Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Christmas 2014 in Photos

Prepare yourself for an overload of images.  Complete with commentary.  Because, you know, that's what I do.  Warning.  This post is excessive.

 Bennett and Lakin woke at their typical 6:30 AM start time for Christmas.  Actually, I think Lakin was up before that but waited patiently for us in the living room since opening presents would have been "too loud."  So thankful she opted to wait to open presents before tearing in.

 We made breakfast first and got it cooking in the oven before we started in on the gifts.  Lakin was looking up our recipe for biscuit and gravy casserole.

 Chef boyarcee whipping up a little gravy for our heart health and enjoyment.

 Since it was Jesus' birthday we did a little French press to celebrate.  I bet he was a French press over drip kind of guy.

The kids played with these shape boards my Grandma gave them while we got breakfast going.  This has kept them busy and content multiple times in the last couple of weeks.  

 Chris and I made an A-frame tent to give to Lakin and Bennett as their Christmas present.  Lakin promptly brought her pillow and comforter upstairs to make it nice and cozy.

 My grandma also purchased this fold up doll house for Lakin's Barbies.  I love that it folds flat and both kids have been pretty smitten with it.  Lakin uses it for her Barbies and Bennett uses it with his dinosaurs.

We started with stockings.

 High fives for Dad over flashlights and band-aids.  Stocking are so much fun.

 After the stockings were done, we moved on to the presents sent from our extended family.

 Lakin got a Fancy Nancy game from my Aunt.  We played it Christmas day, all four of us.  I have two very sore losers in my family.  I'll let you guess who.  Basic premise of the game is getting matching shoes and outfit to create three ensembles.  The feminists in my life would cringe over the game, but I happen to think that it's important for everyone to ask themselves, "Do these shoes go with this outfit?"

 Bennett got some Pete the Cat books and a Pete doll.  Pete has already had many adventures with Bennett.  He's swam in the toilet and hung from the banister to name a few.

 The kids also got a marble maze.  Chris spent the afternoon setting it up with Lakin.  The marbles went missing by dinner time.  They were later discovered in a small treasure chest that was in the play kitchen microwave.  Makes sense, of course.  Bennett loves the "mardles" and hoards them.  We now have a designated place for marbles to sleep while not in use.  Because they pose as a bit of a choking hazard and there's no telling where Bennett will stash them next.

 Only a two-year-old can find something to cry about on Christmas morning.

 Loving on Pete the Cat and dreaming of ways to stress his mother out.

Lakin wore her Fancy Nancy dress for most of the day.  Girl loves to be fancy, what can I say?

Our family Christmas was simple and quiet and totally relaxing.  Chris and I lounged around all day and spent nap time watching The Blacklist (recommend if you're in need of a good TV series).  Chris worked the day after Christmas but got home early and we were able to hit the road for Kansas City.  After a McDonald's stop in Albert Lea for fuel and calories, we were on our way.  Made it into town around 10:30 PM and put two cranky kids to bed upon arrival.

The next morning we did our Jaeger family Christmas.  This year, Dave and Jess were home from Seattle and it made the week so sweet.  I miss them like crazy but appreciate all the hanging out that happens when we do get to be under one roof.

 Lakin wore her swimsuit because she would live in swimsuits if her mother would let her.

 Bennett's gift from Papa and Gigi was an Olaf doll that talks.

 He kindly helped every adult open their gifts.

 I gave Geri this book.  It is a beautiful and thought provoking read.  Geri has often shared some of Glennon's essays on Facebook and I figured she might enjoy her book as well.

 We gave Dennis some red wine glasses.

 And a bottle of Trader Joe's finest Malbec.  We fancy, like that.

 Chris' parents gave him a Cardinal's shirt since this will soon be his home team.  But don't worry friends, his passion for the Royals still burns.

 David got a bottle of elderflower liqueur.  He and Jess are amazing cooks and looking to spice up their lives with some tasty and creative cocktails.

 Papa and Gigi got Lakin an Elsa doll.  She sings, she lights up, she even sweeps the floor.  Wait, scratch that last part.

Bennett was able to sneak a moment with Elsa.  He loves her more than Rapunzel.  Which is a lot.

My Christmas gift was a Le Creuset dutch oven.  It is everything I ever dreamed it might be.  I have used it for every meal since we've been home and it can caramelize and onion into pure sugar.  Geri found it for a steal of a deal at T.J. Maxx.  I believe my cheesy grin says it all.

No trip to Kansas City would be complete without some time with my parents who live just down the road from Chris' family.  I did a terrible job documenting our Christmas celebration but my parents were present.  I was there as well.  We had a wonderful time.

 Lakin helped Grandma deliver presents to each person.

 Among many wonderful and personally selected goodies, Lakin delighted over her tiny Rapunzel doll.

 Bennett wanted to put his "Queen jammies" on immediately.  He's worn them as much as possible ever since.

 The kids got Frozen water bottles and we've already gotten a ton of use out of the sports bottles.  We take them everywhere and they never fight over who gets what color since they each have a designated cup.

 My mom sewed personal pillow cases for the kids.  Unicorns for Lakin, cars for Bennett.

 A happy boy in his jammies and using his pillow case as a sleeping bag.

 Every item that would come out of the stocking Bennett would squeal and exclaim, "Oh My!"  Didn't matter if it was a toothbrush or a pack of fruit snacks.  Everything was seriously amazing to him.

 Lakin sporting a new leotard and tights.  Spandex is Lakin's love language.

Two, happy, spoiled kids sitting in their pillowcases.

We're coming to the homestretch of this post... I promise.

 We were able to snag tickets to the Chief's vs. Chargers game.  It was actually quite warm since our seats were in the sun and we met up with friends beforehand for a breakfast burrito tailgate.  A victory for the Chief's and the Jaeger extended family for sure.

 Lakin and Gigi enjoyed a little happy hour at Hereford House.

 Aunt Jackie and Uncle Joe came in for a couple of days to spend some quality time.

 Lakin and Ben spent hours (you read that right) swimming in Gigi's tub.

 We went on a chilly walk that ended with tears from Bennett.  Surprise to... no one.

 The guys attended a Mizzou basketball game.

 Lakin and Bennett enjoyed the full service and endless snacks at Gigi's counter.

 Jackie convinced Lakin to take a photo to commemorate their visit.

 The kids watched a lot of Chuggington on Netflix and had several blanket-filled cuddle fests.

 Mary Kate had her gender reveal and we found out baby Osborne is going to be a boy!  He'll be here this May!

Finally, Lakin put us through two total body tantrums.  Not to be outdone, Bennett threw himself down in disgust more times that I was able to record.  Each tantrum led to an epic nap and victory for mothers everywhere.

Not pictured: The Z Man I scarfed from Oklahoma Joe's while catching up with my old Young Life leaders.  The homemade pizza night where Dave and Jess schooled us in pizza dough, dutch oven cooking, and flavor combinations.  The New Year's celebration with my oldest and dearest friends who we always ring in the New Year with  - we made it to midnight and that's saying something.  The Grandma and Lakin date to Kaleidoscope, Crown Center, and McDonalds for a coveted Happy Meal.   So many wonderful memories and moments with people I love the most in this world.  My heart is full after this Kansas City trip.

If you made it to the end of this, pat yourself on the back.

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