Friday, February 5, 2010

Eight Four Crazy Nights!

In our family, we like Christmas so much, we make it last almost all month! We have a total of 4 full days of Christmas. And included in those 4 days are a total of 6 different events! We're doing our part to make Christmas as much like Hannukah as possible! And that's actually fewer get-togethers than we used to have. But for as crazy and busy as this makes Christmas and really the whole month of December, I love it! The majority of our family is within a 2 hour radius and so we get to see almost everyone. I'd much rather craziness than nothing have to pick and choose who we can see each year. I know we can't keep up this pace as our own family gets bigger and starts its own traditions, but for now it works and we'll savor the blessing that it is!

So all that being said, be prepared for probably my longest post yet. I'm not sure if blogspot has a limit on post length and number of links to pictures, but, heck, we might as well see if we can break it!

To start, I have to show off my decorations. When we first got married I insisted on getting up on a very treacherous ladder and hung lights on our house. Growing up, I was always disappointed that my dad didn't decorate the outside of the house so I wanted to with my own house. Yeah, it only took one year of that. That's a pain! As our little house got more full of stuff and then people, our Christmas decorations in the house got fewer and fewer too. But with Austin possibly at the age to start to appreciate the season of Christmas, I wanted to at least decorate some! (Still didn't bother with the outdoor lights, so don't worry - there wasn't a 6 month pregnant woman up on a ladder on the porch!) Austin being at the curious (read - destructive!) age he's at, we had to get creative with our tree though. So we bought a little table topper sized tree again and set it up on top of our TV. He was allowed to see it and we worked on touching the pretty things with just one finger. By the time the tree came down, he had that technique pretty down! I was pretty impressed.

Our cute little tree

Our mantel

Our cute "Little People" Nativity Set. Austin loved it and played with it everyday! By Christmas he could point out which one was Baby Jesus, or the Mommy or the Daddy.

Austin checking out the tree. Everyday he would ask me to pick him up so he could touch with just one finger. His asking consisted of pointing at the tree and then holding up one finger!

Wiley Christmas
Our first family get-together of the month was my immediate family. (My parents, brothers and their wives, and my niece and nephew) We hold it at least a week or so ahead of Christmas just to make everyone's schedules easier. This year it was more than two weeks early which felt odd, but made it so I had all my Christmas shopping done early!

We had a wonderful day of decorating sugar cookies, watching the kids play together, and opening great presents, but mostly just enjoying each others' company!

Nani and all her grandkids making cookies

My sweet niece & her sugar cookies

Me and my hula girl creation

My cutie patootey nephew and his creations

I love this pic of Austin! I'm pretty sure he has a mouth full of cookie!

Austin watching the train with his cousins. He did so good just watching and not touching it. If it was off, he'd sit down and sign "please" over and over until someone would come turn it on. It was so cute!

Helping Austin open his presents. He got a cute puzzle from Nani & Papa.

Showing off his puzzle skills! Everytime he'd even get a piece close he would insist that everyone cheer for him!

Austin's great new shirt from Uncle Ryan, who often travels to Austin, Texas. Such a fitting shirt for my weird little kid!

Austin with his Papa

Steinmeyer Christmas
Christmas Eve is a busy busy night for our family. Brian always leads worship for our church service (and does a beautiful job!) and then as soon as the service is over, we hustle home, drop off music gear and rush off to the Steinmeyer Christmas Eve get-together. This year it was in San Juan Capistrano...just a mere hour away! Add to the drive that the festivities started when our church service did, and we obviously showed up very late. Thankfully food was saved for us! And thankfully we were able to stay long enough to visit with just about everyone before Austin started to get too tired.

All the (bigger) little kids listening to a story about the meaning of Christmas

All the great grandchildren. Aren't they cute!?!

My Grandpa opening a picture of the whole clan, taken last Christmas

Christmas Morning!
Christmas day was also a busy day! But it was so much fun. It was awesome having our little family Christmas in our own home and getting to watch Austin open his presents. Grandma Judy joined us in the morning. After a yummy breakfast of orange cinnamon rolls & breakfast burritos, we got to opening presents. Austin did good at first, but there were so many presents that we started dipping into naptime. By the end, he was a little overwhelmed and went off by himself behind the couch to get away from it all! Apparently he needed to go to his "quiet place"! Poor kid. But once we busted out his big presents (A ride along dumptruck from Grandma & a Elmo Live from Momma and Daddy) he was back into it!

Playing with his new fishy bath toys from Grandma. (Have I mentioned how much this kid loves fishies?)

Do I have something on my head??

Grandma enjoying her new Austin & McKenna calendar

Austin loved his new dumptruck!

He was mesmerized by Elmo!

Daddy opening his stocking from "Santa", who knows what he needs! New underpants and new hankies! That Santa is a clever one!

My beautiful new earrings from Austin! Man, that kid has great taste!

Getting tired yet? Only 2 more Christmas events left to go!

Crowley Christmas
After a quick nap for Austin, we headed Great Grandma Crowley's for the Crowley clan get together. It was a small crew but we had a really fun day. We had a great lunch over at Aunt Kathleen's and then headed back to Grandma's for presents and dessert.

Austin modeling McKenna's new hat from Aunt Cissy

Beloved cousins, Lisa & Eric

Brian & Great Grandma Crowley

Austin in his cell PackNPlay. (He was soooo tired due to lack of a nap, and was getting into everything! So he was able to enjoy the festivities from the PnP!)

Almost done! Just one more event to go. Still here?? Still awake?? Good!

Extended Wiley Christmas
We are so thankful that my Dad's side of the family has chosen for the last several years to celebrate Christmas at least one day after Christmas Day. When Brian and I first got married, we had to squeeze in 3 full family get-togethers on Christmas Day, in addition to our own Christmas. Which meant that we got to see everyone but only for like five minutes!

But now that our celebrations are spread out, it is so much better! We can actually enjoy ourselves fully and spend real time with people! We had a wonderful day!

Great Grandma with my cousin's little girl, Maddie. She's about 1 month younger than Austin. Just cute as a button!

Great Grandpa enjoying his new Nebraska Snugglie! Every Nebraska fan needs a Nebraska Snugglie, right??

Papa captured a great pic of my little man!

Austin hanging out with Nani.

(Wondering why my Mom looks like she's been in a UFC fight? The day before Christmas Eve, my mom decided that taking each step of the stairs was not as efficient as taking them all at once! She fell down a full flight of stairs while carrying some presents, landing on her face. She and my dad spent the good portion of the day in the ER, making sure all of her neck was where it was supposed to be! What a miracle that nothing was broken! She ended up just being incredibly sore and stiff for several weeks. She's just now getting all the movement back in her arms and hands!)

Great Grandpa & Maddie regarding each other. Either that or they're having a staring contest!

I was saddled entrusted with "The Muffin Man" for the year. My family has an odd tradition where this Muffin Man gets passed to a different family member each year. It's an extensive tradition - there's a legend, a quilt, a boxed muffin man, etc. I don't even know when it started. I'm not sure anyone actually likes it, but it continues year after year!

Phew, I made it! And Blogspot didn't crash! Did you make it to the end?? Congratulations! =D

Now to get caught up on about 6 more posts!!

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