We had a great first Christmas with Emerson this year - we have laughed as people ask us if she had a 'big Christmas' referring to lots of gifts - the answer is yes...but not because of presents we unwrapped for her. She had a big Christmas because she is HERE and healthy and precious and loved and has parents and a home. And we had a big Christmas because she is here and healthy and precious and loved and we have her with us in our home - our new home! - and there is no better way to celebrate Christmas with her. It put such perspective for me all season long on the fact that Christ came here as a baby just like our little bundle and how much Mary & Joseph must have loved him and been in awe of him as their child on earth and their savior all at the same time. How amazing!
We stretched out our holiday celebrations this year, celebrating with the Bruces a few weeks before Christmas as Bob & Gloria were headed to California for a west coast Christmas with David, Scott & their families. We had a great time getting together with Chris, Robert & their families ate a big lunch and enjoyed being together with them! Christmas Eve, we traveled to Greensboro to have lunch with my dad where we have been celebrating for the past few years at the Green Valley Grille - we all look forward to a delicious lunch here - even if Laura and I do always get the chicken salad sandwich, whatever it's delicious! Em slept through most of lunch, but woke up in time for some snuggles with my dad (and Caleb, who seriously LOVES her - it could not be cuter) before it was time for her to eat.
Then we headed home to my mom's house where we hunkered down for the next few days. I got whooped in a game of Scrabble that night and Laura and I went through all of our family ornaments and divided them up between ourselves. There was a coveted 'barter' pile of about 10 ornaments that we had to battle it out for, which was hilarious, but we mostly came to a truce on them. And for any sadness I might have been feeling, I was consoled with my longest night's sleep yet! Emerson went 6 hours between feedings that night and I sang her praises in the morning! After the most longed after meal of the year, Christmas brunch - complete with hashbrown casserole (a personal favorite), fruit, bacon, sausage, cheesy eggs (and I mean CHEESY), coffee cake and more deliciousness, the kids opened presents and then cozied up for nap time, book reading, and play time with the little ones. I love having Caleb & Em around for holidays, they make life so much more fun! When we found out we were pregnant, we told Adam and Ashley by getting pajamas for Caleb and matching ones in a newborn size telling them it was so he could take a picture Christmas morning in matching pajamas with his cousin...too bad he has already outgrown his and Emerson's are still like 6 inches too long for her!
The next afternoon we headed back to Greensboro for a housewarming party for the Brackens. This was their second party at their house, and slightly more successful than last year's. We were not at last year's party, but the 'housewarming' theme was a little too literal and a fire broke out in the house and their house burned pretty much to the ground. Thankfully with so many people there, they were able to save most of their valuables from their house, and after a long year of rebuilding, they have been blessed with a beautiful new home! And there wasn't a candle lit or fire in the fire place this year - and they filled the Christmas tree stand to the brim with water before plugging in their lights this year! [Lynn: send me your picture of you with Em from the party and you will make the blog, insert HERE!] On our way back to Charlotte the next day we stopped back through Winston so Terry could watch a little football and Emerson could meet her first friend, Kessler Hill! For the first time in awhile, Em actually seemed big to me next to someone younger and smaller than herself! (We just got back from the doctor and she's doing great - has been gaining an ounce a day just as she should! She's a 'chubby' 8.8!)
Overall, it was a great Christmas and we are blown away at the blessings on our family this past year. We are happy to be back home and unpacked now, but dread having to put away the Christmas ornaments and take down the tree. Hopefully we can keep the warmth and spirit of love and thankfulness full in our house all year long!
Oh, and for New Year's resolutions, mine will be to get my butt as proportionally small as my daughter's! :)