Christmas Recap – Part 1

We had so much fun at Christmas this year that I have been basking in the memories for the past few weeks.  And the best part was that I took pictures with my real camera the whole time!  Get ready for picture overload, people…

Christmas Eve we were here at our house. I was so glad we weren’t traveling on Christmas this year. There’s just sometime so special for the kids to be in our own home. My mom and grandma came over, and we all went to the Christmas Eve service at our new church.





Gracie and I each carried red purses that night, and she thought it was the greatest thing ever! I am not a fan of dressing alike, but I definitely think matching purses might become a new tradition for us girls.



That night we went to the family-friendly service at church that night. It was our first time experiencing a children’s service on Christmas Eve and – whoa. They did a big nativity where all the children were invited to act out the manger scene, complete with costumes! My kids didn’t want to participate this year. Michael said he wanted to watch and then do it next year, which I completely understood. It was complete chaos with hundreds of children participating! I’ve never seen so many shepherds or wise men! But what a sweet, sweet reminder of the gift of a baby. I loved every minute of it.

(Though, Chris was completely overwhelmed and I thought he might break out in hives!)


After church, we came home and had Christmas Eve dinner and presents with my grandma. She has Christmas Eve with us every year, and then gets up early on Christmas morning and drives to Atlanta to have Christmas afternoon with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. It was so much fun to see her and the kids playing. Grandma is like one big kid herself, so she and my kids seem to understand each other.




After Grandma and mom left for the night, we got down to business at our house. We set out Christmas cookies for Santa, and then the kids went straight to bed!


That night, while the children were nestled, all snug in their beds… SANTA CAME!  The funny part is that Chris and I were awake by 5:30 that morning.  We got up, turned the lights on, made coffee, turned on the Christmas music… and then sat there, waiting.  And waiting.  And waiting.  By 6:30, I made Chris go wake the kids up!




We had so much fun on Christmas morning! The kids were mesmerized. I have the greatest video of them as they come running down the stairs, but my phone is not letting me publish it to YouTube for some reason. I’ll work on that and post it when I can because it is hysterical. They basically don’t even notice the two giant cars sitting in our living room! Gracie runs straight for a tube of toothpaste in her stocking, and Bean went for a Ninja Turtles book! Throughout the whole video, you can hear Chris and I saying, “But what about the CARS?!?!” It’s pretty funny!





The kids loved every single one of their presents! There were no duds in the pile! Which made for one happy Mrs. Claus!


We spent the morning opening presents and eating sausage and cheese balls. It was wonderful. Around 7:30, once the sun had come up, we took the cars outside and let the kids try them out. I’m sure the neighbors LOVED that… 7:30am and there was this loud wheezing of two Power Wheels ringing out through the neighborhood!



The Power Wheels have been big hits around here. The kids have ridden them every day that we have been home so far. Bean’s car is absolutely perfect for him. We didn’t end up changing out the battery for the 12 volt because he is such a little dude, we thought we’d see if we really needed to do that or not once he was in it. Turns out, he’s just the right size for the standard 6 volt battery. Gracie is a little trickier because she doesn’t actually weigh enough yet. She’s so light that sometimes her car just spins out since there isn’t enough weight to propel it forward. We’ve put rocks under her seat to help give her some weight, but we still have to help her out a bit, especially if she gets down to the bottom of the slope in our yard. Her car has trouble coming back up the incline. But it’s a pretty small issue, and we’re glad she’ll be able to use the car for a long time as she grows into it.


Later that morning, we headed back inside and really just laid around all morning, playing. It was so much fun to see the kids having a great time. I even convinced Gracie to snuggle with me for a mili-second, which was a Christmas miracle!





My mom came over Christmas afternoon, and we opened presents with her. I love having her so close by any day, but on holidays it is just the BEST.



She gave me such thoughtful presents. One was this cute little sign for my home office. She said it was so funny that I have this crazy blog life, but absolutely nothing in my real life mentions it! So, she ordered this sign from an Etsy shop to hang in my office. I thought that was the greatest!


But the best gift she’s ever given me was a quilt that she made. Over the past year, my mom has been hand stitching two quilts for my sister and me. She took some of my dad’s clothes and some of her clothes and made a quilt out of them. On the back in the center of the quilt is a patch that says, “A celebration of marriage,” and then has her and my dad’s names and anniversary. The quilt represents their lives all sewn together. To the average eye, I’m sure it just looks like a pinwheel quilt, but when I look at it, I see my dad sitting in his big yellow chair in his favorite flannel pajama pants. I see the pink shirt he wore to my sister’s gender reveal party when he thought she was having a girl! I see dresses that my mom wore to work when I was in high school. I see golf shirts they each wore when they started playing golf together. Sitting under that quilt is like sitting with my dad again. I cannot think of a better way to keep his memory close.


