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Christmas 2012

Christmas started for us on Christmas Eve.  We went to Grandma and Papa's house around 2:00 after cleaning all day, getting ready for Christmas festivities.  Aunt Ellen, Chelli, GiGi, Aunt Lisa, Nanny, Uncle Patrick, Grandma, Papa, and the three of us enjoyed gumbo and each others' company.  Gabby got an amazing handmade very tall doll that Aunt Ellen made, like Chelli's favorite doll as a child.  Gabby gave her her hand made gift and then dazzled us all while she made up silly antics and literally rode her doll like a horse.  After saying our good byes we headed to church.  Gabby was excited to see baby Jesus and celebrate his birthday; however, when we arrived and she was expected to sit quietly for 2 hours (because we arrived early to ensure a pew) she was not a happy camper (not to mention the fact that baby Jesus never came to play with her).  We ended up leaving after communion and brought Gabby home to prepare for Santa.

Gabby passing out Santa strawberries to everyone and insisting everyone eat them.
The Santa strawberries Gabby and Grandma made.
Excited to go to church with GiGi and see Baby Jesus.

We set out cookies for Santa, bid adieu to Mr. Elfis, and opened her Christmas pajamas.  Nanny stayed the night with us so she was nice enough to capture these moments and take a few family photos.  It was really fun preparing for Christmas Day. Gabby fell asleep around 9:00 and we went to bed around 11:00.
Doesn't she look like a little angel?

Showing off her princess pajamas, just the way a princess would.

Sneaking one of Santa's cookies.
Mommy and Daddy sharing a cookie, like on Lady and the Tramp and Gabby loving it!

Finally, Christmas Day arrived! Unexpectedly, Gabby slept in until 8:00 a.m., which is the opposite of what Gabby and Lacey and I used to do.  We opened Santa's gifts which literally took about an hour, because we the first toy Gabby got out of her stocking she played with for 20 minutes (it was nothing more than a cheap toy with fake nails, nail polish, and lipstick).  We all snickered and decided we shouldn't have gotten her so many gifts, since she was happy with such a small toy, but oh well.  Gabby played in her fort Santa had made with her new fort building kit, rode around the living room on her stick unicorn, played with her princess stamps, and begged to open all of the other gifts and play with them as well.

We then enjoyed some hot chocolate, which Gabby is only interested in the marshmallows, and a snowman chocolate chip pancake, which Gabby refused to eat (besides the whipped cream).  Gabby played with toys excitedly while we made last minute preparations and got dressed for the day.

 Five minute before Grandma called to say she was on her way over, the power went out! The power company called and said the power would return on at 12:00, so we told everyone to come on over.  While waiting on everyone to arrive, Michael made a make shift kite for Gabby and they tried to fly the parachute in the driveway as the wind violently gushed.  People were greeted by Gabby, Michael, and a gushing wind.  Everyone piled into the house clattering about the power being out and how to get dinner on the table. 

As we prepared dinner on the gas stove, we realized that my can opener was broken so we tried to use the power inverter in my truck to open cans with the electric can opener.  Something was wrong with the power inverter and this did not work, but a friendly neighbor (laughing at my solution) loaned us a can opener and saved the day. While preparing dinner I received a call saying the power would not be on again until 6:00 a.m. Eeek!!  But we trekked on and dinner was ready in record time.

Then everyone gathered around to bless our food before eating dinner.  GiGi lead our blessing and mid prayer the lights turned on! We all started laughing and cheering, but GiGi was so deep in her prayer that when she finished she wasn't sure what all of our hooping and hollering was about.  I love the timing of the powering coming back on, it just reminded us all the reason for the celebration.  Thank you Jesus for making our Christmas about family and you! Such a small thing, the power returning, was a simple way for Jesus to make an appearance at our families' celebration.

Of course dinner was delicious and then we all gathered in the living room and began opening presents. This was a laborious activity for Gabrielle, who had a pile larger than the rest of our gifts combined.  She started opening gifts before the rest of us and she did not finish until long after the rest of us. We had to force her to open the last 5 gifts, because she was so interested in playing with the rest of her gifts.  Gabby took breaks during opening gifts to play with toys.  Finally, Michael and I got smart and starting moving the gifts away from her once they were opened to make sure she was finished opening before everyone had to leave (this is no exaggeration).

After a visit to the mistletoe, Brandy, Nanny, and their significant others left.  As they left a coat was needed, the temperature had dropped from a warm 76 degrees to a Christmas appropriate temperature in the 40's.

Dinner was cooked and we all lazily visited until dinner was ready.  We all enjoyed a nice portion of homemade lasagna and salad.  Once everyone said their goodbyes and went to Grandma's house, I cleaned while Michael tried to get Gabby in her pajamas.  Gabby exclaimed, "No, I can't! I need to take a bath first."  These are not words that typically come out of her mouth, but I went and started running her a bath while Michael got her ready to hop in.  Gabby grabbed her new bath time baby and hopped into the tub excitedly.  I love that one of her toys is making bath time a little easier! Thank you GiGi!

I am starting to love Christmas time, the twinkling lights, being surrounded by family and laughter, and the excitement surrounding Gabby. Christmas time is truly more magical when your have a child to share it with.  Gabby makes me excited for Christmas Day; our families sharing the magic and love bursting from our home, which is all thanks to our sweet little angel, Gabrielle.  Merry Christmas everyone!


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