Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Making Memories - Christmas 2011

Christmas isn't over, if you ask me.  My tree is still lit, my stockings are still up, and I'm still playing Christmas music.  And M and I still have Christmas crafts to do.  (So maybe that last one is a little weird, but it's true.)

Christmas was so sweet this year.  For a few reasons.  Morgan is at an age where she's beginning to understand a little more.  And my mom stayed with us and did fun "Santa" things with Morgan.  And I cooked my very first Christmas feast.  

They read a classic Santa story.

They baked cookies for Santa.

They were sure to leave him some milk.

They even left food outside for the reindeer.

Complete with fake snow (my mom is so funny).

After M finally went to bed, the present wrapping began.  I listened to this over and over while working.

It's really important to me that Morgan knows what Christmas is about, so the only thing I've consistently talked about regarding Christmas is the "Baby Jesus" story.  She really didn't know that Christmas morning could involve presents.  So she was surprised Christmas morning when she woke up and saw the presents under the tree (it's been bare under our tree the whole time).

Naturally most of her presents involved a little blue train and his friends.

For a while Danny and I thought we'd be buying a big train table for Christmas.  But we were surprised when some friends of ours offered to give M the one their children had outgrown.  So we didn't have to buy one (thanks, E Family)! Danny set it up for her on Christmas Eve.

We had white chocolate s'mores and hot chocolate for breakfast.

Well, let me rephrase that.  M did.  DK and I were smelling this (made by yours truly)...

...and couldn't wait to dig in (Mama left before lunch to go spend time with the other grandgirls for Christmas).  Usually when you hear "good homecooking," I've had NOTHING to do with it.  But I really wanted for my husband to have a meal like this for Christmas.  So I called my mom and aunt up and they told me what all to get at the grocery store.  With a little help from my mom, I prepared this pretty awesome mini-feast.  She let me do most of it, and I really appreciated that.

I was most proud of my dressing.  Dressing is my FAVORITE holiday dish and I just knew it'd be the hardest thing to make (and that my first attempt would be a disaster).  But it turned out to be SO GOOD.  I refused to go out and get some cookie cutter recipe online (though I do it for everything else - ha!), so I just went by the help from my mom.  This dressing was made using absolutely no measured ingredients (which is GOOD for me), and it was AWESOME.

Okay, so this pic was supposed to be a quick pic of my mom and me before she left Christmas morning, but someone ran over and posed with us.  So funny!

Anyway, my MOM is the best.  All the time.  She is so patient with me (despite the fact that I'm not always very patient with her) and her unconditional love for me is evident all the time.  I've gotten a lot of my parenting skills from her -- she is THE most kind-hearted person I know.  My thoughts used to be, "that's what moms are SUPPOSED to do..." but I've learned with age how blessed I am.

And then my dad?  He makes me feel like the smartest, most successful, most loved girl in the world (and I'm sure he makes all three of his girls feel that way), and then I have the BEST in-laws a girl could ask for. We've been blessed with amazing parents who are here on Earth with us, healthy, and who support us in every way.

Last, but not least, these two... 

are my world!  My little family is just the light of my life.  God blessed me with this amazing guy for a husband who I would marry again in a heartbeat, he's blessed us with a perfectly imperfect marriage, and then REALLY blessed us when he gave us this little ball of spunk to raise together.

Christmas just makes you count all your blessings.  The best gift on Christmas is faith and trust in the Lord.  I have a nontraditional view of "religion," but my love and commitment to my Savior is undeniable.  Every day I strive to be more like Jesus, and it's a journey where I'm learning more and more every day.  I thank Him for His love, grace, and mercy, and am so thankful for this beautiful holiday celebrating His birth.

I hope you and your family had a very Merry Christmas!

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2011 30 day shred age update AKA animals anniversary appreciation aquarium around the house art museum Atlanta baby/toddler sleep issues baking bama football beach birthday birthday party blog awards blog buddies blogher books camping causes celebrations celebrities cheer days childhood children's museum children's theater Christmas christmas card class reunion college days concert conference cousins crafts dance date night dating days deals decluttering dentist Disney dk easter engagement facebook faith fall fun family family fun fashion father's day favorite blogs field trip field trips football friday flashback friends fun event funny pic Gaylord Opryland genealogy girl scouts goals god grad school grateful graves' disease Halloween health holidays Hollywood honeymoon instagram Iron Bowl key west kindermusik learning letter to my daughter library Los Angeles m me miami mlk day morgan is three museum Nashville national championship game natural hair nature new look new orleans New Years nyc out on the town parks parties phone fun pinterest play days at home playdate playground action pregnancy professional development Race for the Cure raleigh ramblings reading Recipes relay for life school program shows singing skating snow soccer social networking sorority spring break spring fun stress summer summer fun summer reading summer to do list teacher life technical difficulties terrible twos Thanksgiving the girls the park theme park thomas and friends three thyroid tragedy trains traveling tricycle trips twitter valentine's day video walk for autism water play we love being outside wedding wordless wednesday work wrapup Yo Gabba Gabba zoo
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