When you travel 14 hours by car to visit family and you get everyone dressed for Christmas Eve Mass and you gather them outside in the cold and you insist that they all smile for a family picture or eight AND THEY ACTUALLY DO IT...do remember to check that your camera dials weren't moved around in the suitcase sojourn. Christmas Eve 2013, out of focus.
The children and I just got back from three weeks in Alabama with my family. The Mister made some brief appearances for crucial moments, like Christmas and both of those 14 hour drives, and spent our time away working hard for a living.
This year, it ended with a little dancing, too.
And some baby snuggling.
Santa's helpers fell into bed way too late, and Little Guy rose early, itching to peek under the tree. The boys asked Santa for bikes this year, as well as putting in a request for something for Baby Girl that she couldn't swallow. Well, the shiny new bikes were under the tree on Christmas morning, but our cautious boys wouldn't go near them.
We eventually got Buddy Boy to put on his helmet.
And then we gave up on bikes and moved on to less overwhelming gifts.
Baby Girl experienced no hesitation about her gifts, which--much to everyone's relief--it was confirmed she could not swallow.
And a couple hours later, the boys were finally willing to sit on their bikes.
After having hosted Daddy's side of the family for Christmas Eve dinner, Mama executed an amazing presto change-o, and had her entire side of the family over for a Christmas Day feast. She is quite the skilled and welcoming hostess.
That party lasted until the middle of the night, with Daddy hosting the survivors around the fire pit.
Happy New Year, everyone!