December is always so chaotic and frantic. There's so many gatherings and so much to do. If it weren't for the celebration of the Savior, I could really do without all the hoopla. I did do all my Christmas shopping online this year which was wonderful. I struggle to find balance between making and enjoying holiday traditions and simplifying the crazy so we actually enjoy the activities we do participate in.
The annual trimming of the tree. For some reason we always end up doing this really late in the evening when the house is a mess and the kids are cranky, yet we know if we don't do it "now" it won't get done at all.
This picture is kind of a family joke. Ben was playing Christmas music on the piano to escape the reality of the decoration mess around him, completely ignoring the kids screaming and running around. I was trying to teach the kids about Christ's birth by letting them "help" set up the Nativity set, which actually sounded more like "Don't touch that. Don't touch that!" over and over again. I kind of lost my cool right in this moment as I yelled at Meilani to "TAKE THE STUPID PICTURE!" A few of us were in tears, which is actually our Christmas decorating tradition, by the end of the night. We all apologized to one another and went to bed. Next year, I think the decoration fairy will come visit once everyone's in bed.
A quick visit with Santa at the Ward Christmas Party.
Another family joke. We sat at a table by ourselves (because we take up all the seats not because no one wanted to sit with us) struggling with our starving kids after they'd already sat through the spiritual portion of the evening in the chapel. Everyone was crying and complaining as we waited, less than patiently, for the young men to serve food to the 300 people at the event. In the end we got one plate of food with a turkey wing on it because they ran out of food. Ben and I decided to cut our losses and head home to eat. The kids insisted that we see Santa first, despite the fact that they were still hungry. This is the best picture we could get. We couldn't find Liam for the photo, Ruby was screaming, and Meilani is too cool for juvenile things like Santa visits. While Ben loaded up the kids in the car I went to find Liam who then insisted on visiting Santa alone while everyone waited in the car fuming. The camera was already all packed up, so no pic. Next year, we're going for the program at the beginning and heading to In and Out for dinner!
Sweet Ruby girl in her Christmas best.
Our annual White Elephant Christmas Party
Eli's Christmas concert at school. He's in the choir and loves it!
Eli and his friend Kyle
Liam at his Christmas concert. He and I snuck in a little date afterwards.
This is how Meilani gets the little boys to bed when she's babysitting. Too cute.
Seth and his friends at the Joy School Nativity play. Seth was a great Joseph, taking good care of Mary.
I finally got around to making new coordinating stockings for us. I bought most of the fabric last year. It felt good to make something cute. It's the little things people.
Relief Society Progressive Dinner. I was driving the party bus!
Ruby in her favorite chillin' spot while I cook dinner.
Shopping like a big girl sitting in the cart for the first time.
Nursing on Minnie's nose at Grandmom's one night.
Sleepy girl with Papaw.
The annual gingerbread house making with Grammy.