Oh how I wish we could hit rewind and do it all over again. Christmas was so wonderful this year! Here's a little recap.
"Please last a few mores days, please last a few more days!" I feel like I say this every year to our tree. We have always had a real tree and we have made it a tradition to go get our tree the day after Thanksgiving. Every year I get afraid that it won't last until Christmas. Luckily, I haven't had a tree disappoint me yet!
This year Ava and I put together little bags of stovetop potpourri for her teachers. These bags are super easy to make and smell amazing! They bring the smell of Christmas to every home!
After Ava was born I made sure to keep all of her hospital things. I kept her wrist and ankle bands, her beanie, and a sweet little bracelet that my friend’s daughter made for her when she was first born.
Well our first Christmas as a family of three (four including our fur baby) was filled with tons of love, smiles, new traditions, and great memories.
Christmas Eve morning we went to visit some of our good friends in Wesley Chapel. Then my husband surprised me with a trip to the new outlet malls. Thank goodness I threw on some makeup because I definitely didn't fix my hair! The trip was a lot of fun. The mall parking lot was packed but the way they designed the mall it really didn't seem that packed walking around. It was such a nice day. Santa bought Ava some new outfits from the Janie and Jack store and we treated ourselves to some of my favorite Auntie Anne pretzels. I don't know about you, but every time I go to the mall I need some of their pretzel nuggets and one cheese packet. When my husband walked out with TWO things of nuggets I was so excited because I really didn't want to share that day.
After the mall we went home and got ready for church in 15 minutes flat! That is a record folks and I have a feeling next year it won't be that easy. We arrived to church hoping we would get a seat in the back. Nope, the only seats available were right up front. This is a big church too so there is a long ways out if Ava decided to start screaming at the top of her lungs like she does when she is hungry. However, Ava was such a good baby. She didn't cry one time! I did drop her pacifier towards the end and couldn't find it. I was hoping and praying she wouldn't start crying. Luckily it was a candlelight service and that just happened to be the time I dropped the pacifier so Ava had all the lighted candles to look at. She loved them!
After church we went home and made a grilled pizza, watched the Charlie Brown Christmas movie, brainstormed ways to rearrange our living room, and snuggled with Ava. I read Ava the Christmas Story and put her to bed.
The next morning we opened our stockings and presents. This year we decided to not do any candy in our stockings and one little small gift instead. Ava received Gripe Water (which is amazing), Georgia had toys in her stocking, Joey gave me a gadget to massage your head and a question and answer journal for us to fill out every day. It's really cool. You answer one question a day. Some are silly and some are serious. Joey had a cool corn on the cob peeler in his stocking.
Then we went over to Joey's parents house for Christmas day. There we started a new tradition of watching the movie, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. I was super excited to hear this was a new tradition. I love the book and read it to my class every year. After the movie we hung out and visited with family, played with Ava, exchanged gifts and got ready for the Christmas day meal.
Nanna caught up on her snuggles and loved on Ava all day long!
The men cooked the prime rib. It was so good! With the prime rib we had veggies, bread and dessert. Everything was delicious!
Ava received so many snuggles, hugs and kisses from her Nanna and Pop. The day was truly wonderful as we celebrated the birth of Jesus.
The next day we went to my parents house to continue celebrating the birth of Jesus. Everyone was home for Christmas so Ava received a ton of love from her Aunt and Uncles and her Nona and Papa. There were a bunch of snuggles, playing, kisses and hugs.
Ava loved playing with her Uncle Andrew (my brother), Uncle T.J. and Uncle Andrew (my brother in-law) and her Aunt Nicole.
She also loved Aunt Nicole's hair and all the snuggles she gave her.
My Dad smoked a 20 lb prime rib! I know that sounds crazy and like a lot of food, but he always wants to make sure all of his children have left overs to take home. We had appetizers, prime rib, casseroles, ravioli, and desserts. The food was delicious and so are the leftovers!
The kids watched the movie National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
The ladies baked some cookies.
After lunch, we exchanged gifts and opened our stockings. Santa carried on the tradition of putting scratch offs in our stockings. Everyone scratched away and guess what???
JOEY AND I WON $18 TOGETHER ON OUR SCRATCH OFFS!!! Joey must be bringing me his luck! It felt good to shout out, "Oh I won! Oh I won again! Oh I won AGAIN!".
Ava's first Christmas was filled with endless love as we celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. We are truly blessed to be able to spend the Christmas season with our wonderful family and friends. We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!