Christmas Recap (better late than never)

I've sat down to write my Christmas recap so many times since Christmas and for some reason I never got far. Here's attempt #439 - a quick summary of what we did this past holiday season.

The week before Christmas we went on a Christmas dinner cruise with Pete's mom and step dad Kenny, grandparents mama and papa, sister Kendra and her boyfriend Gaelen, Kim, Dave and the girls. We had a great time and all agreed that this should become tradition. Hailey still wasn't fond of Santa. She told him goodbye several times though (she was excited to see him leave!).
On Christmas Eve we ended up going to church with my parents and brother Jason. Then we headed to Kim and Dave's for their annual Christmas Eve family gathering with Kim's side of the family (I was basically a part of that family before I married in!). We showed up late because of church and left early because I had so much to do at home still. Once we got the girls to bed we were up until 3am (never again!!!) wrapping gifts and preparing for our Christmas brunch. I had SO much done prior to this night, but we had a special gift for all the grandparents on Pete's side and though we had started this project several days before, it was not complete. We stayed up late picking out photos for their new digital photo frames...which I thought was a rather brilliant gift and liked them so much that I'm hoping to someday have one of my own.

Christmas morning we got up and had fun opening presents together as a family. Hailey wanted to open all of them, it was really cute. We were a bit rushed through this process as I still had things to do in preparation for our brunch (I will change it up a little next year so I don't feel rushed). I LOVE breakfast food, so thought it would be a fun tradition to invite all the family over for brunch. I had made Challah bread from scratch the day prior and used it in a french toast bread pudding...which I was unable to eat due to my current diet restrictions. They said it was good and I'll just have to hope it really was. I also made deviled eggs with a new fancy recipe out of one of my cookbooks. The recipe included shallots, fresh chives, capers and a few other things and I was a bit hesitant, but I think they turned out well and I ate quite a few since I couldn't have some of the other stuff. Everyone brought something to share and it was all so good. There were 12 of us at the table and to be honest, part of why Pete and I were up so late the night prior was because we were trying to figure out how to fit everyone into the dining room together. We made it work and it was great.
We cleaned up and the other Myron's came over just in time to open gifts. Wow. 5 little girls = lots of presents (and packaging garbage!!!)! We were all really spoiled and it was a bit chaotic during all of the opening, but it was fun. I love seeing those little eyes light up with excitement when they open a present. Kim and I, I mean...Genevieve and Charlotte received these rad creatures that sing and harmonize together. We had lots of fun playing with them.
The Myron's stayed until 10 or so and then we eventually wandered off to bed leaving the mess for another day (who wants to clean on Christmas??!?).
The following day we gathered our things and headed to my parents house for a Christmas celebration that included Kyle and Kari and kids. We were supposed to be there at 10am - but didn't make it over until 10:30...and left everyone waiting on us. Whoops. I was feeling super sleep deprived at this point. I will admit, the diet restriction emotions had been building up over the season and I briefly lost it when we got my parents house. Yes people, food made me cry. A Christmas tradition I've grown to love is having homemade Pierogi at my parent's house. Pierogi is a Ukrainian thing...and it's a homemade pasta with potato inside. It's grilled with onions and slathered with butter and served with sour cream. I used to not like it. Now I love it. So anyway, the house smelled incredible when we walked in. Charlotte needed to eat and I had sat down at the table with everyone to dive into the food, but quickly grew sad that I couldn't eat the one and only thing I wanted to eat. You could say I felt sorry for myself. The extreme exhaustion and the hunger that set in really worked against each other. I moved to the other room to let Charlotte nurse and quietly tried to hide my eyes which were brimming with tears. It was one thing not to eat the junk food all season, but another to cut out a distinct tradition.
I eventually got over it and was able to sit at the table and eat the scrambled eggs my mom made me. She made me some bacon too - that was quite enjoyable.
We moved the party into the living room and had fun watching my mom open all the boxes that contained little bottles of Schnapps (all different flavors). She had previously posted on her blog about drinking 'Birdie Juice' while playing golf with her lady friends...and well, we couldn't resist helping her check off that 'try every flavor' item on her bucket list. :)

Kari proved to be a great baby holder. Charlotte slept for so long like this, I was impressed!

I dressed Hailey in a dress I found in my hope chest. I wore it when I was a little younger than Hailey and thought it would be fun to dress her in the same dress I wore so many years ago.
Some of the extended family came over in the afternoon and we had fun sampling Schnapps together. I guess I didn't really take pictures at that point...but trust me, it was fun. We had lots of good food and had our annual gift exchange. I got the most awesome roasting sticks that my dad made out of golf clubs and forks. I can't wait to use them when we go camping this coming summer!
And that's about it in a nutshell.