My family wasn't due to arrive until late Saturday, which meant that we still had time for our weekly soda run. The kids and I waited in the car while Tim ran in to get our sodas. We had a few minutes to kill, so I taught Ellie how to take a selfie...
She thought that was a pretty fun game.
Then, of course, I had to take one of Brett and me...
He wasn't as thrilled with our little game.
On Sunday morning, my family got to go with us to church! And by "us," I mean Ellie and me. Tim had gone earlier in the day so he could stay home with Brett later. (Paranoid parents, remember?) But we did manage a family picture!
My dad will probably kill me for posting this picture (close your eyes, Dad!), but I get these posts printed out into books every year, and gosh dang it, this precious picture needs to be in it! Ellie loves her "Papa."
And our sweet baby boy loves to be held by Grandma!
I swear I could take pictures of Brett all day. I promise, I even narrowed these down.
I know it's blurry, but this next face kills me...
It's his "I'm trying really hard not to cry right now" face. And I love it. So, so much.
It is possible I shouldn't take such pleasure in his sweet sadness. But it's the cutest thing ever!
My mom spent probably the majority of her time painting our basement. Isn't that the sweetest thing ever? She knew we were having a hard time getting around to it, so she just did it. (And now we're about to have our fireplace installed! We wouldn't have gotten nearly that far without her help. Pictures to come. Someday.)
As soon as I realized my parents would be there right after Star Wars entered theaters, I asked if they wouldn't mind watching my kids whilst Tim and I went to see it. They graciously accepted. I was absolutely thrilled to see it, and it didn't disappoint!
We came home from the movie to find everyone on the couch like this:
After the movie, we all went out to eat at Maddox! Then we drove around to look at Christmas lights and stopped at this Nativity by the tabernacle. It was freezing cold and snowing harder by the minute, but I couldn't help snapping this picture of Ellie wrapped up in my dad's coat with him looking at baby Jesus.
And this one without the flash. I just couldn't decide which one I liked better.
On Christmas Eve, we continued my grandma's tradition of serving appetizers for dinner. They were amazing!
I love traditions!
And most of all I love my family! (We missed you, Eric and Annie.) (And Grandma and Ginny and Paul.) (And Cody.)
Ellie had a best friend in Uncle Jeff this trip! He played hide and seek with her, read to her, and cuddled with her. She was in heaven.
Tim gave a little Christmas Eve devotional where Ellie played a shepherd.
I got a selfie stick as my Christmas Eve present, and we had fun trying to figure it out...
And all that fun really tuckered the boys out.
Ellie looked totally dumbfounded on Christmas morning when she came down the stairs to see all of her presents. She rotated between all of them every two or three minutes, and I think the only thing she was disappointed about was that she couldn't somehow play with them all at once!
She did, however, probably spend most of her time at this Doc McStuffins doctor station.
I loved that in the midst of all the commotion, I happened to catch her quietly reading. The girl loves books! (Like mother, like daughter. I'm so proud!)
I was so sad to have my family leave. For a short period of time, they fit seamlessly into our everyday life. I loved having so many of my best friends in the same place all at once. I wish it could happen more often!
After they left, I was lucky enough to finally catch on camera a couple of the new smiles Brett had been giving us that week! Merry Christmas to me!
That helped ease the sorrow of my family's absence :)
It was an amazing Christmas!