Ed may have the Santa hat, but Ellie certainly has the belly (and cheeks) like a bowl full of jelly!
Grammy and Papa help Ellie open her gifts.
Mommy and Daddy played the press corps with
cameras flashing and videos rolling!
In all my thirty.......years, I may have to chalk this Christmas up as my all-time favorite! Everything seemed SO MUCH brighter and merrier with Eliana along for the ride. In fact, we actually managed to squeeze three "Christmases" out of the year.
We started by celebrating Christmas Eve with my brother and his family, along with my mom and grandmother. We had a delish meal and then went to the church for the candlelight service. I was running around helping with the service, so mom had Ellie. I have to confess that during the message I watched Ellie more than I listened. I unintentionally sat across the church from her with a clear line of sight. I loved seeing her from a distance - not a vantage point I normally get.
Christmas Day started with with Egg Junk Casserole and Ellie opening up her gifts at our house. Can you believe that I actually had to wake her up?!?! Didn't she know it was Christmas morning??!?!?!? We had things to do and couldn't wait any longer! :-) Then we went to my mom's house and Joe, Mom and I opened our stockings. This was a fun remnant from when we all lived together, but, alas, the tradition's final year. Jim, Mel, Ed, Andy, and Linda (Mel's Mom), arrived around 9:00 a.m. and we had a wonderful time of of family fellowship and opening gifts. I am still amazed by how gentle the boys are with Ellie. They just love her (see picture number 1). The boys had opened their stockings and normally fly to the gifts, but Ed wanted to hold Ellie and seemed to be perfectly content doing so. Andy was ready for presents, and Jim eventually had to ask Eddie, "Are you ready to open your gifts yet?" Too funny!
We had our traditional steaks for brunch but added mom's perogi to them. YUM!
One of the highlights of the day for me was a bath. Don't laugh - it's true. Surely all you mothers out there can remember the longing for a relaxing bath during the early days of parenthood. Well on top of that normal feeling, I miss my mom's tub. She has a HUGE whirlpool bath I used to use daily. I miss it so. Anyway, I had a wonderful hour of soaking. Bliss!
The next day Joe's parent's came down to our house and spent the day with us. It was so fun to have a relaxing time with them and watch them open Ellie's gifts with her. We had a delicious meal with a little bit (or a whole lot) of everything in it, and played some games. They got us a great Bible trivia DVD game that allows players to put in different ability levels and all play together. We gave it a try and, fittingly, the patriarch of the family won. It will be perfect to play when Ellie gets older. It took me back to when my family used to play Bible Trivia...I wonder where the old game is now. I haven't seen it in years.
Saturday we recovered from all the partying, and then went to Weaver's in
Akron on Sunday after church. Joe's sister, Lisa, and her family and his grandparents came and we had another wonderful time together. Those people really know how to celebrate! Ellie was so tired that she slept 7.5 hours that night without making a peep! It's a record! It gave me a bit of hope that I will, one day, get a full night's sleep again.
Well, I hear noises from the nursery, so I'd better wrap up the holiday recap. Thanks for putting up with all the details. This entry is definitely intended for posterity.