Christmas is a magical time for us, and this year did not disappoint. Here are several of our favorite moments from our holiday week. Some with pictures, some without.
1. Watching Jack and Jane with all their grandparents. (I regret not getting many of them together, but this is a good one of Christmas morning when my kids slept until I woke them at 8:45am. It was awesome.)
2. A fun Christmas Eve at the Hillmans with talents, food, matching pajamas, and lots of good visiting.
3. Jack, Jane, and Ellie's impromptu Nativity presentation produced entirely by them.
4. Jack and Jane meeting their new foster cousins.
5. The way my mom makes her house glow. How does she do that?
6. Being with my sisters. I have the most wonderful sisters.
7. Having Grandma and Grandpa Ottley and Grandma Rich be with us at my parent's house. Grandma and Grandpa have been married for 60-something years, and Grandma Rich will be 98 in April! Are they darling or what?
8. My sister-in-law actually liking the gift I was so excited to give her.
9. Singing Christmas Carols in the car with our kids on Christmas Eve. (and realizing we don't know as many words as we thought we did!)
10. Playing chimes at the Rich's and watching Jack come in just one second too late every time. He was not giving up, and I was loving it!
11. Realizing that even without seeing each other for nine months, it feels like no time has passed at all.
12. Actually going out with my husband (and no kids) to celebrate eight wonderful years of marriage. How does he just keep getting better?
13. Jane still having a special bond with her uncle Jason. And it's not just because he looks just like her daddy. Yes, that's Jason, not Jeff.
14. Jane eating fresh fallen snow for breakfast. She just can't get enough of it!
15. Jeff and Jack both feeling my baby kick. What a great moment!
16. Fiddling with my sisters and dad, and reconfirming how much I need to practice (and clip my nails!)
17. My favorite gift, that wasn't actually intended as a Christmas gift, was this fantastic picnic tin that my Grandparents brought to every fiddle contest they attended (I don't know if they missed one) for years and years. I love that thing and can't wait to use it with my own family. Silly, I know, but anything that reminds me of those fantastic childhood memories and my amazing grandparents is definitely going to take the prize!
18. Spending a day with Jason and Heidi at their home and Jack FINALLY getting to try out his new sled. And watching Jane and Ellie enjoying each other like we've always hoped they would! That was a fun day.
19. Jeff getting all his favorite traditional holiday foods he's been anticipating all month.
20. Jane and Christian still having a special connection. I can't find anything that makes my kids' happier than their cousins. What a blessing!
21. Knowing my kids don't have to go through more goodbyes with their cousins who now all live within an hour of our home. What a blessing to all be in the same state! Who could have guessed?
These are just the Rich cousins! From the left: Clark, Faith, Grant, Grandma, Mia, Grandpa, Christian, Jane, Abbie, Jack, John, and more on the way! Honestly, how did we ever say goodbye before?
With such a wonderful family, what more could we ask for?
Happy Holidays from the Hillmans.
Happy Holidays from the Hillmans.