Happy Birthday, Jesus

I had to get myself geared up for this post. It's probably the Christmas post of all Christmas posts. (Our life is like something out of the movie Four Christmases. Wait? Who am I kidding? Our life IS Four Christmases!) Get some cocoa and get comfy. This is going to be a long one...

My beautiful, smart, funny sisters, Andrea and Allison, currently live in Ohio. When I heard they were coming home for Christmas, I couldn't have been more excited. Since Andrea had to fly out on Christmas morning, we celebrated Christmas at my mom's house on Sunday the 23rd.

We all headed over there around two o'clock, so we would have lots of time to spend together. Since Cash moved over there a while back, we brought him some Christmas presents, too. He got a new candycane bone and some gingerbread and Santa toys to tear up. He was excited to see us, and Grace loved chasing him all over:


Back inside, Mom made our standard prime rib Christmas dinner while I made Great Grandma Olive's delicious cheeseballs. We all sat around munching and watching the kids play:

Charley got to open one present early, so she could play with it while we were waiting for dinner:

Once we all had our gifts under the tree, the room was completely full:

Grace and Charley got matching jammies from Grammy, so they changed after dinner and then we all sat around to watch each other open gifts:

Grace had a blast opening presents, while Charley mainly just enjoyed chewing on ribbon and eating tissue paper:


Grace got thee most Tinkerbell stuff I've ever seen, and Charley got a puppy tht she can ride and sing with:

Grandpa Rick has a fire engine at the cabin and jokes around calling it the "Gruberville Fire Department". Isaac got him some shirts and a jacket made up to wear while he's up there:

Allison got the cutest hat and scarf (I seriously want to go back and get these for myself...so cute!):

After presents, the girls went to sleep, and we all sat around watching movies. I am so thankful to have been able to spend Christmas with our whole family all together in one place.

The next day, Christmas Eve, my dad and Ellie came over to celebrate with us. We grabbed Memphis Barbecue (because who doesn't love that place?) for dinner and painted with the girls. They made Christmas trees with their handprints, and they turned out SO cute. I can't wait to hang these for the holidays next year:
(Charley's is a little smaller than Grace's. Ya know? Because her hands are smaller and all.)

After their hands were dyed green, they got to open gifts from Poppa and Gran. Grace got an awesome mermaid sand castle. Of course we had to open it that night, because she wants it NOW! She loves it so much that we have to go buy a special table for her playroom to put it on:

Dad got me the prettiest/coolest ring. It has Isaac's, mine, Grace's, and Charley's birthstones. I absolutely love it:

Once we were all done opening gifts, we headed to Grandma and Poppa's to give them their presents. They are always asking me to print pictures of Grace and Charley out for them, so I made a book of some of the best pictures of the girls from this year. It turned out perfect, and they loved it.

Since they had just been to Disneyland, Grace and Charley got some sweet Minnie gear:

Grandma also got them matching jammies to wear that night, and so they could open presents in them Christmas morning.

We had to head home pretty quickly, because Isaac's mom, Craig, Zacarias, Stefanie, and Presley were on their way over.

When they all got there, we hung out for a while and let the girls open some more presents:

 Zac, Stef, and Presley opened all of theirs, because they had to go home to get ready for their own Christmas: 

Grace and Charley played with their favorite gift...a big ol' box:



After Zac, Stef, and Presley left, I tried getting Grace and Charley to go to bed so Santa would come. Instead, Charley went to sleep while Grace went upstairs to play with Grandma and Grandpa Whiting. Since they live all the way across town, we started a tradition a couple of years ago where they stay the night at our house on Christmas Eve to wake up and do presents early Christmas morning. This works out well, because then we have less to do on Christmas Day and can spend time at home with our own little family.

While they played, Santa (and by Santa, I mean I) wrapped most of the presents in his special Mickey and Minnie wrapping paper and got them under the tree. I remember all throughout December thinking, we didn't really get Grace a big gift. We need to get her a few more things. Well, I really underestimated what the girl was getting. I wrapped and wrapped and wrapped to the point where I just decided to put stuff under the tree unwrapped. When I had it all ready, I hid it in the laundry room, so Grace could come down to bed. By this time, girl was exhausted.

We put cookies out for Santa, celery for Rudolph, and left some milk for Santa to wash down the cookies:

I layed Grace in bed and told her I'd be right back (she left her blanky upstairs). When I came back, she was already passed out. That was the easiest bed time ever!

Now it was time to get the show on the road. We piled toys around for what felt like forever. Finally, it was complete:

I pictured Grace coming out to the tree on Christmas morning and gasping in true Gracie fashion.

We sat up chatting with Craig and Lisa for a long time before finally heading to bed.

The next morning, we had to wake Grace up just after 8:00. Poor kiddo was so tired from all the Christmas excitement the night before.

She came out to the tree and was in shock. Look at all those presents:

She also noticed that Santa had eaten his cookies...and that he was a little messy:

Grace is in love with these puppies that she takes to school, Grammy's, the store, literally everywhere we go. She lost Patches, her most favorite puppy, at the Fashion Show Mall about two weeks before Christmas. I told her that maybe Santa would find him and bring him home for Christmas.

The big man pulled through:

He also brought her all of these other puppies to add to her collection:


The girls both got tons of Minnie Mouse stuff from all of their grandma's from Nebraska. They had so much fun opening all of them:



Charley even got her very own Minnie Mobile, and Grace loved pushing her around in it. When you honk the horn, the bow in front lights up...so cute:
(Thanks Grandma!)

Grace opened up about half of her presents, and then she needed a donut break:

We got everything ready to open more presents:

But the girls just wanted to go back to bed:

(You know your kids got way too much stuff when they go back to bed half way through opening presents!)

After their power nap, we made reindeer donuts and reindeer pancakes for breakfast:

Then it was time to get ready and head to Grandma and Grandpa Espejo's for yet another Christmas:

Then Espejo kids all got pretty awesome Christmas presents:

We watched the kiddos open more gifts, had our traditional homemade enchilada Christmas dinner, and then sat around talking for the rest of the day. Grace had fun playing with her new gear that they got her to help take care of her new baby doll, Leila, that Santa brought her:

We got home on Christmas night to this lovely mess. I have no idea where to start, but I know it's going to have something to do with lots of trash bags and a few trips to goodwill:

Thank you so much to all of our friends and family that made this holiday season so amazing/fun/magical/special/exciting for our family. Our kids have so many grandparents, aunts, and uncles that love them more than they will ever know. We are so blessed to have each of you in our lives. We love you all very much!

Oh...and Happy Birthday, Jesus. 
We thank you most for all of our blessings.

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