Christmas Eve at our house was filled with both rush and excitement along with relaxation and a weekend feel. We slept in late (or as late as a house with 3 boys under 4 can). Had a big breakfast of apple pancakes, milk, coffee and hot tea. Which both Cai and Ian helped prepare. And then went about trying to ready ourselves for the rest of the days preparations for Christmas. Ian helped me finish wrapping gifts. Dad disappeared to the basement to work of the big surprise for the boys. We started the hot apple cider in the crock pot for Christmas Day, along with making dough for cinnamon rolls. We did lots of laundry, because we needed to be ready to pack to leave on the 27th for Indiana. The day felt both rushed and relaxed in the busyness of preparations. Both filled with the slowness often found on the weekends, with the extra hands of Mark around, but the craziness of a full house anticipating the excitement of Christmas morning. Looking back I smile. Although that just could be the fact that I'm now a whole week past the craziness. :) As we have had the pleasure for the second time in two years, we attending our church's Christmas Eve service. Prier to last year we were always away from our home on Christmas Eve. Usually spending it with Mark's folks. But I must admit home much I enjoy being in my own home for Christmas Even and Christmas morning. I love the opportunity to enjoy the Lessons and Carols service surrounded by my own church family. Sure, I can embrace the miracle of the night in a varity of other churches. But there is something special about celebrating with one's own community. And I'm grateful when I get to celebrate in my own congregation. As a child, my family had the tradition that we opened on gift on Christmas Eve. Mark and I have carried this tradition over to our family. So after braving the snow and strong winds that we encountered on our trip both to and from church, I put on milk for hot chocolate and we all gathered around our tree to open our gift.
Everyone got a new pair of pjs. :) Unfortunately, only the boys got to wear theirs. Mark's pants were two big. And mine is a sleeveless nursing nightgown. Which I might add, I'm very excited about and will love come this spring when the weather warms up. I should also add, that Mark did exchange his pants for a smaller size and now has very warm fleece lounge pants which he is very excited about. So after the excitement and now dressed in warm new pjs, we got the boys off to bed. Leaving us to finish the craziness of wrapping the last of the boys' gifts. I felt like such the secret elf, which is sorta funny considering we don't really emphasize Santa around our house. After finishing up cinnamon rolls, putting together a train table (which Mark did almost all the work on), and making sure everything was wrapped, we finally made it to bed ourselves. And only alittle after midnight. Not too bad, I think. Looking back I feel we had a wonderful Christmas eve, the first of many with our three wonderful boys.