Monday, December 21, 2009

Let the Christmas Celebrations Begin!!

I love the week or so before Christmas! That's when it really starts to feel like Christmas to me. This year I actually had my shopping and wrapping done early so I was able to enjoy the season a little earlier and not stress about last minute things to do. But the week before Christmas seems to be when all the little celebrations begin with friends and family.

Last Wednesday was Gabrielle's last ballet class until January. It was also Parents' Day which meant family and friends were invited to come into the classroom and watch. Gabrielle's class had learned a little routine to The Nutcracker to perform for us. She and the other little girls could not have been cuter!**

This past weekend was the Guthrie family celebration (my side of the family). We were all a little worried whether we would be able to get together due to the forecast for snow and sleet. Our prayers were answered and none of us were hit with anything to prevent us from traveling to my brother's house in Garner. Instead of a traditional Christmas dinner we opted for a good ole Harkers Island clambake! Yummmmmmy! The kids and some of the spouses weren't thrilled but the rest of us enjoyed it.

Samantha really got into opening her gifts. She tore right into the paper as if she knew what to do. Once the gift was opened she had as much fun playing with the tissue paper as she did with the gift itself. Unfortunately she only lasted through about three gifts before she fell asleep on MeeMaw's lap.

Gabrielle was super excited. We did not do a very good job capturing her first reaction to her gift with this photo but she LOVED everything. She has literally played with everything she got on Saturday and has played with Samantha's stuff too.

While we came home with some great stuff and while it felt good to watch others opening their gifts, the most important thing is that we all were able to be there together. It doesn't happen nearly often enough. We each have our own families and busy schedules and so much going on. But it is so nice to all be together to laugh and pick on one another.

Today we had our friends Casey, Gus and Anna over for cookies and milk. Gabrielle was so excited all morning. She kept going to the door and window asking when Gus was going to get here. She would say, "I think I hear his car" and run to the door. Once they all got here and after a little playtime, Gabrielle and Gus did some Christmas crafts. My friend Casey (Gus and Anna's mom) is starting a new business selling ready made craft packs for preschoolers. She has such cute ideas! Today Gabrielle made a Rudolph puppet and Gus did a Santa puppet.

What do you think could be more troublesome than getting a good Christmas card photo of a 3-year-old and a baby? Taking a picture of two 3-year-olds hyped up on sugar and two hungry babies!! Once we got one baby happy the other one would get upset and the 3-year-olds were practically bouncing off the walls! Oh well...below you'll see our attempts at getting a cute picture.

The next couple of days will be fairly low key for us. We'll do some baking but other than that we'll take it easy and relax - or at least I'll try to relax. Gabrielle is about to burst she wants Christmas to be here so badly!

Now I'm going to get comfy in my new flannel pajamas and slipper socks and enjoy the quiet evening with a good book.

**I was trying to upload a video clip of Gabrielle's Nutcracker performance but it is such a large file I have to use YouTube and it was taking forever to upload it there as well. I'll try to get the video up soon on a separate post but right now I want to go to bed!!

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