Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Very Merry Christmas

We are slowly settling back in from a very merry Christmas in Ohio. Our trip started out with a bit of an adventure: a hotel stay in West Virginia. The further north we travelled, the whiter the roads became. By 7:30, we decided it was not worth the risk and found a hotel that would welcome us, Viv, and Hrme. Poor Brad hauled in a huge suitcase, the hermit crab box, trunkies, and dog bowls. It was a mess. But...the hotel was lovely, decorated to the nines. Our room looked right out over the front entrance, and we watched it snow and snuggled in as our little family. It was magic, and we were actually a little glad for the adventure.
Once we were back on the road, we went to Papa Don's house and celebrated the first of many Christmases with family. Our little firefighter made his first appearance:
 We spent two days there, enjoying Christmas lights and playing. Then we headed to Grandma Pat's house and the cousins took a truce from Nerf guns long enough for one picture:
 And our little elves helped spread Christmas joy with Grandpa Kevin:
 We headed further north to celebrate in Napoleon. A rare picture of the two of us:
 Thank goodness for Aunt Shannon and her camera:
 I love that snapshot of three generations.

Our girl is anything but subtle:
 And a rare picture of Evan smiling that night:
 The poor boy had an ugly cold.

And Issa and Uncle Jeff had big always:
 We wrote the traditional note to Santa:
 But our snack was a bit unconventional:
 Our traditional tree cakes for Santa, carrots for Blitzen, and individual bowls of reindeer food for the rest of the team. Rudolph got Evan's reindeer food from school; the rest had bowls of fresh food made that evening. I didn't question the logic; I just wrote and carried bowls.

A little Christmas morning excitement, perhaps?
 Santa brought Issa's panda pillowpet:
 And he brought Evan's pumper truck:
 And the stockings were filled and emptied:
 And then we headed across the street. Only the littles carried on the pajama tradition, and they did it well:
 And the Slights gave each little a sleeping bag:
 It was hysterical to watch seven little people roll and snuggle and pillow fight. The whole basement floor was covered with sleeping bags, and the warmth was palpable.

A few family photos:
 The three girls:
 My boys:
My boy:

It was a perfect Christmas. And the day after, Evan had the thrill of a lifetime. Tyler the Huge took him out to Uncle Todd's shop! There were bulldozer parts:
And a dump truck to climb in with Tyler:

Issa fell in love with snow all over again:
She and Daddy collected enough snow for snowcream:
And her Christmas was complete:
 I love the rosy cheeks and big smile.

But these picture, these pictures are my favorites:

 They capture the week: warmth. Warmth of roaring fires and snugly moments. Warmth of laughter and conversation. Warmth of family and home...a very merry Christmas indeed.

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