We have had an incredible weekend.
This is our first real Christmas away from family (there was one failed attempt, when we spent Christmas morning at our apartment in Virginia, but were on the road to New Jersey by noon on Christmas Day), and as hard as that can be sometimes, we are still so lucky. We have amazing friends - wonderful women with babies the same age as Addison, lovely husbands - and we marvel at the fact that we've barely known each other six months. These women have buoyed me in hard times, and smiled and laughed with me at just about every other moment. They love my children like their own, and the feeling is mutual about theirs. We each bring something unique and different to the table, yet we compliment each other perfectly. This Christmas could have felt empty for all of us; none of us live close to our hometowns. Instead, we spent the past 4 days showering each other in love and joy and togetherness, creating memories and establishing traditions. We may not be related, but we are family.
We baked cookies. Or, we chatted and laughed and rolled dough in sprinkes, while the littles ate as many sprinkles as they could get their hands on.
On Christmas Eve, the Donato's hosted the first annual Christmas Eve Pajama Breakfast. As soon as the kids were up, we rolled out of bed, packed into the car, and drove to their house to eat breakfast. Pajamas and brushed teeth required.
Mini coffee cups (of hot chocolate). Seriously, the cutest thing. thinkgarnish.com
The whole crew
We went caroling in Lexington on Christmas Eve. It was a festive 20 degrees, although we've gotten used to the 50-degree temps, and it was a bit of a shock to the system.
Don't you love her hat? I was feeling crafty and whipped it up - and she loves it.
Lantern-lit singing? Yes, please!
And then it was Christmas morning. Santa was good to the girls - just a few pictures because I was enjoying the festivities too much to spend a lot of time behind the camera.
And that completes Christmas 2011, Part I. Tomorrow, we'll pack our bags and hit the road to spend a few days in New Jersey, drawing out Christmas as long as we can. I hope everyone's holiday was as merry as ours!