This has been my most favorite Christmas to date.
For many reasons. Some are hard to explain.
The kids are old. It's official. Let's face it; time is not slowing down. And although that makes me sad, we're at a good stage in life.
Jackson likes clothes. And shoes. But he gets Christmas. He gets the sentiment. He understands that "some" still believe and encourages that. He is appreciative and fun. And he's still a goofy, somewhat awkward, and oftentimes annoying and downright obnoxious, teenager.
Cameron loves the spirit. No matter his age. He reminds me of Josh. He was the first to wake up this year. He chose to wake up Bella and Jackson before waking us up. He gets embarrassed opening up gifts; he doesn't like being the center of attention. He asked for a new baseball glove and got his first phone. We haven't been able to get him off yet.
Before I took this picture, without even looking up, Cam says, "Mom, are you going to take the picture or what?"
And Bella. She is the one who reminds us all what Christmas means. I think the boys even love watching her and can't help but feel her emotions.
She's the one who hugs you after opening each gift. She's the one who exclaims, "How did Santa know? He got my list!!" And then farted because she was so excited.
Our tradition begins Christmas Eve with dinner with the grandparents and cousins.
And some present opening.
And some entertaining. This year, it was scaled down a bit. The 3 boys aren't very interested in performing any more. Sad face. But the girls, especially Bella, still love to dance.
Afterwards, we head home to make cookies and get everything ready for Santa. And bed.
The boys helped her sprinkle reindeer food in the yard. Jackson was so patient and helped her spell every word for Santa's letter.
After all the traditional Christmas Eve festivities, this....they were restless, excited and just being kids.
Christmas morning. Present opening. Cinnamon rolls. Nap time. And more family. Which means more present opening.
This year, we had a small, mini Thanksgiving dinner. I made the best ham (in a crockpot, shhh). It was a great day.
Twas the last day of Christmas...for our family, at least. The day after Christmas we head back to the grandparents for ... yes, more presents. And leftovers. And family time. Because that's what this is all about.
I must explain the many buckets. It's a traditional family beach game we play. The boys love it. We finally get our own set of buckets.
I spy.... two brothers getting along because the youngest one got a phone and big brother is helping him to set it up and then they're playing a game together and although they're on electronic devices this momma couldn't be happier that they are, well....just together.
And so this Christmas was a good Christmas. Yes, my kids are getting older. But they still love Christmas. And they like each other. And they are so good to their little sister when it counts. And when they can't get along all year, but this time of year brings out the best in them and they are so good to one another. And happy to be around family. And their anticipation is infectious And all those little traditions I thought went unnoticed...I'm starting to see how much it means to them. When your 13 year old, who can barely fit under the tree, still gets on his hands and knees to count his presents. Or goes outside shirtless with his little sister in the cold to throw corn kernels in the grass for the reindeer. Or your 10 year old can't wait to get home Christmas Eve to check the "Santa tracker". And your 6 year old figures out Santa knows their name from their stockings because he wrote "Isabella" and not just Bella.
Later on, Christmas day, while we were getting ready for company, Bella says, "I wish it was Christmas." "Bella it is Christmas." "No," she says, "I mean, I wish it was last night and we were going to bed and going to wake up again." "Yes, me too. I wish we could do it over and over again."
She woke up at 5 a.m. with a fever. I was so disappointed for her, that she might miss her winter recital. She had rehearsed at home for me nightly the past week and was so excited about her costumes and being on stage again.
So, like any good mother, I doped her up with Tylenol because...the show must go on. She made it through the recital that morning. I think her excitement and adrenaline kicked in...you would never have guessed that she was up all night coughing and crying only a few hours that morning that her throat hurt and she was hot.
On the way home, she fell asleep. And spent the rest of the day on the couch with Mommy.
But, she did so good and looked so beautiful. Entertaining runs through her veins. I think this might be her thing.
This pretty much sums up how we spent winter break. There were other things, like birthday parties, ODU games, shopping, cooking, cleaning and time spent with family. But there was also sleeping in, pajama days, and playing with our new Christmas toys.
THIS was his breakout game. I might have come off the bench a few times. Being a basketball mom is no joke. The nerves are raw. But he hustled tonight.
My name is Kaci. I am a working mom of 3. Wife to Josh. Mom to Jackson, Cameron & Isabella. My life is dinner, homework, baseball, basketball, grocery lists, laundry, middle school, wine, video games, and schedules. I started this blog because I love taking pictures, and I needed a place to document our life. I wanted a place to write it all down, to remember little details so easily forgotten in the mad rush that is the life of a family of 5. Through my photos and words, I endeavor to capture our story.