Friday, January 25, 2013

Family of Five Christmas

I'm not sure why this post has taken me so long to write. Maybe because I don't like the pressure of feeling like this is my first post of the New Year. Like there's some sort of expectation with that first post. I should be writing about my hopes and dreams for the new year, my goals, resolutions, how I'm going to be a better person, blah blah blah. Sorry, none of that here.

I want to share about our first Christmas as a family of five. And it was our first Christmas where it was just "us". I had so many mixed emotions about it, but it ended up being really really great. We did what we wanted to do, when we wanted to do it. It was just about our little family and starting some traditions of our own. We love our extended families, but since we were married so young, we were quickly swooped up into the Christmas traditions and expectations of our parents and never really felt the freedom to create our own. Advice to young married couples? Put your foot down now or you will find yourself at age 30 still taking a Christmas morning picture on the stairs in matching pajamas with the other kids. Not a manly sight.

Anyway, back to our Christmas. I think what was so evident was how calm it was. We truly enjoyed the month of December. Everything slows down anyway and the weather was wonderful, so there was a lot of down time for us to just hang out together. We did go Christmas shopping for the kids one night when my parents were in town and that was a bit stressful. Everything costs double here, so this was probably the most we've ever spent on Christmas. Shocker. And of course there were fireworks every night in December that jolted the kids awake constantly, but we're over it now. And we really enjoyed Ally's first Christmas. I had to take a picture of her in her three Christmas outfits:


She was 2 months old on Christmas Day. It feels like that around 2 months old the newborn fog starts to lift. She's eating better, sleeping better, smiling, and just a lot of fun. What a difference a good night's sleep can make to a mama!

Now you won't see this on Pinterest, but I don't care. This is the Christmas Eve lunch I came up with for Emma & Jack. Coke in Christmas mugs, PB&J cut like trees, marshmallow snow, random candy cane tree, molasses cookie moon with chocolate chip smiley face.

What's hilarious is they were thrilled! Keepin' it simple

Then Jack helped me make a Cinnamon Roll cake for Christmas morning breakfast which was an epic fail. Let's just say I used waaaaaaaaaaay too much butter. I'll try again some other time, but he had so much fun helping me.

We wore pajamas for our Christmas Eve dinner and each of us got to pick a favorite food to have. This is what we came up with: rotisserie chicken from a man down the street, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans wrapped in bacon, corn, pineapple, and bread. It was a hit!

And Emma baked with me on Christmas Eve as well. We made a Mississippi Memories pie, sugar cookies and molasses cookies. Just making those 3 things took us all day, but it was fun.

Some of our decorations: Christmas cookie candle, stockings hung on the china cabinet

Little tree in the corner, paper snowflakes on the wall

Ready to wrap gifts

Looks like Santa is ready

And that night Santa came and filled the stockings

And left presents under the tree (each kid gets 3 presents each), ate his cookies, drank his milk, and left the kids a note. Jack's note said he needs to obey his dad more.

Christmas morning toy assembly

Can be confusing

Ally wiped out from too much excitement

Emma enjoying her bead making kit

Jack with his Thor hammer and sucker

Jack enjoying his new Lego Star Wars Wii game

Making Christmas morning breakfast

It was the way Christmas should be. Nice and calm, but full. We baked on Christmas Eve, skyped family, had a nice dinner, kids went to bed early, and the parents wrapped gifts together. Christmas Day started early, put together toys, played, ate Christmas breakfast (without cinnamon roll cake), and played some more. All with Christmas music softly playing in the background. We loved it. At breakfast Emma asked if we could have Christmas like this again next year. Probably not. But we soaked up the memories of this little "Costa Rica Savell Family of 5" Christmas we had. I'll never forget it and am so thankful the Lord showed us so much love through each other. I know we had many people thinking and praying for us far away this Christmas season. Just know that your prayers were felt and we appreciate you remembering us. We enjoyed it more than we could have imagined.