Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Crazy, Hectic Christmas!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Every year we have our own version of 'Four Christmases.'  If you've ever seen the movie you might be able to relate.  Since Eric and I come from divorced families we have to split our Christmas four different ways, or I guess five counting our own.  

So, similar to my 'Four Parties, Thanksgiving, and a Wedding' post, here are our Five Christmases:

Christmas #1; HOME!  Isabelle figured out that there is no Santa a week or so ago and then we got snowed in, so we did our Christmas first.  The problem with having an only child is never knowing when to quit.  I'll admit that I go overboard for Christmas and birthdays.  We make darn sure that Isabelle is disciplined and respectful all year 'round but she is spoiled on her birthday and during the holidays.  

Stockings for Isabelle, Brew & Carley, Me, and Eric.

Eric got me USD (my Alma mater) cups and I got him a real red solo cup- not a plastic one, this one is reusable!

This handsome fella got a new collar!  He's now a tough biker dog.

Just a few of my gifts from my husband, he likes me drunk ;o)

Christmas #2; Randolph, NE. Randolph is a small idyllic farm town in Northeast Nebraska and Eric was raised there from the day he was born.  We spent the night with Eric's dad, step-mom, sisters, and brother-in-law.  Deb made a prime rib supper for the 2nd year in a row.... Eric is quickly deeming this to be a "tradition." 

Deb introduced us to a German tradition: Find the pickle!  It is a Christmas Eve tradition to hang a pickle ornament last, after all other ornaments are in place.  The child that finds the ornament first will get an extra gift from St. Nicholas, the adult that finds it first will have good luck for the entire new year!  We are soooo doing this from now on!  Do you see it?

 Found it!

Before opening gifts, we all sit around and catch up. 

 Young Eric, My Eric.

My mother-in-law and younger sister-in-law waiting to open gifts.  Deb is a lung cancer survivor and we are so blessed to have her here with us this Christmas!

 My father-in-law.

Christmas #3; Mom, Sioux Falls, SD.  My mom has 6 grandchildren, 4 under the age of 4 so it was pure chaos here.  My mom made her traditional ham, mashed potatoes, and deviled eggs.  Her mashed potatoes are my favorite!  After lunch, the chaos ensued and we opened Christmas gifts.

 Auntie Chelsea and Malea. 

 Braylee Mae.

Malea Sue. 

 Aubree Skye.


 Alcohol is really the only way to deal with the in-laws..... we drank a lot of it this weekend! 

 My mom got Isabelle a diary, look how secretive she is.... hmmm...

 My sister, Emily.

I am so crazy about my nieces!  I could just eat them up!  We played a Sponge Bob matching game and Braylee totally kicked our butts!

 Uncles are the best for snuggeling, just ask Malea.

Christmas #4; Eric's mom & step-dad, Brookings, SD.  They host Christmas Eve and Thanksgiving every year.  This makes life really easy!  We know, and the rest of our families know, where we will be on Christmas Eve and Thanksgiving.  There are never any scheduling conflicts because it is just the way it is.  I enjoy spending time here the most.  I'm blessed to have spectacular in-laws!

 My girl has an extremely tender heart for animals.  She loves all animals.  This is Caramel, Warren's dog.  Caramel hates everyone except Warren so Isabelle holding her is proof that animals respond to her differently.  They just love her.

 Eric's mom, LeAnn.  I think he looks just like her.

 Eric's step-dad, Warren.

These pickle roll-ups were a hit!  Thanks Pinterest!

 Great-grandma, Maxine.

 Eric looking at old pictures with his Grandma Betty.  He is so lucky to have his Grandma, I'm jealous, I'd give anything for one of my Grandma Sue's neck-sugars.

 Grandpa Warren is silly!

 Isabelle and Uncle Brian.

We do a 'white elephant' gift exchange every year.  This year the cap was at $5.00.  This is always fun and always hilarious!  First, we start by picking a number....

 Getting the last number is the trick.  That way, you have your pick of aaalllll the gifts!

Since $5.00 was the max, we were all wondering what could possibly be in this box!  Eric's sister couldn't resist so she picked it.

 It was the neatest patriotic sign made out of pennies!  Eric's step-sister, Tammy, is super creative!  And then the stealing began.....

Christmas #5; Randicilious (my dad) and Rita's house, Vermillion, SD.  Not as much chaos here as at my mom's but still a good amount.  Lots of toddlers running around, squealing, and opening gifts.  Music to my heart!

My youngest sister, Chelsea, brought her dogs with her.  I love my sister, not her dogs.

Of course Isabelle does.

Uncle's are the best!  They're the best at snuggeling, eating chicken wings, and making faces.  

My Dad made ribs (Eric's favorite) and chicken wings, everyone opened gifts, and then we relaxed, at first watching tv upstairs, then later going downstairs to the theater to watch Ice Age.

Eric was in heaven. 

 Isabelle had Gracie.

 Excuse me, Miss Aubree, could you please sit down?  We can't see back here!  

Movie time!  I had my husband to my left, my Dad to my right, a beer, a heating blanket on my lap, and popcorn.  Couldn't have gotten any better!

Five Christmases were exhausting..... completely exhausting.  But, we're blessed with great families!  We are a lucky bunch.  Merry Christmas, y'all!!

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