Sunday, January 19, 2014

Christmas 2013

Having trouble sleeping (plenty of house stuff on the mind), which makes this the perfect time to finally catch up on Christmas.  Why?  Because photos make me happy and photos of family make me happier still. 

Christmas this year was amazing.  After much anticipation, Callie, Adam, and Zoe flew in from Washington.  We never anticipated that my Uncle Jay, Aunt Janet, and four Wells cousins would drive all the way from Long Island to join us as well.  More than a decade ago (gosh golly, gee whiz, it's actually been closer to two decades!), we surprised them by showing up on their doorstep one Christmas.  My Mom had been so homesick that we decided to hop in the car and drive to New York at the very last minute.  With no time to plan for a pet sitter, we simply brought our cat and hedgehog along.  (Yes, hard to believe we owned a kitty--not the most brilliant choice for our family.)

I remember how excited everyone was right up until the moment we pulled into the driveway in Long Island.  Through the upstairs window, we could see the silhouettes of two adorable Wells girls bouncing on their beds.  Callie and I couldn't wait to jump out and bounce with them.  My parents, on the other hand, were nervously whispering about how maybe they should have asked or at least given a little bit of warning.  But hey, it was an awful long drive back so we unloaded and rang the doorbell, pets and all.

Well, turn around is fair play.  If you ever want to feel loved, open your front door to be greeted not by the UPS man, but by a crazy/courageous family who just drove two days to see you.  Christmas will never feel sweeter.

A photo of our fearless carolers who arrived singing "Rudolf."  Janet was the star.

Gregory took a close second with his Santa beard.
I'm sure Jeanette would want me to mention, however, that she was the one brave enough to actually ring the doorbell.
Before we dive into Christmas, we can't forget Uncle Adam's December 24th birthday.  We celebrated with dinner out at Biaggis.  Sourdough bread and Ghirardelli chocolates...sounds like Callie's got a special San Franciscan trip  in mind!
The Wheeler family thought Adam needed a new shirt.  Had we known Uncle Jay was going to be close by, we would have purchased two!

No Christmas Eve is complete without Christmas stories and a sing-along.

Eli took his role as jingle beller quite seriously.
Callie lightened things up a bit.  :)
This year, it was Callie and I who read all about Jabez Dawes, the Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus.
Katelyn played the guitar...

...while Nette, Alesia, Talia, and Zoe snuggled on the loveseat.
With a babe in her arms, NomiAnn found this silent night to be quite sweet.

At last, Christmas morning!  Time for everybody to line up at the top of the stairs.  Talia doesn't seem to like waiting...
I suppose that's better.  Santa left a very small bag of sweets in their stockings, but just the thought of candy was enough to send our Tally Wally off in a tizzy.
Zoe settled into Jay's lap, and it was time to open presents.
NomiAnn made some absolutely amazing clothes for Brooklyn's Kaya doll.
Much to his delight, Eli got all sorts of new trains.

He also loved his "Planes" book and remembered right away that it was Uncle Jay who first took him to the movie.
Reading with Alesia and Gregory
Callie shows off a new puppy frame while Papa K keeps his usual post as the trash collector.
We gave Jason a football in the hopes that he'll take us to a Huskers game.
I'm not sure what the ornament is, but Gregory's amused.
Oh look, more T shirts!  "The Library: A Great Place to Get Checked Out."

The kids all got matching shirts from the Shake Shack.  Love 'em!
Eli was pretty pleased with his new undies.  Gosh, we've come a long way since last Christmas when we traveled to Phoenix with his potty seat.
Oh, and another great book.   Goodnight, goodnight, Construction Site!
The kids and I had a blast shopping for mugs at Goodwill for the Wells family.  At least the chocolates weren't recycled. 
Be careful Jeanette!  The gifts are taking over.
Jason models his minion lunch box...
his Lego book...
...and his lens mug.  I'm never sure what to think when my husband's cuter than I am.
The kids' big gift from us this year was a Wii with four controllers.  I've never been a big fan of gaming, but we've been struggling to find ways to exercise in the winter.  We caved in and bought Just Dance for the kids and Zumba for me.  It's been a lot of fun--we even had my Mom dancing a couple days ago.  We hope to keep all our games active.
Callie reads a special card...
...while Zoe ponders why she must suffer through the yearly ritual of the Christmas headdress.
When shaped like a holiday cracker, Christmas packages just need two to open.
Callie and Adam put together a lovely "name frame" for the Wells family.
She also gave them a game so awesome that we both accidentally purchased it for them.  Katelyn thought it was pretty funny.
Uncle Jay joins in the conversation.
Wow, more train stuff!  NomiAnn made off like a Craigslist bandit, making Eli a mighty rich railroader.
NomiAnn checks out her new KitchenAid mixer.  You can see Talia modeling her new boots and hat as well.
Christmas wouldn't be the same without Papa K's Noel pin.

Happy grandparents.
The only person not particularly happy was Annika.  The poor babe was so sick!

I'd dreamed of Annie gleefully tearing into every package, but instead she flopped like a rag doll.
Fortunately Annika was a good sport and suffered silently.  Just like Zoe.
The antlers of shame.
Hope everyone had a wonderful (and not overly demoralizing) Christmas!


Julie L said...

What a fun holiday for you! Loved the movie you posted earlier and it was great to see who was on the other side!

Anonymous said...

You preserved some terrific holiday memories in these photos Kara and Jason. Thank you so much! It is too bad Zoe, the beloved pug, cannot post a comment. She really did lose all enthusiasm for movement when she was dressed in a sweater and an antler headband. In her canine way, she sortof reminded me of J.E. Frasier's "The End of the Trail" statue. Fortunately, she perked back up once her undignified garb was removed. From now on ... let Zoe be Zoe ... she knows who she is, a proud, loyal and loving pug!

Susie said...

What a lovely Christmas day. So neat that Jay, Janet and family were able to surprise you and join you. Wish we could have been two places at once, but I think you already had a house full!! Thanks for the wonderful post and sharing your memories!