After our usual Christmas Eve celebration with Mike’s family, we came home with a child who was very anxious about going to sleep as soon as possible. That’s because Annie and her cousin Michaela spent the evening tracking Santa online, and when Santa started getting closer to California we told Annie we had to hurry so she’d be asleep before he arrived at our house.

Tracking Santa

Annie put out cookies, a note for Santa, and reindeer food, and then jumped into bed. She was asleep so fast I almost couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t complaining, though – Mike and I had a ton of wrapping to do.

all the presents

In the morning, my family came over with even more gifts, and we were so busy arranging them that we didn’t even notice Annabel had woken up and walked into the room!

good morning, Mommy!
‘sup, Mom.

We let Annie unwrap her gifts first, and like last year, she screamed and squealed with delight over every single item.

zomg a Frozen dress!
Clearly I was excited, too.

Mike and Sully!
She’s wanted these two dolls since June.

When she wasn’t helping James unwrap his gifts, she helped me hand presents out to other people.

reading who the present is to
Mommy, I think this one’s for me.

My parents gave Annie and me our own sewing machines!

Annie's sewing machine
Mine sews actual things, though.

This right here is the face of a thirty-four-year-old woman whose husband just gave her tickets to see Britney Spears in Las Vegas.

I I I wanna go go go!

NO SHAME IN MY GAME IT’S BRITNEY. Besides, Brit is thirty-two and she was once spotted at the grocery store near my parents’ old house, so we are practically Best Friends 4EVA.

After we all ate the yummy french toast casserole my mom made, Mike and I pulled the old, “hey, I think there’s another present outside!” trick. My cousin Leah and her fiancé Ted had snuck out to set up a bounce house for Annie, and her reaction was amazing.

seeing her bounce house
Literally stopped in her tracks.

seeing her bounce house
This is the most amazing thing, oh my gosssssssssssh thank yoouuuu!

Hours of exhausting fun, I’m telling you.

bounce house fun

Later in the afternoon, my aunt and uncle arrived from Palm Desert. My uncle hadn’t met James yet, and he basically baby-hogged him as much as possible.

John and James

There were a few more presents to open, including this voice-changer-megaphone-thingie, which has strangely vanished…

this toy mysteriously disappeared

There was also a ton of laughing and, of course, more bounce house fun.

bounce house fun

My mom and aunts put together an amazing dinner. I set the table, that counts, right?

my Christmas table

Leah and I also folded the napkins all fancy. Thank you, Pinterest!

Even though I got sick at the end of the night, it was truly a wonderful Christmas. I absolutely love spending time with my extended family, and hosting them in our home for James’ first Christmas made it even more special.

The Spohrs, Christmas 2013

I hope that all of you who celebrate had a wonderful day. Be safe this New Year’s Eve!

*not a disease.