Merry and Bright

 
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday spent with friends and family, filled with gifts and giving, and heaps of food and sweets. It’s been a while since I posted so I thought I would do a quick photo recap of the last week or so. It was Ryland’s first Christmas and it was by far my favorite “adult” Christmas I’ve had. I LOVE Christmas. It’s my favorite time of the year. But I will say that I got so much more joy and fun this year out of trying to make Christmas magical for Ryland than I have since I was a little kid. And I realize she’s not even 9 months old. She has no idea what Christmas is and cares more about wrapping paper than the gift inside. She can’t eat Christmas cookies or ham (she would try but it may not end well). But everything this year just felt a little more sparkly and beautiful because I was sharing it with her. This was also the first year my husband and I were both at home (and not at work or out of town) on Christmas day, and it was really happy and lovely to hang out in our pajamas by the tree and open presents. This year I also felt more motivated to focus on giving and to spend more of the season with that intention, to do little things for the people I love and for strangers alike. 

I spent Christmas Eve at work. And once again my job as a pediatric nurse does a wonderful job of putting things in perspective and making me so greatful for all that I have. So basically all of this is to say I was really appreciative of Christmas this year and really soaked in the season. It was nice, and I hope to be able to do that every year from here on out, and not get caught up in materialistic things too much or worry about everything being perfect.

But that’s enough sappy stuff! Here’s what Christmas looked like around our house.

We took Ryland to meet Santa and her reaction was as expected. I honestly can’t say I blame her, because at this point Santa is really just a strange bearded man, and understandably frightening. The elf outfit was courtesy of my in-laws. The cutest right?
I also made salt dough ornaments with little impressions of her hands and feet. I had never done it before but it was actually super easy. Basically you just make a dough out of salt, flour, and water, make your impressions and then bake at low heat for two hours. I decided to paint them white and then decorate with glitter, because, sparkles 🙂
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In progress

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I also sprayed them with a polyurethane top coat

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And a close up!

I also made a LOT of cookies this year, like enough to make Cookie Monster explode a lot. Don’t worry. We don’t way 500 pounds yet. I gave most of them away to friends and family and also brought a huge batch in with me to work on Christmas eve. I did sugar cookies, tea cookies, gingersnaps, peanut butter blossoms, and these crazy chocolate ones that were super rich and decadent.
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This is only a small sampling

We also spent a lot of time with my family celebrating the season. Ryland was a fan of Dapa and Bebe’s (my parents) tree and ornaments.
Christmas morning, as I mentioned earlier, was really lovely and laid back. Since Ryland is a wee babe this year we didn’t go too crazy with presents (1. She doesn’t care 2. She doesn’t know that Santa is a thing 3. I’m super anal and not a fan of clutter, and I know my house will inevitably turn into a toy graveyard but I’m resisting as long as possible.) We did of course get her a few things, and she had “fun” opening her toys 🙂
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George of course had his own stocking full of toys

For our Christmas breakfast I made monkey bread for the first time (super easy and SUPER rich, we had teeny portions and were full for most of the day). And bacon, because Christmas = stuffing your face.
We spent the rest of the morning lounging and playing with new toys. We did get Ryland a red rider tricycle (it converts so they can start riding around in it as babies), and she was a BIG fan of it.

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She especially liked chasing George 😉

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After a few more spins we headed out, first to stop at my sister’s to bring my niece and newphews their presents and see what Santa brought them, and then we made it to my parents’ house in Ashland where my large and wonderful extended family gathered for our annual Christmas dinner. Ryland lasted as long as she could but ended up asleep in my parents room for the second half of the party. Which was okay because it allowed her mom and dad to eat dinner peacefully. We scooped her up around 8 and headed back home. 

And that was our lovely Christmas, Ryland’s first one which of course made the whole day feel even more special. I am so excited to see Ryland grow up and (hopefully) love this holdiay as much as her mom does. And I also hope we can always show her that it’s a day about so much more than what’s under the tree 🙂

So once again, Merry Christmas everyone! Peace and good wishes to you and those you hold dear.

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