Here's what has happened in our world in the last few weeks...
Dec. 11 Grandma Cathy and Grandpa Steve arrive for a visit before the holidays. We all had a great time together. The first night they were here, we took them to spin in circles underneath the Zilker Park Christmas tree. As you can tell by the photo, they were definitely in the holiday spirit!
There were lots of games of badmitton and checkers played while they were here.
The kids also gave them a preview of the pieces they've been working on for their piano recitals and orchestra holiday performance.
Dec. 13 We took the day off from work and school and took Grandma Cathy and Grandpa Steve for a day trip to Pedernales State Park. It was the perfect day for a hike and we all had a very relaxing enjoyable time.
Dec. 20 Christoph and MarCar arrive for a weekend of family fun. We headed out to look at the wacky 32nd street lights. And GASP!!! - Margot wore her pajama pants out in public! (tee hee, just hafta give her a hard time about it!)
One of our favorite displays is the sock monkey manager. We always look for it at the end of the street. We will all be very sad if they ever decide not to put it out.
Dec. 21 Margot and Chris help us get ready for our big Christmas party. We would have never gotten everything done without them. I am also happy to report that the party was a huge success and fun was had by the little kids and the big kids!
Dec. 22 Spent the day at home trying to get ready for Christmas. Poor poor Marcellus was trying so hard not to face the chaos that surrounded him. Sweet children cover him up so that he can be comfy during his nap.
Dec. 23 I would like to say thank you to the person that came up with the idea of having an ice skating rink on the top of the Whole Foods Market during the Christmas Season. I LOVE IT! The kids love it. It is a little bit pricey, but for a normal sized family, it is totally doable. What a fun way to spend an afternoon!
Jeff and I are both starting to get to the point where we don't so much enjoy the Trail of Lights at Zilker Park. But this year I came up with a new game plan and it seemed to work beautifully! We went on the last night that it was open in the last 30 minutes. There was not so much of a crowd, our kids could see all of the festive displays and we didn't feel like we were being run over by herds of people. You just have to remember to not poke around though because a little after 10pm, the police start clearing you out.
Dec. 24 Somehow in the beginning of our parenting years, we started taking the kids to see Santa on Christmas Eve. This is one tradition that has definitely stuck, but I don't know why because we generally have to stand in line at the mall for HOURS. So again we waited, and waited and waited and finally we are in the front.
Everyone had a great time visiting with Santa, I even got a little choked up when I went to give him a hug and say thanks. Being Santa is truly a tough job.
Momo arrived while we were visiting Santa. We had a really nice evening watching The Christmas Story, eating candy and making the house Santa ready. After the kids went to sleep, we started wrapping the gifts. JC, Momo and I were all frantically wrapping Santa presents for five. We finally got to bed at 4:15am after wrapping all of the presents from Santa.
Dec. 25 Kids wake up at 4:20am and are SO excited to start unwrapping. We let them get up at 4:45am because I couldn't stand the tapping on the wall and the excited chatter. (Yes, you read that right - we slept for approx. 15 minutes.)
Sweet Baby Wyatt seemed to love his first Christmas just as much as the older four!
Dec. 26 Momo leaves and Heather and Steve arrive. Everything is perfect in the world.
Dec. 27 I come down with strep throat and am not really able to get out of the bed until Dec. 30. Phooey. I was even so sick that I had to get a shot in the rump. Boy-o-boy did the kids feel sorry for me!
Dec. 28. Crap - best friend comes from another country and I am not even able to open my eyes to visit with her while she sits by my bedside.
Dec. 29 SBW takes his first formula because the doctor makes me stop nursing for 24 hours because I am so sick. I really wanted to cry.
Dec. 30 Drove down to San Marcos for some yummy food at Herbert's Taco Shack. Good food and catching up with our good friend (HB's brother) Dallas.
You might have never guess that I'd been sick because then we came home and started getting ready for the NYE shindig. Shopping 'til 3am with my BFF to get ready for the big ol' partay was one of the highlights of the week for me.
Dec. 31 The house begins to fill with our closest life long friends, Christoph and MarCar and our good friend Becky and we are ready to ring in the new year. Lots of laughs. Too much to drink. Very little sleep. All is good in the world.
Jan. 1 Giant brisket, honey baked ham, honey baked turkey, black-eyed peas, cabbage, mashed taters, some sweets, college football all day and a few hands of cards. Kids running round drinkin' grape soda. Full bellies, warm hearts good friends and family. Could life be ANY better?
Jan. 1st PM We (HB, CB and KC) sneak out to the Kohl's to help HB pick up a few needed items before heading back to the land of nutty sizes and no decent shopping. This was the TOPS!!!!! Then we all sat up with Allen until 2:30am having the very best visit and laughing at all of his funny stories.
Jan. 2 We had a nice and easy morning that was mostly spent trying hard not to cry. Heather and Steve were getting ready to leave. So I tried to drag out their stay by making them pose for every picture option possible!
Once they were finally able to break free, we all stood at the end of the driveway and watched them drive away. They are headed back to Germany for now, but will be home in only 8 months. Hey, at least if I get pregnant again, she'll be here when the baby is born!
Later that afternoon, two grown-ups and 8 kids head off to see the Bedtime Stories movie. Ice cream for supper for mom and 7 kids. JC and Tommy head to dinner. Late nite trip to little local bar for me and Tommy. Chew the fat and drink some beers - life is good.
Jan. 3 Thomas and kids leave to head back to Dallas with a pit-stop in Round Rock. Our house is WAY too quiet.
We are all so tired. Happy tired. We've been non-stop since the kids got out of school on Dec. 19th. I am again SO thankful for my family. Jeff is an outstanding dad that is really having a hard time being actually beaten by his 12 year old son in ping pong. The kids have shown so much love and kindness toward each other, their friends and their family this holiday season. I just can't express how much I love Jeff and the kids. The friend visits have been superb. I wish the holiday season lasted all year long.
We just might leave our Christmas tree up until next year!