Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The "Break" Part of "Christmas Break"

No doubt, the Christmas part of Christmas break is FUN! But the BEST part of Christmas break is the BREAK part. There really is nothing like watching your kids running down the stairs and seeing their eyes as they take in the wonder of Christmas morning magic - except for maybe the feeling of a solid week without a school routines and ballet class and piano lessons and (if I am to be honest) getting dressed and brushing teeth and eating meals that don't involve cookies or peppermint pie. The final days of December are my favorite days on the calendar. I'm such a sucker for symbolism and I LOVE the feeling of closing down a year quietly and peacefully and focusing on what really does matter most. The post-present part of Christmas when we really do get to just BE together without even a shred of the stress that has a way of sneaking into the run-up to the big day.

So here are the highlights from those blissful days as one year ended and another year began.

New toys became a part of the rotation...

We resumed the regular bedtime cuddle fests...

The "make-up" from Grandma made for really fun face-paint...

We made short trips out for fresh air and fun...

We experienced all four seasons in the course of a week (and raked a dozen bags of leaves on Dec. 30th, which is just weird)...

We spent a whole lot of time in pajamas. (And by "a whole lot of," I mean that thing where you take off one pair of pajamas and put on another without ever wearing real clothes in between.)

The obsession with Sound of Music peaked then was knocked from top spot by the Frozen Soundtrack (all day, every day). Before the transition happened, Josie wanted "Sound of Music" hair.

As 2014 approached and much of the world returned to work, we kept on keeping on and held on to the magic as long as we could!

The chalkboard wall became a scene from Frozen - a project that brought Josephine much pride!

Bea was proud of her "Granny Train!"

Lou solves life's greatest mysteries with Legos and Duplos.

During one of our few adventures out, we took our first trip ROLLERSKATING with school friends. This spot is probably less than a mile from our house and it was SO FUN!

(And they played Thriller. And Lou did the ChaCha Slide with Beatrice in the center of the rink. And both of those moments were beyond words.)

Christmas in Xenia, 2013

Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning unfold each year in the same spot where it unfolded for me and my sister for most of our childhood. 30 years later, it looks much the same; the number of bodies (and gifts!) in the room has just multiplied.  Here are the highlights from Christmas in Xenia this year!

We kicked it all off with Christmas Eve boxes with pajamas, treats and holiday surprises - a tradition that dates back to Christmas Eves at my Mimi & Pop's house.

The cousins are always SOOOO excited to see each other and all the cousin-hijinx that go with that.

(As it turns out spouse-hijinx were also to be had - Lou just didn't realize I was taking screenshots while he was making faces in the baby monitor we set up with our phones.)

Christmas morning was everything Christmas morning is supposed to be! (Except for the part where I forgot to bring my real camera - gah!)

The girls got magic kits and the great Lyla-Bird-ini was born!

Santa brought karaoke machines and the girls worked on conquering "stage fright" with the help of the Sound of Music Soundtrack.

The BEST moment of Christmas morning had to be the kids in the hot tub watching the Disney Christmas parade. Everything about it was adorable. And hilarious. It was really fun to watch all the DisneyWorld sights and remember all the fun we had there. I might even have experienced my first case of Mouse-ache.

There was Rainbow Looming (and the cussing that goes with Rainbow Looming).

Even though the other room housed the holiday mother-load, these boxes were the runaway favorite!

In other top moments, DD busted out the unicycle!


I woke up in my childhood bed each morning. And there's some magic in that.

It finally warmed up enough that we could get outside and had some fun helping the kids climb trees we used to climb.

Really, this is the best way to sum up all our time there.  Pajamas well into the day & lots of jolly, happy souls.

Still going strong! Two days later! Special thanks to Grandma & DD for all the holiday magic - spoiling us all rotten, cleaning up after the Christmas morning explosion, keeping lots of tummies full and always making the house we grew up in feel like home. XOXOXO!