Christmas Eve is one of my favorite parts. It started this year, as it does every, with dinner at the Japanese Steakhouse (you know... one of those cheesy hibachi grill places where they throw the shrimp and make onion volcanoes). This tradition started on accident, which is how the best traditions start in my opinion.
My parents, my brother, Wayne, and I were looking for someplace that was open for dinner on Christmas Eve probably 10 years ago (this was before everyone stayed open for everything) and the Japanese Steakhouse was it. They have to fill the tables so they end up sitting other people with you. We ended up sitting with 3 people wearing funny Christmas hats. They were super nice! The next year we ended up at the same place for the same reason and low and behold the same family was there. We sat with them again and now every Christmas Eve at 7:15 we meet them there. The restaurant expects us and we are known as the group with the crazy hats. It has grown with my brother getting married, to my sister-in-law's parents and brother, to Wayne's dad and step-mom, and now Case. An added bonus this year was that a bunch of Wayne's family happened to be there too! It was funny to run into them there!
Crazy Hat Christmas Eve Dinner 2010
Case's first attempt at chopsticks
My brother, his wife and her family
Wayne with his Dad and Step-Mom (I was so glad they got to join us this year!)
Case checking out the fish pond
Case's crazy hat, while it was on!
And off it goes!
Scoring his first basket on the toy from Grandma and Grandpa... Grandpa couldn't be prouder!
First trip down the slide
More gifts from Grandma and Grandpa
Silly boy in his silly hat:-)
Us... will I ever learn to look at the camera and not at Case?!?!?
He loved drumming on his gift from Uncle Ben and Aunt CoCo
Oh and climbing on it!
Sitting on the cool toy Aunt CoCo and Uncle Ben got him
Playing with Grandma's Christmas tree even after he was told not to about a hundred times!
Trying out his new boots, which I think might be the cutest thing I've ever seen! Oh and this outfit was originally meant for one of Case's friend's to wear but it was too big for him so Case got to wear it! I LOVE this outfit!!!! There's something SO cute about a toddler in a one piece outfit! Tangent: Isn't it funny how when he was a tiny baby I wanted to dress him in all these "big boy" looking outfits and now that he's a toddler, which I still have trouble typing, I want him to wear these "little boy" outfits?
Uncle Ben reading to Case
Aunt CoCo reading to Case
I love this picture of Case with Aunt CoCo
On Christmas morning Case slept in... you'll have that when you keep your one year old that usually goes to bed at 8:30 up until 11:30. We all enjoyed this gift!!! I got up first and started chocolate chip pancakes, which by the way were amazing if I do say so myself. I don't know why I've never had chocolate chip pancakes before but I was DEFINITELY missing out! Throw a little peanut butter and syrup on top and you've got yourself the most amazing breakfast ever! Case agreed with mommy... Daddy ate plain old pancakes.
Yummy!!! Truth be told, I've been eating the leftovers at just about every meal since Christmas morning!
All of Case's packages were wrapped except one... his rocking chair. He has always loved the rocking chair at Grandma and Grandpa's house and we don't know why we never thought to bring the one I used to have in my classroom in from the garage. The thought occurred to us about 4 days before Christmas so we decided we'd just make it part of his presents. Is that wrong... the whole re-gifting a rocking chair to my son that hundreds of my former students used first? I don't know but he sure is a big fan... used or not! It was the first stop when he got downstairs... even before the chocolate chip pancakes... this is beyond me! He loves this rocking chair and gets in and out of it about 100 times a day!
Seeing his "new" chair for the first time
After breakfast we opened packages. Case wasn't super interested in helping because all of his presents from Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Ben, and Aunt CoCo were still sitting out. So I sat unwrapping all of the packages that I spent all that time wrapping just days before... that might be one of the dumber moments in my life:-) We got him some puzzles, books, a lawnmower (starting to rethink this purchase), pull toy, and I can't even remember what else. We didn't spend a ton but got him a lot of little things.
Case with all his presents!
Yes, Daddy did wear those socks with those shorts:-)
I'm pretty convinced this lawnmower is the nosiest toy ever made!
Daddy got Mommy a new crockpot!!! This might be an "off limits" gift for some women but I'd take this over jewelry any day!!! I was VERY excited!
And he got me a new hair dryer... this was also a very exciting/necessary gift. Mine would spark if I put it on high heat. I'm guessing that's not good so to prevent our house burning down or my hair from disappearing, Wayne was kind enough to get me a new one! Thanks babe!!!
After his nap we went to my parents house where my mom's extended family gathers every year to celebrate. We end up with a lot of people in one house and I love every minute of it! There's nothing better than being surrounded by family! Case also got some great toys at this gathering!
No he doesn't look the happiest but I had to include this picture because this was his Christmas Day outfit and I think it's adorable!!! Take a look at those boots!!! I'm pretty sure that, like his Momma, he would much rather be in some sort of sweat pants that are stretchy and easier to move in because he was pretty grumpy the whole time he had these jeans on but once we changed his clothes his mood was much better!
Notice the smile and the change of clothes! He LOVED this tunnel/tent gift from his Great Grandma and Great Grandpa!
And after a long Christmas Day we finally got home. Before I could even take his coat and hat off he ran to his rocking chair:-)
I think this is pretty much how all of us felt by this point in the day... ready for bed!
It was a wonderful few days we had surrounded by so many of the people we love! I would love to explain how blessed I feel to have such an amazing family but I have no idea how to verbalize it. It is just so comforting to know that they are there for us no matter what and that our little boy is loved beyond words. Thank you to my amazing family for loving us!