Jeremy told me that it was too late to post these Christmas photos but frankly (and obviously)…I disagree. I mean….I still ask people how their holidays went and so this seems like a natural time to talk about our Christmas recap. So if you are wondering….hey Bowers, how did your holidays go? This is the answer….it was amazing. If you could care less, I have ten years of archives that you can meander through…for free 🙂
So Christmas 2017 was the culmination of a year of so much magic. Our kids are at that age where everything is exciting and thrilling and they truly believe in all the beautiful parts of the holidays. It’s not just magic. It’s supernatural. It’s glitter-covered fantasy with a side of unbelievable but REAL. It is so dang fun to watch that we embraced all that we could, gripping onto that magic like our lives depend on it. After all, one day, very soon, they will probably learn the truth and those magic moments will be dimmed….like a twinkle light going out on a tree. So we embraced it. We threw ourselves into the mercy of all those moments and made memories like it was going to be our last.
It all began on Thanksgiving – when Gramps & Grammy gave us the matching jammies….it always begins with the matching jammies. As it SHOULD!
At school, the kids all had Christmas parties. I went to all three. I can’t imagine when there will be five! LJ is doing three days a week at a preschool and loves his teachers.
Ella and Max came with me to the preschool parties. I just took Ella to Will’s party. It was really stressful….probably because Ella doesn’t like to get out of the house. Seriously. It’s like she knows she is out in the wild and immediately she cries and poops all over me. At home, she has a very set routine that she likes and so I’ve been kinda stuck here at home more than before. Sometimes it’s just easier to stay home than try to figure out which outfit is the one that will hide poop the best 🙂
Will helped me with his teachers’ gift this year. He wanted to give her Chick-Fil-A and dark chocolate so we made snow-clips to hold the gift cards for this mini tree and little ornaments out of Dove chocolates. He was so proud! I love how much he loves his friends and teachers at school.
At church, the kids did a performance on Christmas eve and it was so funny. I shouldn’t say the performance was funny….MAX was funny. The kid is in his first ever bell ringing song and his bell breaks. Right there on stage. How he managed to do that I will never know. So he walks off the step and over to me (I’m helping on the side) and he trades bells with me. Then he walks back to his spot. Only to grin the biggest grin ever and ring his little heart out…..AGGRESSIVELY HAPPY bellringing for a solid ten seconds….until he decides he wants to trade with me again. Over and over. This is what happens. It cracked up everyone (I mean, what can you expect from a 2-year old?!) but nobody more than me…..I was cry laughing on stage.
Weston and LJ also had pageants at school but this year neither one of them had any individual parts so we decided that they would all memorize some parts of the Christmas story at home.
We started about ten days ahead of time and every night we would practice the scriptures….it was hilarious but eventually they got it and did it on Christmas!
This year we also got an elf. Guys – I’m pleased to introduce you to Charlie David Dawsonelli. They boys all got to pick a name. They asked us what names that we liked and Charles and David were the names we had picked out for Ella if she was a boy. She would have been either a Charlie or a Davie. One of the boys picked Charlie, one picked David, one picked Dawson, and one picked Ellie. It was set.
The boys LOVED the antics of Charlie David Dawsonelli….which included him hanging on my light fixture, making a s’more in the kitchen, writing messages in marker on the bathroom shelves, and zip lining through the foyer. Every time the boys found him, I would go on and on about how I thought that elf was SOOOOO naughty and how we got the most mischevious elf ever…..which of course, the boys thought was amazing that I couldn’t do anything about that naughty little elf.
We of course, hit up the Monroe Christmas parade. It was FAH-reezing! Most of the time, Ella was under three different blankets and only came out to nurse and it was so funny to see her eyes give the cold air some serious glares. Like I said before….girlfriend is a homebody 🙂
The boys of course love it and we started talking about next year how maybe we should have a float in the parade! Wouldn’t that be fun?!
Afterward, we did a proper treat of hot cocoa and cookies…..which, you guys….remind me next year that my kids don’t actually drink the hot chocolate.
Family time also involved a super fun night in Monroe for their Christmas events. They decorate everything up SO nicely. I told Jeremy that I felt like I was in a Hallmark movie! Of course, I couldn’t be the leading lady in the Hallmark movie….I would have to be the aunt with the gaggle of kids 🙂
Will and the boys had given a LOT of thought to their letters to Santa and came up with their requests.
So when we finally got to see the big man himself, they were all ready to roll! Maxi’s face is just too much for me here! Oh my heart is exploding!!!
Ella wanted to go home for Christmas.
Personally I just want my post part hair loss to stop :/
After seeing the man in red, we roasted marshmallows, went on a carriage ride, saw the live nativity and then grabbed some pizza.
And of course, we ended the night with cookies. Man, I can not get enough cookies! And my pants are feeling it!
Along with calories, I’ve started a new collection this winter – these little camper ornaments! Aren’t they adorable!?
