That’s the word I would use to describe the past 4 days.
We were consistently doing something, but everything we were doing was so good. This weekend was packed with sweet new memories and the beginnings of some incredibly fun traditions, and I am so excited to share these past 4 days with you.
This is our family as elves 😛 I made them with Google’s Santa Tracker 😉
I hurried out of my office the minute my computer said it was 4pm and rushed to the store to make some last minute purchases for our Christmas dinner. The remainder of our evening included a FaceTime date with my mom and a trip to the grocery store with the fam.
We headed over to the farm to witness my mother-in-law receiving 2 Christmas surprises; a 4-wheeler and a farm dog that she’s been wanting. She was so surprised and excited, it was awesome!
I had never ridden a 4-wheeler before, and I gotta say I had an absolute blast! Aaron took me deep into the woods at my in-law’s and I could not stop smiling. Their new dog, Rex, followed us the whole way too.
Here’s a video I took of us riding 🙂
Our day concluded with some downtime with the girls at home, which included opening gifts that arrived in the mail from Grandpa Peaks.
Shortly after, we all headed to bed to get some rest before our early morning on Sunday.
Our crew woke up at 6:30am to get ready for a full, exciting morning at church. With the adjusted service times to accommodate the Christmas Services the church was hosting, we all rode to church together as a family, something that hasn’t happened in almost a year due to Aaron needing to arrive around 6am. But because he didn’t need to be there until 7:30am this time and it was only 2 services, we all rode together.
The girls were great leaders in their classroom, and Rylie loved saying “Merry Christmas” (which usually came out “Chrismast” :D) and handing out Christmas cards to our church friends.
The remainder of our afternoon and evening was spent at home – playing, reading Christmas books and watching a couple Christmas movie.
Monday – Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve started out how most of my mornings do – waking up early and my child whom I’m starting to call an “early bird” got up between 6:30-7am. We hung out in the living room and caught up on a couple Christmas movies (like “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “Jim Carrey’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas”) before the rest of the household woke up and we ate breakfast together.
We did a few things around the house to prepare for the next day before heading off to church to serve the last 2 services of Christmas at Highlands, including finishing 2 rolls of wrapping paper which of course means a sword fight 😉
Rylie got a lot of compliments on her dress and I would say, “thank you! It was her Great-Grandmother’s dress.” Which instantly sparked “ooo’s” and “aww’s.”
Once services had concluded we headed home for a Christmas Eve outfit pictures in front of our tree.
As soon as I got the picture, I got out the girls’ Christmas Eve boxes.
Rylie was quick to open hers and loved everything that was included.
Of course, I had to help Emmaline with hers but she was a fan as well.
I included the girl’s last Book Advent book in Rylie’s box, so we enjoyed a sweet Touchy-Feel Nativity story before bedtime.
Because neither of the girls got a nap due to church service times, we got them in their PJ’s and swooped them off to bed a little early.
Just continuing our Christmas Eve Polaroid picture tradition 😍 also, RYLIE IS SMILING!!!! 😄 hahaha
Aaron and I did some last minute wrapping (I had done a good job of staying on top of it, so we only had 2 to wrap) and laid out our gifts under the tree.
I followed Santa on Google’s Santa Tracker because I think it’s fun and it brings back sweet Christmas Eve memories from my childhood.
This was about the time I said, “wow! That escalated quickly. I need to go to bed!” hahaha 😛
Tuesday – Christmas Day
I woke up before the sun on Christmas Day, which was not intentional but seems to be a thing I do… I laid on the couch and watched the sunrise and wrapped up a Christmas Advent I was doing and said a brief prayer before prepping some things for the family to wake up.
Per usual, Emmaline was the first one to announce that she was awake and ready to embrace the day. I went into her room, picked her up, and gave her a bottle.
Aaron got up shortly after and it wasn’t long before Rylie was knocking on her bedroom door (how she tells us she is awake and ready to come out). Aaron and I opened her door together and we were greeted with “hey!” and hugs.
