Joy to the World | Christmas 2010

We left our house on December 23rd at 10:30 p.m. and TJ drove all night.  We were dashing through the snow to get to Utah on Christmas Eve, driving 700 miles in 11 hours, door-to-door.  Sponsored by 5-Hour Energy drinks.  And TJ does this without ever complaining.  He’s amazing, that husband of mine.

From Christmas 2010

Christmas Eve was wonderful.  We enjoyed family time together, delicious food and lovely gifts.  We’re so blessed.

Here’s the Fab Four.  My siblings are so cool.

Grandpa Tom.  Dad.  Father-in-law.  Quick to laugh and love.

I’m bummed I didn’t get any photos of my Mom on Christmas Eve or Christmas. Sometimes even the photo-obsessed like myself can miss out on the best photo opps.  Sometimes my best intentions take the back seat – to kids, crying, cooking, Christmas and life – and the camera sits in its case.  But I do have a great photo of my Mom, the Queen of Christmas, from last year.  She always makes Christmas so festive and special.

The kids were beyond thrilled to play with their Utah cousins again.  I love the bond they share with their cousins.  Our nieces and nephews are really awesome young people and they’re so great with our kids.

Well, Olivia slept through dinner.

But she woke up to open some fun gifts that she loved.

Of course, the kids opened their matching Christmas pajamas.  It’s a fun tradition, continued from my own childhood.  For some reason I only got a photo of these two cuties in their jammies.

I think the teenage cousins were avoiding a group jammie photo for fear that their Aunt Sheena would post it on Facebook for all their friends to see. Like this one from 2008. Why is this embarrassing to a teenager?

Christmas morning was super fun with Aunt Niki and her kids.

Stockings!

Cuddles!

Cute sister/aunt!

The Daddy assembly line.

Jack was really excited about this. Boys will be boys.

Sophia was in heaven playing hair salon all morning.

And Olivia got her scoot on with her first Razor scooter.

I so enjoyed our Utah Christmas, nestled in the Rocky Mountains.  It still feels like home, especially at Christmas.  But mostly, I enjoyed being with my family.  My husband.  My three children.  My parents.  My sisters.  My brother.  My three nephews.  My two nieces.  It’s been 15 months since the last time we were all together.  Which is 15 months too long.

Christmas night brought on more family fun, doing what we do best.  Talking.  Laughing.  Eating.  Playing.  Reminiscing. Singing.  The boys had a serious ping-pong tournament in the basement.  And the girls put on a cute singing and dancing talent show.

And then came my favorite part.  The kids produced a Nativity Play.  Ariana was Mary.  Grandpa was Joseph.  Sophia and Olivia were Angels.  Ali was a cow.

As we sat on the couch and watched our kids (and Grandpa) in makeshift costumes act out the birth of Jesus, I paused to be grateful for the most generous gift I have ever received.  And it didn’t come from Santa.

Joy to the world, the Lord has come!

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