Christmas Recap 2012, Part One

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I worried that Christmas would lose some of its magic without my dad. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could miss my dad even while celebrating a happy, joyous holiday with my family. Yet another reminder of how grief is a weird, strange beast…

We had three Christmases this year. Three. And I documented it all with my real, big girl camera. Unfortunately, I totally forgot to bring my real, big girl camera cord with me to my mom’s house, so I only have iPhone pictures to share today. But fear not! I will get the camera pictures downloaded when we get back to our house next week and we can have “Christmas Recap 2012, Part 2″ then! (I know, totally exciting, right?)

Santa came to our house a little early this year because we were going to be traveling on the actual Christmas Day, and several of Santa’s presents wouldn’t fit in his crossover sleigh. So, we laid cookies out for Santa on Friday night, and Saturday morning the kids came downstairs to find just what they had asked him for!

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(I forgot to take a picture of Bean’s Santa presents with my iPhone, but I got a bunch with my real camera. Just imagine this is a picture of a Spiderman bike and a ton of Rescue Heroes.)

On Saturday morning after we opened presents, we loaded up and headed to Nana’s house.

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Our whole family was spending Christmas at my mom’s house this year. My Grandma, Aunt Joan and Uncle Tim, and their two kids, Abby and Jake, along with Abby and Jake’s signficant others all got together with our family for a big spaghetti dinner at my Grandma’s house on Saturday night. (Pictures on the big girl camera…)

Sunday we did something totally new for all of us. I kept hearing from friends around the Orlando area that one of the best things to do at the holidays was to head to the Disney resorts and see the Christmas decorations. It’s free, it’s fun and it’s super Christmassy. So, that’s just what we did. We headed first to the Grand Floridian Resort (my personal favorite). It was GORGEOUS. GORGEOUS. STUNNING. GORGEOUS. Are you getting the idea?

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We had a big family lunch at the Grand Floridian Cafe, and then walked around the resort to look at all the decorations and took pictures of my adorable offspring and cute seester.

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After we had our fill of Christmas goodness, we caught the resort monorail (which is free) and rode to the Contemporary Resort. This one was decorated in chocolate trees and nutcrackers. It smelled like hot chocolate in that place. Heavenly! We shopped around in the gift shop and checked out the giant nutcrackers and chocolate Christmas trees.

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The best part of the Contemporary Resort was the arcade. We played in there for an hour. The kids love skee ball and we taught Bean how to play air hockey. Which was awesome. He basically sat on the air hockey table and just went to town. Little Dude beat me… several times.

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After the Contemporary, we headed to the last resort on the monorail, the Polynesian. It had the least amount of decorations, but the hotel itself is just so pretty that it was worth seeing, especially for my family who doesn’t have the opportunity to get to the parks often. (Pictures on my real camera… Bad blogger…)

After the resort tours, we drove back to my mom’s house and had a quick bite of dinner before loading up in the golf carts and driving around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. There is one house a few neighborhoods away from my mom’s that does this spectacular light show every night during Decemember. We parked the golf cart and sat on the street with tons of other families to watch the show. The kids thought it was the most beautiful thing they’d ever seen!

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The best part was that my sweet cousin, Jake, proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Liz, that night! We waited for them to get home late that night and then toasted them with champagne. Everybody loves a reason to celebrate!

(P.S. Jake is the tall guy in the blue plaid shirt and Liz is the cute little thing in coral beside him.)

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The next day was Christmas Eve. We had Christmas with my aunt, uncle, cousins and grandma that afternoon before we went to church. It was a packed house, but a lot of chaotic, loud, fun!

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Unfortunately, we were not entertaining enough for little Tillman…

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That’s it for Part One, kids. I’ll share the rest of my iPhone pics tomorrow. For now, I’m off to bed.

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas!!!

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