Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Christmas In January (Simple Gifts)

Well, hello.  Is it a new year?  Because I'm kinda still stuck in December.  
Well, not really.  But there are stockings still hung.  And sparkly ornaments in decorative bowls on our tables.  Twinkie is still wearing his Santa outfit.  Kidding.  (I wish I wasn't!)
And yesterday, we officially finished the last of our Christmas celebrations.
It was a fun day with Santa GiGi.  
  Our tree is down.  That, we had to take care of last week.  Had we not, 
I'm pretty sure I would have kept it up until the summer.  Maybe even fall.  Who cares if it's just a pile of needles?!  I get so attached to our tree each year.  
This year, especially.
I don't have to say why.

But, like I did say in my last post...
You can find at least a little bit of Christmas in each day.  Magic.  Wonder.  Joy.

I'm only focusing on the 23rd, 24th and Christmas day
today...those three days certainly held magic.  But the ones that followed, even though some were tough or exhausting, or some of both...
They carried that spark too.

This Christmas Eve Eve babe certainly has a way about her.

We woke up bright and early on the 23rd and got ready for a trip to Lancaster.
Shady Maple Smorgasbord had no idea what was coming.
Pips was hungry.
And she was extra excited that her second trip to "Shady's" was one where she could really sample all the yummy goodness.

She ate all of this.
Again.  Kidding.  Mommy's plate plates.

Daddy and Uncle Nicholas stuffed themselves till they could eat no more,
while us girls continued to eat.

Her new "happy place"

Homemade muffin, eggies and blueberry oatmeal.
I think she liked loved it.

Ohhh boy!!  This is probably one of our favorite faces to date.
I'm pretty sure she was givin' the evil eye to the sweet women at the omelet and pancake station.
They said it closed at 10:30.  It was only 10:27.
And Piper's belly still had some room left for another cinnamon chip pipcake.

It's a little less scary in color, right?!
  Maybe not.
Don't get on Pips' bad side.

She's back to her old self!!

Talk about scary...
The yetis were multiplying in the gift shop downstairs.
If you know me, you know that's absolutely yeti is more than enough.

The ride home was a sweet one.
I'm usually driving Miss Pippy, so rarely do I get to see all the fun she's havin' back there.
She had a blast ripping her shoes and socks off.  
And then eating them, while she hummed.

It's hard work eating at a smorgasbord and eating your socks, too!

We came home and relaxed the rest of the day...

Snuggles by the tree

Climbing all over Daddy's legs and feet

Making salt dough for Pippy's piggies to press into

We tried 734 times to get her hand prints, but every time, she'd dig her fingers into the dough.
She giggled when I pressed her tootsies in the dough.
Oh, we loved it too!

My favorite wrapping paper this year

Christmas Eve morning was nice 'n relaxing.

Missy rested up for her big day with a long afternoon nap.

Aunt Kelly left a bag of treats at our door.

Cheesy poofs for Steve, Ramen and creamer for me (I like to eat them together...Not kidding.  I'm not.  Gross, I know.  But oh, so good.  I'll post a recipe soon)
and yogurt snacks for Piper.
The poofs were gone in less than 24 hours.  And the pumpkin spice Ramen casserole was a hit.
Pips thought those new snackies were awesome!
That Aunt Kelly knows what makes us happy! <3

Steve couldn't wait to fill out our card.

Santa baby played us tunes all day.

Night came, and it was time to get all dressed up to visit Dee Dee.
Deeds got Piper this dress while she was still in my belly.
And the coat, for Piper's six month "birthday."
Piper loves the coat. And so do we. It is super soft.
Pips loves holding onto it.  She laughs when she touches it...I think she thinks it's a kitty cat!

"Hi Deeds!!  Don't I look purty?!  What's on the Christmas Eve menu at Dee Dee's Kitchen tonight?!"

