{Two Week Glimpses...Christmas Style}

hi friends!
remember me?
the girl who hasn't blogged in over two weeks.
the girl who is staring at this blank screen after editing 300 photos going...hmmmmm...where do i begin?
so let's backtrack shall we....way back...to the friday our vacation began...

we headed to the mall for our annual Christmas portrait, visit to santa, dinner at the mall adventure.
things were going so smoothly. the portraits came out beautiful and everyone was happy.

but this is as far as we got.
not only did little miss aubrey want nothing to do with the guy dressed in red, my camera battery, which i swear was fully charged yesterday, went kaput!!:(

so the big girls talked to santa, told him what they wanted (figit friends and pillow pets) and then i dragged them all back a few days later to do it all over again. this time with a fully charged battery!

aubrey stood with me.:)

we spent the rest of the week having fun and preparing for our company's arrival.
thank goodness the girls like to play "hotel" with me...cleaning and prepping like we are maids in a fancy resort.

one morning...i just happened to capture the sweetest thing....
the big girls were sleeping in and it was just aubrey and i at the island getting ready for breakfast.
she started crying and asking for her sisters. i guess she had gotten used to them being around all the time. she had eyes filled with tears crying for riley...saying she missed her and really loved her...riley snuck up behind her and gave her a big hug...aubrey hugged back and said "dare (there)" in that sigh filled calming way a mommy soothes a baby...it was the sweetest thing.

oh how i love my girls
and oh how i love their love for each other!


mimi and poppy (and golden maggie) arrived bringing lots of goodies. my mom visited a trader joe's and loaded us up with yummy treats. and mimi always travels with her own hot chocolate.

it has been over a year since we have seen my brother and his family. we sure wish we lived closer and could see them all the time. we saved all the extra fun Christmas things for when they were here...we had a lot to pack into those few days!

...cookie time...

they did pretty awesome huh?
we used tara's recipe and loved it.
thanks tara.

...gingerbread house time...

team jessi and riley

 team emily, janey and michael
{poppy the judge was sequestered at the computer watching jeep videos!)

and team grown-ups (dave and i not pictured :))

quite the creative bunch i'd say.
poppy declared it a tie!:)

...Christmas Eve...

getting everyone dressed up and out the door can be a challenge,
but surprisingly we were all ready with time to spare.
perfect photo moments were waiting....

notice the curls?...thanks jessi and emi

after church we came home and opened our traditional first present...new jammies!

fondue and appetizers for dinner

lots of love in that room!

we got ready for bed and put our wish lists and thank-yous by the fire.
along with some cookies, carrots and milk.

aubrey was already sleeping

then all the kids headed to their basement sleepover spot  to hear poppy read
twas the night before Christmas.

...Christmas Morning...

it's hard to sleep late in the basement!
they were creeping around and peaking way before 7.

santa visited and left quite a pile too

i did still manage a sleepy Christmas morning shot.

this year we were waiting on aubrey for a change.
usually it's janey who sleeps in.

and believe me...waiting wasn't easy.
there were never 5 kids happier to hear aubrey on the monitor.:)

we open our stockings, presents from santa and then have breakfast.
this year janey got an extra special gift in her stocking.
santa found the "babi"  she lost in the orlando airport when she was 3.
his note said he found an extra one in his workshop and thought she might like it!


after breakfast it was pretty much a sea of wrapping paper and a chorus of delighted squeals.

not quite sure how i manged to capture this peaceful moment.

after all the hoopla was over, we pulled out one last gift for the girls.

riley's a  faster ripper then janey and discoverers something hidden inside those flip gloves.

i love all the interested looks from the cousins.
poor emily literally got caught in the middle.

riley figured it out and poor janey is still trying to get the tape off!:)


i guess waiting in the freezing cold outside target's black friday sale for 3 hours was worth it!!

...the aftermath...


can you see why i needed a week to recover?:) ha ha

mimi and poppy took us out to dinner the day after Christmas.
we came home and laughed and laughed over old stories.

i think this is a Christmas we will always remember.
the love
the fun
the memories.

janey bought fake glasses with her own money:)

we love and miss you so much guys.
thanks for making that l.o.n.g. drive to our house.
it's our turn next.:)

there were lots of tears the morning they left.
thank goodness mimi and poppy stayed an extra day
and we got some of the white stuff too.
snow always makes us smile.

hope your Christmas was a blessed one!
have a happy day,

{thankful for}
1. family
2. home cooked meals
3. sparkling grape juice
4. surprises
5. Jesus