A few days before Christmas Paul came home from work and mentioned that he had read an article on CNN about how Best Buy was doing a special "trade in your old iphone and get a new 6s for $1" promotion thing. And since I needed a new phone it made perfect sense. So I had my brand new phone for about 5 days, which included Christmas Eve and Christmas morning and I used it to snap pictures of moments that were happening instead of using the DSLR, which we just set on a tripod with a timer function set to go off at intervals so that we might end up with maybe a few photos of all of us just enjoying Christmas morning.
And then 2 days after Christmas my new phone slipped out of my pocket at the park while I was chasing after Rose who was refusing to come to me when it was time to go and the screen shattered. And then I forgot to back it up before it got wiped and replaced with a new one because I completely spaced that it had Christmas videos on it. Sooo, we lost the videos of the girls opening the aprons that my mom made for them (which they loved) and of Clara jumping up and down shouting "Santa brought a TRAIN!" or the girls dancing with the stuffed Santa doll on Christmas Eve (so hilarious and something they did most every night leading up to Christmas where Paul would puppeteer Santa into leading the girls in a dance routine full of head banging and booty shaking and they would be practically falling on the ground, helpless with laughter).
So frustrating and upsetting. But it was totally my fault for forgetting to back it up again.
Anyway, so the only images I have from Christmas morning are from the tripod and they are all basically the same except we were moving around the room, etc. There aren't any good details or faces or what was given or received, but it is better than nothing, I guess.
We had a wonderful Christmas. On Christmas Eve we went and had sushi (such a genius idea and might become a tradition for us - it was delicious) and then the Hambys and Ambroses came over and we played bells, ate dessert and more appetizer type food, and chatted. The girls went right to bed around 9:00 when everybody left and Paul and I got to work putting out presents, wrapping, and assembling. It took way longer than we had anticipated and we didn't make it to bed until around 1:00 a.m. but the train set that took forever to set up and the ice cream stand were both huge hits.
We woke up around 6:30-ish, I think, and headed out to the living room around 6:45. The girls loved the train and it is something we will be able to bring out every year and have around the tree in the weeks leading up to Santa's arrival. And Rose spent practically all of Christmas day behind the ice cream stand, serving up popsicles, ice cream sandwiches, ice cream cones and sorbet to her family and her dolls. Clara enjoyed it too, but it is Rose that was over the moon about that particular gift and so far her interest in it is still going strong.
The girls both got dolls and doll beds (that Paul made for them no less!) and are very happy about them. Rose just loves her baby doll to death and puts her to sleep so sweetly with kisses and tucking her in under her blanket and singing her "twinkle, twinkle, little star". Clara loves both her American Girl doll that looks like her, who we named Emily, and her plush Mulan doll from the Disney store that we had to get because she got really specific with Santa about wanting a MULAN doll because she is her "other favorite" (Ariel still reigns almost supreme although Mulan has really shot up there in the ranks for Clara, who tells me on a regular basis that she wishes her eyes were slanty like Mulan's and why aren't they?!).
The girls received other beautiful presents from grandparents and aunts, like cute new outfits (Clara was especially happy to have outfits to match Emily), a table and chair set for the dolls to sit at, a high chair for "baby" (Rose's doll), and fun new books and games (especially the Sock Monkey game).
We took our time and finished opening gifts around 10 or so (but that's because we spent a lot of time just playing with things and not opening in between) and then had amazing Belgian Waffles for breakfast using the new belgian waffle maker that Paul and the girls gave me. If you come to our house to visit anytime soon, there is a good chance this is what you will be eating because man, they are delicious.
Here are the few pictures that we have from Christmas morning.
Such a good little mama:
Reading a new book, "The Book Who Spoke to the Earth" by Chris Burkard. It is amazing and maybe my new favorite children's book. It is about a boy who wanted to find happiness and asked Earth who sent him to all her most beautiful places. But he only saw shells at the beach or trees in the forests, etc. and has illustrations of each thing. So then he asked the earth again and she said that he saw but did he really look? And then he goes back and there are these full, two-page amazing illustrations of the most beautiful scenes where he had been but hadn't stopped to take it all in and appreciate it as a whole. It is just a great message and beautifully done. The author is an LDS photographer who travels all over the world taking incredible mag
The umbrellas were such a huge hit. What kid doesn't love an umbrella?
Every year I make a desk calendar for Paul and our moms with pictures of the girls, so it is never really a surprise, but Paul sure acts like he loves this gift.
Rose manned her ice cream stand vigilantly all morning long.
That orb in Paul's hand is a Perplexus Epic ball. It is a puzzle game where you have to get a marble around crazy ramps and obstacles (125 of them) and it is impossible. But so much fun.
The girls both wanted to sit in the little teal chairs that came with the doll table but were too big. So they pulled over the doll beds and used those as chairs instead.
Both girls loved the aprons my mom made for them. Rose opened hers first and Clara immediately said that she hoped she got one too and was thrilled when we found her package with her own apron (and a matching one for Emily) a few minutes later. She has found a reason to wear it almost every day since.
After unwrapping all the gifts and having breakfast, we skyped with family, then spent the day in pajamas and cleaning up and enjoying the new toys and books. In the evening we went over to Rich & Claudia's house (Paul's aunt and uncle who live just a mile away from us) for Christmas dinner. It was a beautiful, relaxing, low-key Christmas day.
And here are a few more "before Christmas" things that happened around our house. Paul spent a few nights in our chilly garage making the doll beds for the girls from some plans he found on the internet. They turned out so well that I think he is seriously contemplating making actual beds for in our home. Rose is currently in a toddler bed and will need a twin bed eventually and we have talked for years about getting a new bed, except they are so expensive. But he has a lot of other projects on his list (finishing caulking the trim and finish work inside the house, build a paneled mirror for me based on one I saw at Pottery Barn that I love but is outrageously priced, etc.). We'll see what happens, but I do think he enjoyed woodworking.