This is the last Christmas related post, I promise. Eh, I half promise, you never know.

Christmas Eve we had our favorite crab dinner, followed by the family nativity reading. Isabelle was delighted to be Mary this year and our very own Thatcher starred as Baby Jesus. Lincoln, true to his character, played  a rowdy sheep. Dad reads, we act it out with mom’s costumes and then we sing hymns by the piano- it’s one of my most favorite traditions and I hope we keep doing it forever.

Baby Jesus lost his paci.

my kids!

We went home and put the kids to sleep after doing the cookie/carrot/milk situation. They also like to sprinkle sparkly oats on the lawn so the reindeer know where to stop. It’s so important to me to help them have magical holidays, and even though I was tired and it was late we took the time to make those sparkly oats. After answering tons of questions about the santa and our chimney and what time was appropriate for them to wake up, the kids went to sleep.

We put the finishing touches on our little living room and I fed the baby by the tree. Having a baby at Christmastime is just kind of special, and I remembered how it felt last year praying so hard for another baby to come to us. And look how much that can change in just one year!

6:00 am came quickly and the kids were up. My parents came over at 6:30 to watch the opening of presents and the kids sort of patiently waited for them to arrive. I thought it was so cute that as soon as they were allowed to come out and open presents- they found the ones they had purchased for each other so they could open them first. Cute.

very very excited about his binoculars.

By 7:30, all the gifts were open and we had to shift it into high gear to make it to 9 am church. It was a Christmas Miracle, but we made it with a few minutes to spare.

my favorite part is when everything is over and the kids play nicely with their new things and there is wrapping paper everywhere and then maybe you eat an extra cinnamon roll.

I’ll tell ya what though, being a parent at Christmas is a lot of work. Last year was so magical and breezy and wonderful… this year felt hard. Like exhausting, not enough time in the day, bleary eyeballs hard. And I know it’s because we have this beautiful little baby who requires most of my time and has midnight feedings… I’m so thankful for him and I wouldn’t change that for the world. Both kids are in school, and there were tons of programs/parties/holiday activities… On paper everything went really well! We accomplished everything we needed to! But on the inside I was sweating bullets and was a little frantic trying to get everything done.
After the Christmas festivities, I was wiped. Thatcher was feeling sick and so I struggled to nurse him all day. We went home and put the kids to bed and I told Jazz I was just going to take a minute and put my pajamas on and I’d be right out. That was at 8 pm. I blinked and woke up at midnight. I was just. so. exhausted.  It was the “off” year for our siblings and so none of them came from out of town and it just isn’t the same without everyone here. I hate sharing. Also, I felt a profound sadness hanging over me that Max isn’t with us. All of our Christmas activities felt like they were missing someone! Hanging up his little stocking is SO SAD. Not being able to fill it is SO SAD. Not seeing his cute face on Christmas morning is REALLY REALLY SAD. This is stupid but Max never got to be the baby Jesus. I love when it’s my kid’s turn to be the baby Jesus in the Nativity. 
And I had myself a really good cry on Christmas and fell asleep. I woke up to the sound of Jazz cleaning up wrapping paper and organizing all of our new goodies. I fed the baby, and went back to sleep until 8:30. I felt better. Our Christmas break was too short, that first Monday back at school was BRUTAL for everyone. When everything is all put away, our house looks fresh and blank again and you kinda just have to take a deep breath and dive into January. Ready or not.

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