I kicked the festivities off on Christmas Eve morning with a trail ride with girlfriends and horses. Here are Andrea and Sandra, on two of my school horses: (as in many years past, I was on my faithful friend Sweet P.)
It was important to celebrate Christmas at home for Nick and I this year and start our own traditions (based on past traditions) as a family. For the first time ever in our married lives, we did not rush from household to household. Instead, we had people come to us! On Christmas Eve, Nana, Paco, and Aunt Michelle came to our house. We had our traditional dinner of pizza, and then a massive gift exchange! Lilah was bouncing off the walls with excitement...
Paco & Lilah read Christmas stories:
The Tyrrell Jrs:
Growing up my neighborhood did "luminaries", which lit the whole neighborhood and in some cultures symbolizes lighting the way for the Christ Child. Lilah and I worked on assembling the luminaries (which I suddenly remembered from my childhood as "not fun") and then set them out for lighting. The result was beautiful and we had many people driving by on the road stop to check it out. It was another fun tradition:
Christmas Morning was very anti-climatic as Lilah and Nick went through their stockings:
Santa brought Lilah a kitchen and a new bike (which was mysteriously kept in the garage since summer. Lilah had noted the bike, but if she ever made the connection between that one & the one from "Santa", she's being a good sport and not saying anything....)
Then we had our dear friends Jake and Carol over for a yummy and filling breakfast of biscuits & gravy. As mentioned in our holiday newsletter, Jake and Carol can cook. Can you imagine the biscuits and gravy Carol (who in addition is from the South) made?
Jake, Carol, and Heather:
Carol later snapped this picture, which I absolutely adore:
This one is just as cute. Lilah sure loves her bike!
We left Christmas Day for the Roundhouse. We were the first of the family (from Nick's side obviously!) to arrive, and we enjoyed watching the fire in the fireplace from a mound of blankets on the floor Christmas night. We also enjoyed family walks in the woods: (Don't worry -- we had scanned the snow Lilah is eating for color as Lilah learned this trip about not eating yellow snow...)
And Mommy and Lilah enjoyed making snow angels:
Nick's sister and family, as well as Nick's parents arrived the following day. Lilah had a blast playing in the snow with her cousins Tara and Corbin:
Lilah, age 3, worked very hard playing "catch-up" with her older cousins, ages 9 and 12 . When everyone went sledding during the holiday, Lilah (who is a very determined child) insisted she was going to sled down the hillside "from the VERY, VERY top" as her athletic and fearless cousins were doing. Out of sheer speculation, Nick and I followed her up this hill, and sure enough, she made it to the top:
The other side of Lilah's hill. Believe me, it was astounding a three year-old climbed up it:
Corbin, Tara, and Lilah sledding down part of the hill with the assistance of the family dogs:
Lilah was very proud to be included in Tara and Corbin's games. A big THANK-YOU to Tara and Corbin for taking Lilah along for the ride. Literally.
Another run with Tara:
After a brief contemplation of a spur-of-the-moment road trip to more friends and family (which we ultimately decided AGAINST after hearing a weather report) Nick and I returned home. We enjoyed lots of time together during the day, and went out with different friends every night of the holiday break. On New Years Eve we once again got together with Jake and Carol for some in-home celebrating. I took this picture, and then Jack and Carol brought out more food
Our favorite party guest? The Lilah-burrito!