I think that’s why this Christmas was so special to me. It was about memories. We made them, remembered them, honored them, and laughed over them. It was the best kind of happiness.

The day after Christmas, we packed up and headed to Pensacola to spend a week with Chris’s family. Pictures of those happy memories tomorrow…

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26 Thoughts to “Christmas Recap – Part 1”

  1. Jennifer HArdin

    Okay I know this is wierd but I loved the Bartlett for America cup 🙂 that was my favorite part

    1. Me, too! I’m going to know where that came from ASAP! 🙂

      1. shell

        Bartlett for America!!!!! Where did he get that? I LOVE IT!

  2. kk

    wow that quilt is so special…great job!!

  3. Kathy

    The quilt your mom looks beautiful, and your description of it made me cry. What a wonderful gift for you and sister to receive!

  4. Michelle

    It’s so funny what the kids choose to focus on first for presents! You think you’ve hit a home run with the Big Present- and then they focus on something “ordinary” for the next 20 minutes.

    What a beautiful quilt and what an amazing gift of memories. Sadly, my parents tend to get rid of clothes over the years so they don’t really have many of those things I remember them in. I think the quilt your mom made could eventually be a really sweet and meaningful family heirloom.
    I think I might do the same with a lot of my son’s favorite (read: my favorite) clothes that he’s outgrown eventually. There are just some outfits I don’t want to part with and that would be a nice way to keep them around.

  5. Totally crying over that quilt. It really is a beautiful gift.

    1. Brie

      Well, I’m totally crying now…I think that quilt would be such a comfort and what an amazing gift!

    2. Kate

      I’m crying over the quilt, too! What a thoughtful, special gift

      1. It’s like Oprah on here today. That got me right in the feels. We should all get together and cry some time.

        1. Andie

          LOL. Good..I thought I was the only one that teared at that quilt.

  6. Ariane

    That quilt is truly amazing! What a special item to have.

  7. Oh my goodness, what an amazing idea for a quilt! What kind of camera do you use?

  8. Carla

    What a beautiful Christmas Eve and Christmas day you all had!! Your mom is so incredibly thoughtful, her presents are the best! Seeing that quilt and you telling the memories behind each color, totally made me cry. Such a beautiful present!! Can’t wait to see part 2 🙂 oh, I love the pic of you and Gracie snuggling together. So sweet!

  9. That quilt is amazing! What an awesome gift!

  10. Katie McCollum

    What a special gift from your mom. It will be a treasure for always. Funny you mention the sausage cheese balls for breakfast, we have them on Christmas, and only Christmas, for breakfast in my family too! When I was growing up and with my family now. My kids adore them!

  11. The quilt from your mum is a beautiful, wonderful gift and I have tears in my eyes just reading about it. x

  12. Welp, I got all teary at the quilt part. Great job Katie’s mom!

    1. Tabs

      Me too! Totally got my eyes all watery (which is hard to do actually). What a fantastic gift idea! Your mom rocks, Katie!

  13. WOW. Bawling here over that quilt. Incredible and such a wonderful gift for you and talent of your moms.

  14. jenny-bird

    What a lovely Christmas and a lovely family to spend it with. I’m glad you had such a merry Christmas. You and your family deserve happiness!

  15. I Love the quilt!! My dad passed away suddenly a day after I had my first daughter. My little sister took his clothes and made a baby quilt out of them. It has been in the nursery for all of my kids. It holds so many special memories for my family.

  16. KatieW33

    Never commented on here before but wanted you to know how much I love reading your blog over here in the UK. You have such an amazing way with words and that beautiful quilt had me in tears!x

  17. Tammy

    What beautiful Christmas memories! Your mom is amazing. I teared up as I read about the quilts that she made you and your sister. What a perfect gift!

  18. So many beautiful events! I would love to see the video of the kids running to the gifts and missing the biggest ones. Bean’s open mouth when driving is the essence of why it’s worth having kids I think, and the story how Gracie needs ballast in her car is so cute! And the quilt from your mom is just… Astonishing I must say. Really the family materialized. Glad you had a good time!

  19. kat

    I’m with you! I wake up SUPER early on xmas morning and then I get all antsy that the kids aren’t up and opening presents. LOVE this recap. And in LOVE with your red purses.

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