I know, I'm late. And I have to admit, I haven't even made a camera dump yet, so sorry, pictures still to come. But after all, I guess it's time to recap this wonderful last week (and yes, I totally took a complete computer break over the holidays).
We slept in, had a quiet breakfast, and an overall quiet day. In the afternoon, our neighbors came over and we had the first gift-giving. The girls loved their games and we played until dinner time. After dinner, the girls noticed that when Santa picked up their wish lists on Sunday, he had left something in their stockings that were hanging near the window: My Little Pony activity / sticker books!! They were happily playing until it was time for a bath and bed-time. Afterward, Richard and I exchanged our first gifts. I got a book of short stories collected by Neil Gaiman, one of our favorite authors, and Richard the new bassoon neck strap he asked for. Afterward we piled up the gifts under the tree and spent the evening watching the Nutcracker and going to bed early.
The rule was mandatory cuddling until the first light, and as soon there was just the tiniest hint of dawn (about 7ish) we got up. I couldn't get the camera out fast enough as the girls were already tearing through their boxes, gift wrapping was flying through the air, and there was lots of gasps and cheering. After the girls had opened all their gifts, Richard and I opened ours. He was truly surprised by the guitar I got him to play with Lily, who had also gotten her very own Lily-sized guitar. I got another Neil Gaiman book (seriously working on re-building our library!!) and a beautiful pair of diamond earrings; I obviously was a nice girl! After breakfast, Lily and I spent 3 hours setting up her Lego Friends pony ranch while hubby set up the Disney Princess castle for Violet and patiently helped her dress and re-dress her princesses. We watched Animaniacs, made bracelets, ate cookies, and had a great vegetarian risotto for dinner. After the girls had gone to bed that night, hubby and I spent some quality time together reading and had an early bed-time ourselves.
My parents came for a visit and I made a traditional German holiday dinner of roast goose, bread and potato dumplings, pickled red cabbage and gravies. It was delicious. The girls got jammies and our parents announced that they had transferred some money to our account to buy bedroom sets for the girls and probably pay for our patio or some other project on the house. We were overwhelmed. Later, after we were stuffed from dinner we took a walk to the house to show my parents the latest progress. After the walk we enjoyed coffee, fruit punch, and holiday cookies. We really had a great day together! At night, the girls had their bath and went to bed while Richard and I enjoyed a movie and reading time.
We really had wonderful holidays with lots of quiet family time, good food, happy children, and lots of sleep. Pictures will follow, soon, I promise!!