The last of the #twentyfivedaysofpippy gifts...what a fun-filled twenty-five days that was.
I think Piper got more than enough practice at ripping wrapping paper, playing with bows and Mmm Mmming at the chocolate candies attached to her gifts.
And I know Piper felt the love from her Santa Dee Dee each and every day.

Deeds, many Christmases ago
Love the bike.
The doll, kinda freaky.

Mini photo shoot


She reminds me so much of my mom and Pop-Pop in this one.

Afterwards, we went for a visit at Aunt Anna's.

Piper giggles at Uncle Nicholas' goatee.

I think she waved for about two minutes straight here.

We came home and got Piper ready for bed and let her open one of her gifts.
"The Night Before Christmas" seemed like the perfect one to open.

I got choked up reading to her as she sat in my lap.
That moment right was Christmas.

Once Moonchie was fast asleep,
Steve and I had a fancy dinner of Wawa Hoagies and Sunchips while watching
the dorkiest of dorky Christmas movies.

Mr. went to bed and I stayed downstairs a bit longer.
I sat, took in the quiet and gave thanks.

Sleeping beauty

Our Christmas...

I'll let the pictures do most of the talking.

  Steve and I laughed that it was the one morning, in a very long time, that we actually had to wake Piper up.  She must have been having really sweet dreams.
We spent the morning watching and helping Piper open her presents.  We went to Dee Dee's for a second round later that morning.  My mom, Nicholas and I went to visit my dad late that afternoon.
And we all had dinner and dessert here.

Christmas went by so fast.  
There were many moments that took my breath away.  
And many moments I wish I could go back and relive a little longer. 
But that's what memories are for. 

Simple Gifts - Jewel

Some memories I will always carry with me from our Christmas...

 *Standing in front of Piper's crib with Steve...staring down at our beautiful, sleeping, little miracle.

*Walking towards the tree, the three of us.  The three of us.  I've longed for the Christmas where I could say "the three of us."

*Watching Piper slowly crawl towards all the gifts under the tree.

*Seeing a beautiful mess of toys surrounding Steve and Piper. Seeing my husband and daughter and the love they share.

*Watching Piper smack her lips and give Dee Dee her smiley eyes, as she tasted the chocolate Deeds had just whipped up.

*Watching the wonder in Piper's eyes at Dee Dee's.  Trash bags and paper were even cooler than the presents.  How showered with love she was from her and Uncle Nicholas.

*The sight of Piper, so precious in her red and green Hello Kitty nightgown I picked out for her...snuggling up in Steve's arms (with her coat from Dee Dee) taking a nice, Christmas snooze.  

*My dad's face when he saw my mom, Nicholas and I walk into his room.

*The way he tapped his fingers to the beat of the music coming from the headphones that Nicholas brought him.  And the cd my mom gave him.

*His expression and the huge thumbs up he gave us after taking the first bite of his Christmas dinner...his first real meal in seven months.

*Coming home to Piper all dressed up.  I told Steve he didn't have to worry about putting her in her Christmas outfit because it was getting late.  But when I walked in the living room, there she was, in her little romper...daddy and her, smiling at me.

*Watching as Piper gave good night kisses to Dee Dee, Uncle Nicholas, Cousin Ashley and Daddy.

*Putting our sweet girl to bed, in soft, warm pajamas.  Kissing her face.  Whispering "Merry Christmas" to her a few more times.  Covering her up. 
 And thanking her for being our best gift.

 Okay, okay, now the pictures can do the talking...


Ut-oh...there's that same look she gave the pancake station ladies!



Deeds had some pretty awesome kitty paper, too!



My favorite gift...

It will always be love.

I hope the end of your 2013 was full of love.
And I hope 2014 is off to wonderful start.
I'll be back, remembering the days following Christmas and New Year's Eve.

Happy Wednesday.

Much Love,


M said...

She's so precious, Maria. Seriously! Wish you guys lived closer so her and Brady could have a playdate!

