We spent a week of our time in Denver, and missed Lyla's Christmas program at school because of it. Worst planning fail ever on my part, and I cried real tears about this. Luckily Lyla's teachers are the best ever and (without even the slightest bit of coercing them, I swear) they offered to put on my own private show on their last day before Christmas break. It was the cutest!
We also attended the Life Time Fitness breakfast with Santa, which is a favorite every year. This one was particularly good. It may have had something to do with the Christmas bunny that showed up. ;) I also took the girls to the Macy's Santaland in downtown Minneapolis. We heard it's their last year, so we snuck down on a weekday to avoid the crowds. It was a fun little trip downtown...until I made Sis take a picture, anyways.
A few days before Christmas Grandma and Pop drove into town and were a major help in getting the last minute details completed. (Read: I made them roll out, bake and decorate ALL of the cookies). I caught some kind of bug which only lasted until Christmas Eve night, thankfully, but they were incredibly helpful in letting me rest and recuperate. Having grandparents around to help during those times is such a rare treat, so it was extra appreciated!
Everything about Christmas was so, so good this year. We are at the peak of Christmas magic with Lyla and Evie all wide eyed with wonder about that old Santa Claus. We always talk a lot about the real reason behind Christmas, read the Christmas story and play with our nativity scenes to make sure we don't lose sight of the precious gift we were all given that very first Christmas day. Lyla learned a lot about it in her school too, and would "read" the Christmas story book better than the actual printed words, so she was nominated to tell the Christmas story on Christmas Eve. There's something so special about these babes and their love for Jesus. But while focusing on the true spirit of the season, I can't help but hold a special place in my heart for the magic of Santa and his elves. It just adds such a fun touch when you're laying in bed and talking about what he's doing and where he could be, and what he'll be bringing. I can still remember driving home on a Christmas eve and keeping my eyes locked on the starry sky the whole ride home, hoping for a glimpse of santa. I mean, I still kind of find myself wishing it all was real, so we'll be keeping it real over here for as long as we possibly can.
We hope you had the merriest Christmas, too, and that Santa treated you well! ;)
Our little snow bunny and Lyla meeting Santa after a pancake breakfast! (Which somehow mostly consisted of gummy worms.)
I think they buttered him up!
Lyla sent 3 letters to Santa this year, and even got one back!
That bag holds a snowman kit for both girls (hat, scarf, carrot nose, etc.) I made a joke about the reindeer stealing their carrots, so Sis was on bag patrol. She would not let that thing out of her grip! :)
Wondering if she could sneak in a quick ride to the North Pole. ;)
The next day we got some of our good ol' MN snow powder. After making sure they could not actually build snowmen they decided to go ahead and just eat their carrots.
Another letter to Santa at Santaland! She loves writing these days, and constantly asks me how to spell things so she can write it herself.
I decided that Evie can't always win when she doesn't want to take a picture and told Lyla to hold her still. #bestmomever
Showing Grandma and Pop clips from Moana, the new favorite movie around here.
My little beauty, all dolled up for Christmas Eve church!
Sis warms up to the camera every once in a while. ;)
I was so proud of us that night. We were 30 min EARLY, even after taking a million pictures to try to get any decent ones.
The whole Chapman crew!
After church we had our traditional bagel and lox dinner and opened a few presents. The girls both got handmade nightgowns from Grandma and they were in heaven!
Lyla is always our early bird, but our rule is she can't come out of her room until the first number on her clock is a 6 or 7. Magically she almost appears right after that first number turns to a 6. Christmas morning was no different. :)
Evie was still a little slow to open presents, wanting to take each one out and play before getting to the next one.
Lyla, on the other hand, could hardly wait to open them all. By the time she was done Evie still had a pile to open. It was a hard lesson, letting her sister open her own presents without any help. ;)
New cowgirl boots! One of her most favorite presents.
We had to take a quick art break at some point, then resumed the present opening. :)
This is my favorite picture series because my gift was a total shock and complete surprise from my sweet husband. Crying happy tears here...
And BIG hugs, because...
he got us girls a new car!! It's not exactly new, but a whole lot newer (and more beautiful) than I was ever hoping for! Cheers to not needing to fill our antifreeze every 3 days and to having a little heat!!
Evie got a Sheriff Calie guitar, so had to get the whole ensemble on, complete with her new pink boots. :)
Our turkey ended up being rotten, but Ryan saved the day with some delicious grilled chicken, cordon bleu style! Quite the man right there.
Lyla got her very own American Girl Doll, and is thrilled!
Playing with their new toys. What a fun Christmas!
Grandma snuggles the day after Christmas.
We found a new (not rotten!) turkey!
Christmas feast #2! Their favorite are the turkey legs. :)