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December has been such a full and (mostly) jolly month, it’s hard to believe we’re headed into the new year in a few short days.

This was the second year in a row that we decorated sugar cookies with Nona. (I love her cookie cutter collection- some are very detailed and several are from her childhood.)  To be honest, it was definitely a lesson in patience for me…the girls were so eager to do EVERYTHING! AT! ONCE! My sister reminded me later, though, that as chaotic as it was, the girls will have fun memories from it and that’s what matters.DSC_1126DSC_1128

We went to the children’s Christmas party at the local K of C council hall which all three girls really enjoyed…except poor Heidi was not a fan of being in such close proximity to Santa!DSC_1101

I dropped the ball with Audrey’s ballet/ tap “recital” and class party by forgetting the email that mentioned the original date was mixed up, so she was the only one without a gift to share and I didn’t have her teacher’s gift with me.  I’m sure it’s silly to let it bother me so much (especially since in the end we had to leave early and Audrey didn’t know anything was “amiss” about the day) but I hate feeling like such a disjointed parent; I guess God knew I needed a lesson in humility. 1216151025The next week Evie was a cow in her pre-K Christmas pageant. :) It was so cute seeing all the kids singing and watching their hand motions to the songs.

She also read a prayer and loved having the “microphone make her voice loud”. :)Pageant

Christmas prep this year wasn’t exactly as I would have had it…a few days before, the living room curtains received one yank too many and the rod pulled out of the wall on one side. We were planning on cutting down a tree mid-December-ish but ended up getting one from a pre-cut lot on the 23rd instead (but for very cheap!), and the Christmas light situation was mismatched and sparse.

However, the girls had no inkling that we got our tree “late”. They thought the lonely, nondescript-parking-lot tree place was a blast, and they love every ounce of Christmas decor that we put on display in our home. They don’t give two hoots that the lights and decorations are a bit…eclectic. ;) Once again I’m learning I’m the one who needs to be at peace and let go of my lofty expectations. Other people aren’t hassling me to have everything just so…I’m the one who is hassling myself and my family.CSC_1268

After a lot of hemming and hawing, Tim and I decided for our family to go to the 0730 Christmas mass. I was hesitant because I didn’t want our Christmas morning to be a crazy scramble to get out the door early with hungry kids, but everything ended up going pretty smoothly AND mass wasn’t super crowded which was amazing!! I snapped quick photos of the girls in their outfits as we were getting ready…I can barely handle how cute Heidi was standing in her “big girl” shoes. :)

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Presents and breakfast followed, of course, once we got home.DSC_1203 DSC_1206DSC_1195

One of my favorite things we did in early December was going to a little party at a hospice-run thrift store, at my sister’s suggestion. They had story-time, balloon animals, refreshments, and visits with Santa (all free), and then a shopping room for kids to shop for gifts for a dollar each. The volunteers helped the kids pick out their gifts and wrapped them for them- Evie and Audrey picked out gifts for each other and Heidi (we ended up with a few more stuffed toys (thankfully new with tags!) and a ball gun ;). It was just so sweet! I think Heidi’s favorite gift this Christmas was her light-up bear that sings.DSC_1222 DSC_1216 DSC_1219

After naps we headed over to my parent’s house for dinner and more gifts. The thermostat was almost 80 degrees inside their of house because of the unseasonably warm weather (which completely threw a wrench in my outfit plans- how dare it)! It was a fun evening full of delectable food, chaos, and Christmas hubbub.
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And now, we continue to celebrate. :)

Merry Christmas!