Another new tradition we started was the annual drive for lights! We got the kids into their jammies, headed to the gas station for snacks (they never get to pick out gas station candy but always ask so this was a special treat!) and then drove around looking at Christmas lights. It was so fun and they were all buzzing in their carseats from the sugar! ha! Their reactions to twinkle lights while on candy highs were SO funny.
The boys did dollar store gifts for each other but for grandparents – they did homemade presents.
Weston painted a variety of canvases that I made into ornaments. This one is mine – he said it was a flower garden! Dude is an art-teest. with very dirty fingernails. but an art-teest just the same 🙂
I taught Will how to make some little stitches and he made the most sweet ornaments.
It’s actually really appropriate for each of them….Weston is naturally more colorful and artistic and Will is so verbal and loves writing notes….so these were perfect representations of them!
I found this photo on my phone and thought it too fun not to share. My mom learned how to take a photo with her phone and you would think she conquered Everest. This was headline news! Mom doing something with technology!!!
Speaking of my mom, she arranged for a night of Christmas fun at her house because my parents went to Pittsburgh to be with my Pappap on Christmas. She told us to wear pajamas…..these ones were from Walmart and I died laughing when I saw them!
The real kick in the pants was the drop seat 🙂
We were setting up for a family photo and I love this one….this is exactly how it always is….everyone talking and so many kids.
Yes, we are all in sleepwear (my brother said he sleeps without a shirt! haha!) except for my parents because they were too busy getting everything ready! Next year we are just gonna bring them giant onesies too! Also – aren’t these kiddos just the cutest?!
My mom had a whole night planned – making a snowman out of treats, pin the tail on the reindeer, a Minion piñata, and a super tasty dinner! She even wanted to do the stealing gift exchange thing with the adults and it ended up being really funny!
I wish I had a proper picture of her tree – it was blue and white and was an under-the-sea theme 🙂
The kids opening their presents was straight up CHAOS. Like so many squeals and voices and tissue paper and craziness – I still don’t know what they all got! ha!
Ella – she just wanted to go home 🙂
Random Christmas pics….
On Christmas eve, the boys exchanged presents and were allowed to open up their gifts from each other. It was very sweet to watch. They so carefully had wrapped each one and filled out the tags.
I love how Weston misspelled his own name. I mean – that is PRICELESS. Be still my mama heart!
On Christmas Eve, Gramps and Grammy arrived too so this was their first time with us on Christmas morning!
We did a big meal for Christmas eve….it was pork tenderloin because Jeremy said that he didn’t want ham or turkey for Christmas at all!
After dinner, we turned on The Polar Express and cuddled up!
Jeremy and I transferred everything, wrapped a ton of last minute items (whoops!) and did all the little things that we needed for the next morning. Nothing says Christmas eve to a parent like a 3am bedtime!
In the morning, the kids could barely contain their excitement!
We always torture them by making them eat breakfast first and this time, we had our annual Christmas waffles – but our expert guest Grammy made them. I think Jeremy was relieved to have a break from breakfast duties this Christmas 🙂
As always – they were amazing!
Then it came time for gifts. I documented the bags under my eyes….they are worth it!
And the kiddos got to open all their presents! It was so fun. I don’t know what is more excited – their voices or their faces!
Gramps and Grammy opened Ella’s gifts – since I had wrapped them 🙂
I shared what we got the kids in this post but Jeremy got new pajama pants, a jacket, an outdoor standing cooler and an iWatch.
He thought the setup was so cool. It was beyond me! I know I am supposed to be tech savvy with having an online job and all…but honestly I am terrible with all this new-fangled stuff.
I asked for slippers and got them 🙂 Basically haven’t taken them off since.
Jeremy also bought me a hooded robe that is super comfy….a gorilla cart and some shoes.
Bear got a packed stocking full of treats, toys and even a new collar 🙂
Overall, it was a really easygoing and fun Christmas morning. The kids were all happy with their gifts (even though we hadn’t given them their ‘family’ gifts yet!) and they were happy to play and chill the rest of the day.
The unseen Christmas duties 🙂
For dinner, I didn’t lift a finger! Jeremy did it all and it was amazing.
One of the big family gifts was this marble run set – it was such a good present and the boys are all IN LOVE.
Maybe she thought we were leaving 🙂
We felt really REALLY blessed this year….more than ever – not because of the number of gifts under the tree or the fancy gadgets or whatever….but because we finally feel like our family is all here. In the past, we always felt like there was a piece missing. like there was someone that should have been called to the table. And this year, it just felt filled to the brim and overflowing. It was just such a JOYOUS bunch of moments all in one short time….the firsts of all the things as a complete family. It’s so bittersweet…knowing that I am the one feeling this and knowing that the kids are literally going to grow SO fast. And that is why I wanted to share this post. Because I know that if I didn’t, it would be so easily forgotten. Those memories get stored here….the moments that I want to cling to for the rest of my life. So forgive me for making Christmas last a little longer. I know we are supposed to be talking about organizing and losing weight and our words for 2018….but I just had to stretch it out a little bit. See….stretching. Totally acceptable in January 🙂
Merry Christmas y’all. I hope you all had one that was filled to the brim and surrounded by the ones you love!!!