Christmas & New Year’s Eve 2017

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Instagram is my version of blogging these days because I have so much more time to jot down 100 words or less than I do trying to sit at the computer to type 1000+ words these days. If you do not already and would like to follow along with our day-to-day adventures, check out my IG account @holly_christianson6. My account includes lots of cute kid pictures. I have so many topics to catch up on, but I wanted to start by writing down our Christmas adventures. Just a few months behind schedule 🙂

First, the twins had a super sweet Christmas program and party with their Penguins class that Nana and I went to on December 14th. Eli was very into the dancing and singing, where Emry Jane was a bit more reserved. They did get to perform side-by-side with their best friends, Maudie and Amber, so they were very excited about that!

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Look at those cute handprint reindeer shirts!

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We went to see Santa on Sunday, December 17th. I made an appointment so Daddy could be there too, before we went to see Santa at For Garden’s Sake with Nana. I also took some pictures beforehand at home because the kids looked so cute in their smocked nativity outfits.

On the 18th, we built gingerbread houses using a store-bought kit from Target. The gingerbread was as hard as a rock, so next year I think we’ll bake some ourselves or just use graham crackers. The “big” kids enjoyed the decorating, even if they did not like the eating part!

We have lots of family to see and share Christmas with, so we call it the “Tour de Southeast” and try to pack in as many friends/family as possible into however many days we have available. This year, T had the week after Christmas (Dec. 25th through 31st, one of his three weeks off for this fellowship year) off work, so that’s when we traveled to Tennessee and Alabama. We celebrated with our North Carolina family (my parents and siblings) on Christmas Eve with church at Grace and dinner at our house. Pretty much everyone was sick, but we made the most of it. Noah was already in Tennessee, so he missed out on the Christmas Eve festivities and Santa visited him there.

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We did our gift exchange with my parents and siblings after dinner. Nana worked really hard to find and buy everyone a onesie for Christmas. She was so excited about our reindeer ones that we were instructed to put them on right after opening presents.

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T was a big fan of his onesie and has worn in several times since he got it, including on our trip to Tennessee. The next morning Eli, Emry Jane and Nathan opened gifts from us and Santa. (Also, I ordered monogrammed stockings this year, since we needed one for Nathan anyway, from Pottery Barn and I love how they turned out.)

Eli was VERY excited about that “g-will-a g-waaaage.”

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Mama J bought Nathan a cute Christmas onesie with suspenders and a tie on it, as well as a personalized “baby’s first Christmas” ornament, so I took photos of him in his outfit before the craziness of Christmas morning. How cute does Nathan look in suspenders?!

After attempting to clean up the tornado of gift wrap and bows, we loaded up the 3 littles in the car and hit the road for Tennessee. We stopped in Knoxville on the way to Murfreesboro to give the twins a chance to stretch their legs and to pick up some frozen milk for Nathan. I also had the chance to introduce Nathan to my best friend, Dani.

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Around 8pm, we finally made it to middle Tennessee. The next day, Tuesday, we picked up Noah and celebrated Christmas with the Christianson side of our family. Nathan slept through most of the celebrating. Nathan did get to meet his GREAT Grandma and Grandpa Christianson before they returned to Florida.

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This baby was so happy to be out of the car, even if Mommy did ride beside him the whole way.

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Nathan and Great Grandma Christianson

I bought matching Christmas pajamas for my kids and Tenley so that we could repeat last year’s matching pajama photoshoot. MaMarsh bought T and I matching pajamas too, so we jumped in with our littles. Tenley had a double ear infection, which explains why she was not very keen on the picture-taking, even with MaMarsh sitting in!

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How much longer do you think Noah is going to be willing to wear monogrammed and matching pajamas?! I’m going to encourage it as long as I can because I think they are just so cute!!

Our Tennessee trip was amazingly low-key which is just what we needed. MaMarsh woke up with the twins each morning, so that we could sleep in as long as Nathan would let us. (He has decided that he’s an early riser now, but at Christmas he was willing to sleep until at least 8-8:30!) We watched movies and ate peanut brittle and homemade cinnamon rolls and just enjoyed each other’s company. Amy and I even got a chance to watch Pitch Perfect 3 at the cheap movie theater sans babies. On our last day in Murfreesboro, we took the littles to the bowling alley and then to Toot’s, T’s favorite place to get buffalo wings. Noah held his own against Granddaddy Jer, Daddy and Mamey, while the twins and Tenley enjoyed using the bumpers and pushing their bowling balls down the ramp. MaMarsh was perfectly content holding Nathan while everyone else played.

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Nathan and Great Granddaddy Paul
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This picture makes me laugh– lots of fake/awkward smiles + a few tears

We made a pit stop in northern Alabama on our way home to NC to visit the Sutton side of our family. Many of them had just tested positive for the flu, so we did not get to see most of them. We made sure to love on my Granddaddy Paul as much as we could.  I think the holidays and anniversary of my Granny’s death (just a couple weeks after Christmas) are really hard on him, but he enjoyed watching the kids run around as a distraction. He got to meet Nathan as well.

The road trip home was soooo long for a couple of reasons. First, Noah earned enough Christmas money to buy his Nintendo Switch so we made a pit stop at a Target where it was available to pick it up for him. We also stopped in Knoxville again for dinner and to catch up with some other friends.

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We made it home around 1 am on Sunday, December 31st. Nana and Papa came over that night to hang with the littles, so T and I could go to the Avett Brothers New Year’s Eve concert in Raleigh. The concert was amazing, though we were completely exhausted, and we even got to shake hands with Scotty Avett as he walked through the crowd! Bonus: Balloons fell from the ceiling at midnight and the concert rocked on with everyone pushing the balloons through the air for several more songs!

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Super tired parents enjoying their favorite band together on New Year’s Eve

Can’t wait for all the great things that 2018 has in store for our family!!

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