A reading of the Christmas Story from the Bible and a yummy Christmas breakfast also ensued before we hopped on video chat to talk to my mom and brother in Seattle.
We let Rylie open one gift, Usborne’s Busy Car Book which was a huge hit with both her and Aaron! “Thanks for the gift hun!” Aaron said jokingly when he was still playing with it after Rylie had moved onto other things 😝
When we said our goodbyes to my fam, we hung out together for a bit before welcoming Rick and Michelle to our home and helping them bring things in. MeeMaw wasn’t far behind and we enjoyed burgers for lunch and a movie showing of “Elf.”
I also got Emmaline dressed into her very special Christmas outfit ❤
Ryan and Amberlyn arrived a couple hours later and we unpacked all the presents and set them under the tree. Rick & Michelle surprised everyone with Santa hats, which created for a fun family picture.
The time came for something Aaron had been working on a majority of the month – the very first “Christmas Olympics.” A few weeks back, I had the idea of having a competition between the tribe members and we could call it “The Christmas Olympics.” Aaron loved the idea and ran with it – creating games and a point system and even got a prize for the winner.
The first game we played was “Christmas Pong” – similar to “Beer Pong” but without the alcohol.
From there we did “Oreo Sled,” “The Hook,” and “Balloon Blower.”
When the games were done, everyone went in to bring the food out while I decorated the table. Aaron and I had brought our dining table into our sunroom to create a bigger, more spacious environment for the meal. I was so excited to decorate the table, and I think it turned out beautifully.
A last minute add was these ornaments. I purchased ornaments for each family member that best summed up them and their year. The downside was because I decided to embark on this idea 4 days before Christmas, my ornament options were extremely limited, so I ended up getting whatever I could find – whether it represented that person’s year or was just something that person liked.
MeeMaw – a craft ornament because if you know her, you know crafting is her gig 😉
Rick – a pig ornament because he added pigs to his farm this year
Michelle – a chef ornament because she makes delicious meals
Aaron – a doctor ornament because of his hand surgery + having to go in for walking pneumonia
Sarah (me) – a plant ornament because Amberlyn gave me a succulent in April and it’s the only plant I’ve ever been able to keep alive for any amount of time
Ryan – a black shoe ornament because he always wears black
Amberlyn – a coffee bag ornament because coffee is her favorite drink
Rylie – a cowgirl ornament because Woody is her current favorite
Emmaline – a 1st Christmas ornament because it’s her 1st Christmas
Everyone seemed to love it and I’m excited to plan ahead next year and get everyone an ornament that is more accurate to their year.
Aaron kept track of points and announced the winner before we sat down for dinner. Dad was the very first winner of the “Christmas Olympics,” and he wanted to thank the academy for all they did to help him win 😝
Dinner was a great mix of farm-raised food, family recipes, and food from the box 😉
When we had eaten and done a quick clean-up-sweep, we gathered in the living room and distributed gifts. We had drawn names around Thanksgiving and had a $50 limit for whoever’s name we drew. You were welcome to get gifts for others as well, but it was not “required.” We made it around one time before Emmaline was clearly over it and our sweet teething baby needed to go to bed. We got a few family pictures in front of the tree and then I got her changed into her jammies, said “goodnight” and “Merry Christmas” to everyone and got her in bed.
Rylie scored when it came to gifts! From books, new things for her kitchen, overalls for the farm to Pixar toys and adorable shoes from AmBam, the girl is set!
The adults finished opening our gifts and loved seeing what our “secret Santa” got us.
Since Emmaline needed to go to bed and she doesn’t get the whole present concept, we elected to all unwrap Emmaline’s gifts at the same time (but you couldn’t open one you had given her). It was funny to see all the adults opening baby things hahaha
We concluded the night with a worship song, dessert, and a movie. I’d call it a good ending to a phenomenal day!
Check out this video that shares snip bits of the day + the Christmas Olympics!