We missed the Santa visit the village hosts this year (pretty sure it conflicted with nap time), but luckily our friends have a direct line to Santa and he showed up at our neighborhood happy hour!
Obligatory crying child picture on Santa's lap
But she's happy with her gift!
Contrary to what my pictures show, Honey and Papa joined us for Christmas this year! We must have been having way too much fun that day, because I hardly have any photos : (
The day after Christmas more guests started arriving, in anticipation of Claire's first birthday! We were happy to have Aunt Kelly, Uncle Scott, Tessa and Asher stay with us the rest of the week. We kicked Honey and Papa out to a hotel, and took advantage of the indoor swimming pool.
Tessa slept in James' room
We captured a pic of all of us the last night we were all together. Pretty impressive considering we used a timer!
The week after Christmas was very hectic. We had my entire family, plus Chris' parents and sister Laura and her family in town (although they also stayed at the hotel). I spent most of the time cooking and cleaning, cooking and cleaning, and doing that some more. It is hard work hosting 11 people over multiple days! But it was all worth it to have them here to celebrate with us. For most of the year it is just us here in Chicago. Our kids see their grandparents a few times a year, and cousins even less than that. Family gatherings are few and far between for us, as it just isn't possible to spend every holiday together. So the times when we do have them here, I want it to be perfect...or close to it. And I make myself insane because it just isn't possible :) So I hope everyone enjoyed themselves. I won't commit to doing this every year, but everyone is always welcome to visit!
Separate post coming for Claire's birthday - I may have taken a couple pictures.