The Magic of Christmas

We have so many holiday traditions that sometimes it's hard to keep up. Each one of them is so special to us, and we look forward to them every year.

The past couple of years, it's been hard to get everyone together at my Poppa and Grandma's house, so this year, we all celebrated Christmas together on the 23rd. They wanted us all together, because they made this year extra special. I have never met more selfless, giving people in my entire life, and I thank God for their beautiful souls every day.

The following day was Christmas Eve. We worked until noon, and then headed over to Papa and Grammy's for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner. Mom got us all matching PJ's when we were in Disneyland, and they were soo comfy and super adorable. We all helped mom prepare the sides in our matching Mickey wardrobe and soon it was time to eat.

After such a delicious meal, we cleaned up the kitchen, while the kids drooled over the presents in the family room.

They waited so patiently, and little Chase couldn't help but climb onto his tractor to ride it. He was so cute.

Grace started, and Charley helped her open their Barbie Dream House. Grace was upset, because she forgot to ask Santa for it when she told him about her vanity, so she was shocked that Papa and Grammy got it for her.

It kept them busy, while the grown-ups unwrapped our presents. Even Chase loved pushing the button to hear Barbie sing in the shower and busting a groove to it. 

I got a sewing machine! I've been wanting one so badly, but I've never touched one in my life, so this should be fun. Isaac got some delicious smelling new cologne and a nice wool shirt.

Soon enough, the kiddos were back at it. Charley opened her gift from Allison and Alex and couldn't have been happier. She got a huge stuffed Jessie, Woody, Buzz, and Bullseye. This kid was in heaven.

She also got a giant princess castle from Disneyland complete with all of the princes and princesses.

Chase was still rocking out by the Barbie Dream House.

Gracie helped Papa give his gifts of personalized ornaments to each of us. They were all so cute.

Char helped Chase play on his new iPad. She's a pro, so she had to show him the ropes.

We tried taking a family picture, and Grace was so excited that she accidentally punched Daddy in the face. 

(Such a great picture!)

We decided to get a big family one instead. How cute are these Mickey pajamas?!

After we all hung out enjoying one another's company, we loaded up our car and headed home. Zacarias, Stefanie, and Presley headed over, and Papa Craig and Grandma Sunshine arrived shortly after. We spent the night snacking, drinking, and playing elf. Presley and Char were sleepy, and snuggled together so sweetly.

Gracie helped me get Santa's milk and cookies set out for him, and we even stole some of Grammy's carrots to feed Rudolph.

When the girls went to bed, Santa stopped by and filled their stockings and loaded up the tree with gifts. They must have been really good little girls this year!

We finally got ourselves to bed, so excited to see the joy of Christmas through our little one's eyes the next morning. Grace woke up first and wanted to head downstairs. She was in awe when she saw all of the stuff under (and around) the tree.

She tested out Charley's scooter and then realized that her vanity was there. She checked out the pretend make-up that Santa stocked it with and waited there for Charley to come down.

Daddy went upstairs to get Charley, and Grace opened up her new dance bag to find a pretty Elsa inspired dance outfit inside. She loved it and was so excited to wear it to dance class to show her friends.

Charley finally made her way down and was still half asleep while looking around the room.

Grace showed her how Santa had made a mess out of the cookies, and she thought it was so funny.

Charley noticed a baby crib with a gift from Santa inside. He had brought her a new baby doll just like she wanted. She also got a pretend baby food maker and spent the next few minutes making and feeding her baby breakfast.

The girls opened up a few more gifts and especially loved these new princess dresses from Grandma Sunshine. They insisted on putting them on right away and then continued opening more gifts from the family back in Nebraska.

Mommy got the girls pink jewelry boxes with their names engraved on them. These were one of their favorites, and Charley wanted to play with it all morning. I had a hard time convincing her to open more gifts.

She got a baby Aurora doll from Karl and Linda that she wanted out of the box immediately.

(Thank you guys so much!)

We left the girls to play for a bit, while we got breakfast ready. I came back to find Charley back over by her jewelry box watching the ballerina spin around and around.

Poppa and Gran came over with big gifts for the girls, too. After we ate breakfast, drank mimosas, and relaxed for a bit, the girls got to open those. They each got their very own Frozen suitcase, and Ellie's mom made them adorable ear warmer headbands. They loved them both and were excited to use their suitcases to pack for the cabin that weekend.

After all of the Christmas festivities at our house, we got ready and headed over to Grandpa and Grandma Espejo's house for more Christmas traditions, including their homemade enchiladas. When we got there, the girls found their new Big Wheels right away, and Charley watched Grandma's snow globes spin around and around.

Everyone showed up, and it was so nice to have us all together.

Lunch was ready quickly, and we all ate too much, because the you can't leave any enchiladas behind.

We opened gifts, and I got some new pots and pans that I've been wanting (yay!).

Grace and Charley got their first rifles from Grandpa. Grace excitedly exclaimed, "I got my own gun!", and Charley said, "I no touch that." Char is a bit young, but I can't wait until we take Gracie to the range and show her how to shoot it.

We opened more gifts and the girls played together some more. I love how much they love each other.

At the end of the day, we went home, packed our bags, and headed to the cabin to spend the rest of the weekend up there. When we got to Cedar City, it was snowing, and we truly had a white Christmas. Driving up the mountain was a little scary, but we made it in one piece and couldn't wait to wake up and play in the snow the following day.

Something about watching the excitement of Christmas through your children just makes it so much more magical. I was sad it was over, because I couldn't stop smiling watching the girls' faces as they opened each gift and watched our family members open gifts we had gotten them. It was such a fulfilling year with the most amazing families and friends in our lives. We are so lucky to have each of them, and I don't know what more we could possibly want or need.

The magic of Christmas was not lost on me this year. I went to bed that night with a full and happy heart.

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