Wonderful pictures!! Christmas with babies is so amazing, isn't it?! Hope you guys had a good one...sure looks like you did. Oh, and love her I <3 Santa PJs!!

M said...

That thing that looks like a drum...what is it?! Want!!

Anonymous said...

Yay! A new post! Have been missing your updates. Your Christmas looks exactly how I pictured it might be: full of love and wonder and happiness. You are such a great mother and Steve is such a wonderful dad. I love the bond he has with Piper. And your mom, well...I just love how she spoils Piper and is so smitten with her. Every little girl or boy needs doting grandparents, right?

Happy New Year!! Can't wait to watch as Piper continues to grow. Love the pictures and stories. :)

lovejoy_31 said...

love every single pic. She is absolutely adorable. I'm so glad you had a great Christmas. I can't wait to have TWO little girls to celebrate next Christmas with. They make everything so much better.


E and R said...

So much cuteness in this post. So glad your Christmas was so very blessed this year!!!

Rian Eidson said...

Love all of it!!! Her Santa pjs are too cute! The pictures and your favorite memories made me tear up. The first Christmas is always so special!!!

Rebecca said...

Such great pics. Glad you had a Merry Christmas. Our stuff still isn't down yet either!!! Christmas with babies is just to magical to end. I love the pic of baby and daddy sleeping. So precious. Hope 2014 is a great one for you and your family of THREE!

Heather @ Notes from the Nelsens said...

Ahhh such sweet pictures and memories!! I remember reading your Christmas post from last year commenting on how fun fun "next Christmas" would be and how I couldn't wait to see what was ahead for you and Steve and your sweet family! And here we are. These pictures make me happy. I LOVE the one of Piper's face at the pancake house that you put in b&w, and the one of her in her Christmas dress with her hands out like a little lady ;) ...and then the one of her and Steve sound asleep on the couch- melt my heart. Such sweetness in these photos!! I hope you guys have the best weekend, Maria!!


Anna said...

Such a sweetie!

I had a hard time saying goodbye to December too! I kept our snowmen up for winter. It helped make the house feel less bare! ;)

Jess @ said...

Such great pictures! And wonderful first Christmas memories!

I give your mom major kudos for the present a day!

Faith said...

Piper is so, so cute! Love that she enjoys good like she does! And that face! Don't mess with Piper!

That tree is gorgeous! Decorated perfectly.

And your family pictures are perfection. You have such a beautiful family!

JP said...

Such a sweet post. You are just a big ball of love, and it comes through so nicely here.
It seems like your dad is improving a bit - that's amazing.

Have a great week!! JP

Brittany said...

I'm obsessed with the "Don't mess with Pips" face!! Oh my gosh...soooo adorable! So funny to see her make a frowny face because she's always all smiles. I love how much she loves food too...girl after my own heart! Girl's gotta eat!!

It looks like y'all had such an amazing Christmas. I'm still amazed by your is so beautiful! Ours was really wimpy this year (and last year, and the year before that..). This makes me ready for Christmas all over again! Just 10 more months until we can get it all out again, right? :)

The family pictures at the end are my absolute favorite. Y'all are so precious! You and Steve look so happy and complete with sweet Piper there with you. She is such a doll and I can only imagine how much joy she brings the two of you. It brings me so much joy just seeing her pictures.

Hope y'all are having a wonderful week! Only two more days til the weekend!!!!! :)

mail4rosey said...

She is far too cute to look scary, but I did laugh at that picture anyway.

What a sweet, sweet baby. And I love the pictures!! She's just scrumdiliumptious!!

Your comment about reading to her made me smile. I know that moment of happy.

And LOL w/having to wake the kids up for Christmas. I have four and the first three I had to wake up every single year!! Thank goodness little man wakes right up to investigate what Santa Clause left him. Does my mama heart good. :)

Jodi Stuber said...

Loved reading and viewing your holidays :) your family is so full of love and it shows in every word. .. And photo in this post. Thanks for sharing!

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