Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Holly Jolly

We spent a fantastic week with the Nielsons for Christmas!  We started the week in Pocatello for Christmas Eve and Christmas and then we headed to their cabin in Sun Valley for a few days afterward (more on Sun Valley in another post--I'm trying to break up the overload of photos!).

Highlights of Christmas week included:

-Visiting Santa at the Pocatello mall.  I must say, my kids were thoroughly unimpressed--which kind of made the photo all the more awesome.

And can we please take a moment to flashback to this insane cuteness from two years ago?  (Still the worst mall Santa I've ever seen.  That beard.)

-Christmas Eve, all dressed up in our finest for Grandma's amazing feast.

Little Sally Lou Who
(Outrageous outfit is compliment of Aunt Sarah, of course)
Dapper Dude in front of the tree
Lily and Kate in their Christmas tutus...cutest ever
And speaking of cutest ever: Noah and Great Grandpa Nip are twinners!
-A magical Christmas morning, which included a jolly elf in polka-dot pajamas, amazing presents from Santa, and several inches of fresh white snow!  The best!

Cutest elf
His first look at what Santa brought him. :)
-Trains, trains, trains!  Noah is beyond obsessed with trains, and he was spoiled this Christmas with not one but two train sets!  He got a wooden one from Bapa and an electric one from Santa.  Could a boy be luckier?  We set up his wooden train on the table and his electric train under the table, so it was truly Grand Central Station in the living room.  He played with the trains from morning until night, actually wearing out a set of brand new batteries in one day.  Happiest, luckiest boy.

It occurred to me as I watched him playing so happily that most children in the world never even get one toy so nice.  It made me feel a little sad--and also grateful and determined to give more and to do more for others. We are blessed beyond measure, and I hope that we can teach Noah to be generous throughout his life.


-Baby's first Christmas.  We were blessed this Christmas to have a true angel in our midst.  Sister Sally is one-of-a-kind and brings us all so much joy.  If she catches your eye, she will grin, as is evidenced by these photos that my brother-in-law snapped while we were opening presents.

First she catches his eye...
Then rewards him with that mega-watt smile!
Sal was spoiled with a a killer-cute bunny from Grandma and a Sophie giraffe and some teether/rattles from Bapa (among other things).  Lucky baby.

She had so much fun snuggling with her aunts and cousins throughout the day.  I can't speak for her, but I'd say she had a pretty perfect First Christmas.

One of her two beautiful Aunt Sara's (this one spells her name without an h)
Sally and Lucy...six week apart in age and already besties...the most darling besties in town!
-And speaking of did we have fun with them!  Six children ages three and under were running around the house.  It was a tad crazy, but oh-so-fun!

Sweet Tate in an uncharacteristic calm moment (he's a mover and a climber)
Smiley Lily by the tree
Beautiful Lucy
 And she is just as sweet as she is pretty!
Cutest Kate--love her.
And this is what it's like to try to get a photo of all six of the kiddos together:

This is going well.
Poor Tate.
And what is Noah looking at?
Love how Gordon is laughing
Yeah this isn't chaotic or anything.
These were the best group photos we could manage throughout the week.  Pretty beautiful kids, I must admit.

They may not all be looking at the camera, but, hey, no one is crying.
All ready for church
It was a perfect Christmas with so many people whom we love so much.  Does it get any better?  Thank you for hosting us for a wonderful holiday, Grandma and Grandpa!  We love you!

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