this weekend we celebrated christmas with joe's side of the family. jeffrey and robin and their 4 kids came up from sioux falls, south dakota. friday night was fun because the 6 of us (joe and his two brothers and the wives) we were able to hang out. joe's mom had jeff and robin's 4 kids up at her house and ben hung out with mike, meghan and landon for the evening. we went to eat at burger jones (yum!) and then went bowling and had a great time.
jake and allison stayed at our house friday night to make it a shorter drive to joe's parents' house in the morning. so saturday morning joe and jake took ben up to his parents' house and allison and i stayed at our house for a few hours so i could finish up some laundry and get some gift wrapping done. we headed up around lunchtime and spent the day and evening there.
sunday morning, joe and bennett and i hung out in the morning at our house. we headed up to jeff and sara's around 11. we had lunch and then put the kiddos down for a nap. joe and i stayed inside that afternoon with the little ones while everyone else went four-wheeling and played hockey. we had a yummy italian meal that evening and then all opened gifts. bennett loved playing with his cousins, eating marshmallows, and helping throw away gift wrap (who knew?). he had a tough time, though, with being gentle and had several incidents where we had to pull him away from the group for hitting the other kids. great... granted, jeff and robin's boys play rough and bennett probably had a tough time understanding the difference between playing and actually hitting. but still. not ideal. also bennett struggled when i was holding whitney (his youngest cousin, who is 3 months younger than him), and got a little aggressive with her because he was jealous. hopefully not a sign of coming attractions... ohhh toddlerhood...
yesterday, joe worked and i had my first "real" day as a full-time SAHM. i always had friday through sunday off, so this was my first day home when i would normally have been at work. bennett and i had a great day. we had a fun morning just playing around the house, went grocery shopping, and had lunch at red robin with mike, meghan and landon. bennett took almost a 3 hour nap and i got a little nap in there as well! bonus :-)
last night we did one of our traditions that we started for our family last year. we got hot chocolate (ben had milk) and drove around looking at christmas lights and listening to christmas music. it's one of those simple things that probably would seem lame to some people, but joe and i have already come to look forward to it. and it was fun listening to bennett chat in the back seat and say "ho ho ho" when he saw santas.
speaking of santa, we brought bennett to see santa last weekend. i honestly thought ben would be completely chill about it- he doesn't have much of a sense of "stranger danger" and is very open to new people. well, he liked santa from afar and even walked right up to him and looked at him. but then he lost it when we put him on santa's lap.
i have to say, it was pretty adorable. as soon as he was done and i picked him up, he started saying "ho ho ho" and "bye bye!" i'm glad he isn't scarred for life or anything ;-)
it's so fun to start these traditions with our own family. one we carried over from mine is not putting baby jesus in the nativity until he's born on christmas. bennett loves the nativity and when we talk about baby jesus being born he says "cheese." i think jesus would be ok with the nickname. ben also likes to "moo" at the cow in the nativity.
today we are having a family day- blueberry french toast bake for breakfast, opening presents, last minute christmas shopping, then church at eaglebrook at 5. then we will head to my parents' house tonight and stay there. christmas morning will be a yummy breakfast (complete with our traditional gourmet pillsbury cinnamon rolls :). my sister-in-law works in the morning (she's a medical resident) but will be over around 11:30 or so and we will do presents then. the rest of the day will be just relaxing! we used to go to a movie every year, but now that we have bennett, that tradition has been put on hold for now.
it's the most wonderful time of the year, friends! enjoy your time with family and remember the reason that we celebrate.
"and there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. but the angel said to them, 'do not be afraid. i bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. today in the town of david a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. this will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.'"