Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas with the Carroll-Brownings

As much as I like being around family for the holidays, I love spending our Christmases with just our little clan. It's the perfect combination of relaxation and celebration. It was especially exciting this year, as we had so many opportunities to celebrate the coming of winter and the spirit of giving in many different ways.

There was a very laid-back, non-traditional nativity (though there was a baby Jesus, to which Atticus said: "Is that the REAL baby Jesus?") at FUUCA. When asked why by an outsider we do a nativity when we aren't a Christian faith tradition, I loved what Minister Mari said: "Because it's in our heritage. And we enjoy it, and the kids enjoy it. Kids in costumes are adorable. It's fun. So why would we not?"

The next week fellow seminarian Wendy gave us four tickets to shuttle down to the Festival of Lights. It was a rainy and cold night, and so it wasn't nearly as busy as we have heard it can be. The rain actually held up the whole time we were there, and the cold was obviously doable for us stout former Wisconsinites (it was probably in the 40s or 50s). It was still busy, but we were able to push our double BOB around effortlessly. We even got to see Santa after waiting in line for only 5 or 10 minutes.

Fake bubble snow is such a funny concept to me now, after hating the snow for so many months.
The next week at church (right before Christmas) the kids wore their fanciest clothes. I pulled out this smocked Nutcracker dress for Tallulah, but since it was a little long for her Atticus decided it was his and wore it over his button-up. The kid still loves dresses.

I worked Christmas Eve morning (while the kids dressed themselves in ridiculous attire and harassed the neighbors) but then came home in the afternoon for lentil soup, homemade bread, and a child-friendly candlelight Christmas service at the Lutheran church across the street from us. Our kids were the worst behaved, but it was still a really nice service.

I love that we have insta-best friends in the other half of our duplex.

New Star Wars PJs for Christmas Eve!

Tallulah is getting goofier and goofier every day.
We woke up around 8 on Christmas morning, and Atticus was so confused as to why he couldn't go into the living room until we said so. He was SO surprised about the marble run, even though he had been asking for it for a long time. He kept saying "how did Santa know?! I didn't tell him!" Tallulah got a set of zoo Legos (one of the only sets I could find with a female character not a princess!) They each got a few gifts from their Utah grandparents too. It was a simple and perfect morning.

After we played with presents for a sufficient amount of time, we decorated gingerbread cookies.

As we were decorating, I realized there was no way we'd eat all these. We took some to our neighbors but no one else was really around to deliver them to. Then I remembered that the fire station next to us would be open, even on Christmas! So we gave them our Christmas picture we made and a plate of cookies. They are all so nice to the kids, any time we walk by they ask if the kids want to ride in the truck or sound the sirens.

The men of the duplex.

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