Still basking in the glow of our "babymoon", and mindful of the many dreadfully contagious illnesses abounding at that time of year, I chose to remain home with her while Darren took Dylan and Caitlyn to our family's traditional Christmas festivities. I spent that day peacefully gazing at my tiny newborn, quietly enjoying the wonder of her.
This year, there was nothing even remotely quiet about the joy I found in watching her play happily with her big brother and sister! It is so amazing to me that this little girl of mine, the one who thinks she has to climb on everything now, is the same sweet angel I so tenderly cradled in my arms just one short year ago.
This year, in stark contrast to last Christmas, we spent all day visiting with various members of my family. The morning began with the sweetest rendition of "Happy Birthday" I've ever heard, sung by Dylan and Caitlyn to baby Jesus as they placed Him beneath our Christmas tree alongside Mary and Joseph.
And they couldn't have been more thrilled with the gifts that Santa left for them! We now have our own little drummer boy and one adorable, piano playing princess. (Darren and Meghan complete the ensemble with their new electric guitar and toy saxaphone, respectively. Give us a few years, and we'll be taking this show on the road!)
My dad and brother came over late Christmas morning to open gifts with us. (Although "late" is a relative term here...it was actually only 8:30, but considering we had been up since before six it just felt late!) We munched on cookies, sipped our coffee, and enjoyed the antics of our very excited children! After 10:00 Mass, we headed over to my aunt and uncle's house to celebrate with much of my extended family, where we indulged in lots of food, lots of sweets, lots of presents, and lots of laughter! Later, we joined my brother at my mom's house to open the last of our gifts. It was a wonderful conclusion to a wonderful day, but I was sad to see it come to an end. I'm already looking forward to next Christmas!