watching the eyes of two little ones light up at their new toys, or more specifically, the wrapping paper that the new toys came in.
(Warning: the following is probably going to be a fairly boring recording of our Christmas, but again since I am not a scrapbooker, this is for our family to remember R&Q's 1st Christmas. Bear with me! Or skip to pictures. Or move on to people.com or something equally exciting.)
On Christmas Eve "eve", my mom and her "friend" Steve drove down to H-town with a sleigh full of presents and food. Quite the sight. And because sometime over the last year my mom has finally decided she likes sushi, we headed out with the kids to a local sushi restaurant. While we are still pretty careful about where we take the kids, it's nice to get out with them once in awhile. They did really well once again --- of course my little Q has ants in her pants and can't stay still to save her life, but overall, they were just so fun to have at dinner with us.
Quinn was especially into the chopsticks, sushi, glasses of wine - basically anything she could touch that was in reaching distance. Ryan just kind of took in the whole scene from the safety of his car seat and enjoyed everyhing from afar. And that pretty much sums up their personalities. Quinn wants to be in the thick of it all, grabbing everything and experiencing it all. Ryan is just our little sponge and just likes to survey the whole scene and smile contently. While they are obviously very different babies, they are both such happy children and filled with a joyous spirit. I can only give praise to God for that because I know it's nothing that Matt and I did.
Anyway, that night we all headed to bed pretty early knowing the next few days were going to be a barrage of excitement and visitors. The next day (Christmas Eve) my mom and I made the ill-fated decision to head to HEB to pick up the rest of the Christmas dinner ingredients. If I went overboard for Thanksgiving being prepared and having EVERYTHING purchased days before, then I was especially behind for Christmas. I really hadn't bought anything or even given it much thought except to figure out the menu.
On our way to HEB, my mom suddenly decided that we just had to go to Pottery Barn to pick up the rest of my "reindeer" place settings so we would have enough for our guests. And that's why I love my mom. She is just spontaneous and ready to go anywhere, anytime. Me, well I am more uptight -- looking at my watch and trying to figure out schedules and how much our little detour would throw off our day. (btw, PB isn't exactly next door to us - we live out in the 'burbs remember... and the 'burbs we live in are almost out in the country.) But in the spirit of Christmas, I threw caution to the wind (I KNOW. Living dangerously) and we u-turned to head over there. Long story short, two PB's later and a full sight-seeing loop of Houston, we finally headed back to the 'burbs with my precious plates and a perhaps a few other goodies.
Then we descended upon HEB.
OMG. Like my mom said, we realized why you have to go to church on Christmas Eve --- to beg for forgiveness for all of the cursing under your breath and displaying a general non-Christmasy spirit.
It's safe to say that next year we will be more prepared after experiencing hell on earth at the store.
We finally headed home about 4 hours after we expected to get there, delirious from hunger and exhausted from people-dodging. Almost everyone but the babies decided to go in for a nap and I managed to catch 30 minutes or so before I had to jump in the shower to get ready for church.
After threatning rain all day, the skies finally opened up and just POURED. And poured some more. And then it went from about 75 degrees to 40 in about 30 minutes. If you were wondering, it was just GREAT weather for taking your babies out to church in their matching Christmas outifts - and trying to get them there on time for their baptism. I was a little stressed to say the least. And in the midst of trying to pack them up for the artic circle, my aunt and uncle arrived from Louisiana to find their niece in a little wired and a slightly insane state.
Regardless, we managed to make it to church ON TIME and were able to celebrate the babies' dedication in such a wonderful way. We have decided that from here on out we will refer to their behavior as "The Christmas Miracle 2010" because they were absolutely impeccable. They are typically very happy so I wasn't expecting crying so much -- but as typical 6 month olds, they have now found "their voice" and babble incessantly (and loudly) at anything and everything. But something about the atmosphere, music and just the general excitement in their air seemed to quell their voices and they were angels. Well, Ryan was the still angel, completely content in his carrier and Q was happy bouncing from lap to lap to lap with our family. But still not making one peep during the entire service.
It was so special to us to have our pastor dedicate the babies. For those of you who don't know, my former job before babies was as communications/admin director for our church so I worked directly under our pastor. During the course of our couple of years of working together, he prayed for our family and our future little ones on numerous occasions. He knew everything that was happening with us and whole-heartedly threw his support behind us. When I had to go to the doctor a lot, especially in the beginning of "the process", he was the most flexible boss you could imagine. And not only that, he was a friend & listening ear we could turn to during the "Why Us?" cries and "Why Q & her heart" pleas. He never wavered in his praying for them --- so when he was introducing them to the congregation on Christmas Eve as "miracle babies", I just about lost it -- because it's so true. What precious, precious memories.
Once service had concluded and the rain had stopped (off course!), we all headed back to our house for a little late night breakfast for dinner, ham, grits, potatoes, toast, fruit, the works. And maybe a glass of wine or 2. By 10pm, we were all DONE. We did pass out a very special early Christmas gift to everyone but that's another post for another day--- remind me to come back to it ok? :)
Christmas morning came in true Anderson fashion - doing our best to stay prompt but we truly roll on Anderson time. Plus, Matt & I had been up with the babies since 5am (at this point we discovered R coming down with a pretty good cold). Anyway, we started to put together the Christmas dishes and didn't even tackle presents until 1pm or so after my brother and sis-in-law arrived.
The babies made out like bandits and were throughly spoiled by their Gigi, Steve, Aunt Chris & Uncle Blaine, and Great Uncle Rykert & Lacey --- too fun. They are SET on toys for the time being. And I guess I must just be behind on my babycenter developemental milestones because I didn't really realize just how into the wrapping paper they would be at 6 months old! But Q was grabbing it with all of her might! They did get some neat keepsake gifts. My mom (GiGi) is starting a collection for each of them -- Q will get the Holiday Barbie each year (and y'all she was ENAMORED with the Barbie) and Ryan will get a nutcracker (unless Matt makes the decision he wants to make his way into the world of train engines and what all that means)
Mommy & Daddy also did pretty well and I was blessed to receive the double jogging stroller I had been drooling over for months. Can't wait to get it all set up and then go running like I am in shape. Since I haven't gone on a run since we started this whole pregnancy thing, a good 14 months now, I am not expecting much and will have Matt on speed dial if need be.
Anyway, after the most delicious Christmas dinner (prime rib - sooo tender!, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, salad and pumpkin pie), plus several cocktails apiece, it was difficult to keep my eyes open the rest of the evening. But we rallied and spent another great evening chatting with precious family whom we don't get to see often enough.
Words kind of escape me during this part of the post --- I have so much more I could say - and certainly more mundane details I could include that y'all just wouldn't care about --- but all I know is that I had my Christmas miracle this year - and they were in the form of 2 precious squirming little ones that have melted my heart and secured their place in my soul as of June 3, 2010. Thank you, God - from whom all blessings flow.
Enjoy the random assortment of Christmas pics below -- other posts to come soon!!