{Merry Christmas}

all is calm.
all is bright.

presents from santa

our first little riser.

the big kids all slept together in the basement so aubrey had to go wake them up!:)

somehow santa found the two missing pieces from one of the girls favorite puzzles.
they lost those pieces when janey was about 3.
that santa....wow!

i think it was one of her favorite gifts! :)


a microphone on a stand!

a kitchen for the american girls!

thank you santa!!

pause for breakfast...
monkey bread,
egg strata, and fruit!
insert yummy looking food picture...


on to more presents...
a mama giraffe for her baby giraffe.
another favorite too i think.
although aubrey opens every gift and smiles like it's her favorite!:)

she loved her art kit so much she stopped opening presents and plopped down in the middle of it all to work with pastels!! 

cool shoes are a really big deal to teenage boys.

daddy got two great shirts!

a sweet book from janey to write mom thoughts in each day and beautiful earrings from riley.

then as things started to wind down and the girls started to get up and move away from the family room we called them back to the sofa to open one last gift.
it was funny...when dave reached to turn the video camera back on riley said "jane...something big is gonna happen..." and they all started squealing! girls!:)

funny...look at aubrey...she still doesn't have a clue!:)
either that or she doesn't think there is one wrapped up in her towel and she's sad...:(

"go ahead aubrey ...open it..."


 those were a leave you speechless surprise!!:)
and ones dave and i waited 3 hours outside in the freezing cold  on black friday for!


emily and janey made the most adorable place cards while we finished the final dinner prep.

 a delicious Christmas dinner made for one amazing family by one amazing chef!!


again, wish i had gotten better pictures of all the kids playing together, they all love each other so much and that is so special to see.

these two share quite a bond.
thanks jessi for reading to aubrey each night.
i know she loved it!!:)

and yes tori...we love you too!!

thanks for a wonderful Christmas everyone!!

{Let Your Heart Be Light}

merry christmas friends...and a blessed new year for you and your family!

another beautiful card made by katy.
and photos by tara


{Christmas Eve}

so happy that not only my parents were here for Christmas but my brother and his family made the long drive from MD to be with us too. the more the merrier over the holidays am i right?

aubrey was super excited to dance with michael...and sneaking a kiss was front and center on her mind. she had us all cracking up!! not sure how michael felt about it...??!:)

she's still at it...

can i just say now that fixing the settings on my camera and paying attention to my photos was waaaaaay on the bottom of my list this Christmas. sadly! i almost cried when i looked at them all.:( i will blame it on all kinds of things but the bottom line is i'm bummed and disappointed in myself. a perfect reminder to slow the heck down!!! :) next year i'm really gonna try and do better!

::christmas eve jammies and books::

::appetizers for dinner::

early presents from mimi and poppy helped make this already magical night even more special!

 this year janey got mimi some yarn and wrote her a note promising her some free crochet lessons and riley made poppy a crossword puzzle. loved that! one of my favorite memories with my dad is doing the crossword puzzle together every sunday morning. 

aubrey needed to get to bed before those other wild and crazy kiddos so we snuck upstairs for our own private reading of the night before christmas. it was warm and snuggly and quiet. and perfect.

see you christmas morning baby.

as for these guys...yo yo...
silly x 3

"...but i heard him exclaim 'ere he drove out of sight...merry christmas to all and to all a good night!"