It was a Very Merry Christmas

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned that I love Christmas.  Probably in every post since November.  Maybe even since October.  I can't help it.  Bob has nick-named me "Christmas Elf".  And I suppose I might go just a little bit overboard.  But I've never had a Christmas where I went overboard and looked back and said "wow, I really wish I hadn't __________." (where _______ could be filled with "baked so many cookies" "spent so much time wrapping" "bought so many people presents" etc.)

And I've yet to be disappointed by a Christmas.  This year was certainly NOT a disappointment and may just qualify as the best Christmas to date.  (**note: I do remember some pretty spectacular Christmases as a kid, and I'm pretty sure those are of such a different awesomeness that they can't be included in "Christmas to date")

There were a few glitches, but nothing that could have come close to ruining an awesome Christmas.

I feel as though I also must preface the rest of this post with the following:  I received a new SLR camera for Christmas.  SO, if you didn't think I posted enough pictures in the posts over the last year and half, you're in luck, because it's going to be a photo-splosion for a while...

Saturday before Christmas we decided to give MiniM.E. her big present from us.  A tunnel!

Unfortunately she was terrified of it.  At least the cats like it.
Update: MiniM.E. now loves her tunnel and asks us to take it out multiple times a day.  She's a tunnel crawling pro!

We drove to my parents on Sunday afternoon.  MiniM.E. was really excited to go!
Or she might have been excited about the basket ride with the bear...
 As soon as we arrived, I unpacked my (early) present (camera) and started taking pictures.
"I love Gram"

My parent's house was very Christmassy.

Not a decoration, but pretty cute... 

MiniM.E. was surprised by a few of her bigger presents right away.
Not sure what to think

Definitely thinking "Get me out!!!"

Niether was a huge hit- at first.  Though it wasn't long before the chair was a new favorite item.  (She only got on the horse twice... I think our downfall was making it neigh and gallop which apparently scares the $%!& out of small children.  So awesome rocking horse will live at Gram & Grumpy's house for a while longer.)

On Christmas Eve we spent the day playing with a few new toys (I mostly played with my camera) and dressing up for church.

The mass was kind of a bust (probably the worst sermon I've ever heard) but fortunately we had other entertainment (thanks MiniM.E.!).  She made it through the entire mass without crying and with only a few ridiculous outbursts.  The cutest thing was her saying, "bye people" as we left.  Adorable.

Once we were back home, MiniM.E. opened her Christmas Eve pajamas (as is tradition...).  This year she was a little more into it than last year.
As soon as MiniM.E. saw what was in the package, she said "ja-mas".  I kid you not.  This child is amazing.

mmm... tasty ja-mas

hey, are you taking a picture of ME?

After MiniM.E. went to bed, we put out the presents.  My parents are crazy and went just a bit overboard this year.  It was beautiful though...
Yes, that's a slide.  Awesome.

We didn't have a white Christmas, but when we woke up Christmas morning, it was snowing.  Check.  Snow on Christmas totally makes Christmas better.

It also was NOT 5am.  Which I totally expected.  It was 6:30.  MiniM.E. did a great job waiting until the actual crack of dawn to wake up, rather than waking up in the darkness of the wee morning hours.  Thank you, MiniM.E.  All of us had a much better day with that extra 90 minutes of sleep.

We started the Christmas festivities with the stocking.  Thankfully, Santa found us even though we weren't at home.  MiniM.E. seemed to like emptying the stocking.  Pssst.  See that vacuum?  Santa brought that too.  Why?  Probably because he knows how much MiniM.E. likes vacuuming.  Seriously, we vacuum my whole house at least twice a day.  My house has never been so clean.  But I digress...

After my sister arrived, we started opening presents.  I assumed MiniM.E. would have a blast.  She LOVES opening things.  In fact, I got Bob a present a day for the entire month of December and all day every day anytime we went into the foyer (where they were hanging) she would point and say "Peh-sent, peeze".

We got though one or two presents before she decided to be "done".

Then we had to distract her with mini-wagon rides to get her to open any more.

Which worked for a while...

Until she had a fit, got really cranky, and it was all we could do to keep her from having a melt down.  (And by all we could do, I mean multiple wagon rides, lots of holding, feeing-kitty diversions, and watching Baby Songs) until she finally went down for a nap.

It must have been pretty overwhelming.

It seemed like the nap must have helped (or maybe it was the cleaning up of all the paper and boxes?) because when she woke up she was pretty excited about all her new toys.  Especially this one:

And this tree ornament

But mostly the zebra
Grumpy was excited about her new toys too.

After lunch, our friends C & H stopped by to exchange gifts.  We only got to seem them for a little while, which was sad, but we had fun.

MiniM.E. was really excited about her present

H and his tunnel

H in his wagon

Double wagon ride!

MiniM.E. showing off her vacuuming skills. (She'll make a great housewife, H!)
 Before Christmas dinner, we went out on a walk.  MiniM.E. was NOT a fan of the snowsuit... but seemed ok once we were outside.
Cutest Daddy-Daughter photo EVER.

Christmas dinner was amazing, and after dinner MiniM.E. was exhausted and went right to bed.  We stayed up a bit and celebrated.  It was a fantastic day.

We planned on leaving Wednesday night... but then there was a snow storm...

So we stayed and had a relaxing day.

Thursday it was STILL SNOWING.  So we kept postponing our departure.  Which meant more time for playing in the snow!

MiniM.E. did NOT want to make snow angels... 

But how cute is that?

Tubing seemed more fun... until she got flipped.

On a second outing, this sled seemed less tip-able

And way more fun!
We finally made it home after a 6 hour drive Thursday night.  It was a fantastic Christmas!

But we're glad to be home.
MiniM.E. enjoying our snow... 

...as long as she doesn't have to touch it.

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