Woah, woah, woah. What a weekend! I tell ya, we seem to not know how to just have Christmas around here. Nope.
First of all, we decided to get married the day after Christmas. So I guess we never even had a chance for a normal Christmas right from the start. Yeah, I know. Ask our families, they loved it. ha! No really, I think they did. My family left the open house and took off for a week long vacation of a lifetime...without me. Boo. But I'm over it, almost. It was one of the best day's of my life though, and boy do we have some awesome stories.
THEN, we decide to have a baby two days before Christmas. Well, maybe we didn't exactly decide that very date, but we could have planned a little better, but we won't go into THAT. So, we spent Christmas day in the hospital eating our "Christmas Dinner" of rubber steak, rock hard mashed potatoes, something that I think was supposed to be a jello salad, and an awesome jawbreaker brownie for dessert.
And then there was the year where we decided to take all of the presents, our whole family, the dog and three gerbils on a 14 hour trip, in order to spend the holiday with family. After some road closures, a gerbil running loose in the car, some serious dog gas, and some LONG hours in the car, we made it, and it was great. Really.
I guess we are making memories, and boy do we have some great ones.
This year has been pretty nuts, and it isn't even Christmas yet. Amazing.
We did have a great weekend though. At this very moment, Ben is finishing up his LAST paper before he is done with his MBA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I decided that since the campus isn't here, so Ben doesn't get to walk across a stage, and listen to the boring grad. speeches and wear that rockin' awesome dress, tent, gown ,thing, we might as well have our own party. And we did. And it was great.
I send out the invites via email, got the RSVP's, and then planned accordingly. This was no simple task, given the number of people we invited, but it was worth it. We had a fun night with friends and family. It was an open house, so we kept it casual and fun...just like Ben.
The table all set up with goodies for the open house.
Gifts and cards for Ben.
We had a great night, and it was a good thing for us to see how far we have come since we moved here. We really do have some cool friends here and our ward is pretty cool as well. We are getting to know more people and make more friendships. We are beginning to plan some seeds.
The next day was Mary's Birthday party! Her Birthday is two days before Christmas, but we decided to party early, to keep it a little more seperate from the big holiday. She wanted a fairy party, so that's what we did.
It was an absolute riot! Oh my goodness, it was hilarious. 8 giggly girls, dressed up in fairy outfits, all talking at the same time. It was loud, it was about as girly as you can get, and it was bursting with emotion. Poor Ben, coming from a home with all boys, just about lost his mind, but he was a good fairy prince and scooped the ice cream, ran the video camera, and even joked around with the girls for a while.
Mary had a blast and so did her friends. They played pass the evil wand (hot potato), musical chairs, they painted nails (you should have heard the screams of excitement when we announced the nail painting...it was ear piercing, just ask prince Ben),
and they made their own ice cream sunday's, topped with fairy dust.
We ended with Mary opening presents and some games of fairy hide and seek and a fairy movie.
It was a great party! It was the most girly thing Mary has done in a while, but it was so cute and so funny. Mary felt special and loved, and that is all that matters to me. She is such a good kid and has a very sweet heart. I can't believe she will be 6 this week!
Leave it to Mary to want to put these teeth in the goodie bags. They were a hit.
To top it all off, we got a dog. Yup, the night before Ben's open house. We are so smart with timing! ;) Actually, if we didn't get him that night, he was going to the pound. Not much of a choice. He is the same mix as Chamonix was. lab/husky. Only this dog looks WAY more husky. He actually looks like a big wolf. He is yellow, brown, tan, black and white.
We had a pretty bad first night with him, and I actually put him back up for sale, but the next day, after he got some food in his tummy, he did GREAT. He has been good since. He is absolutely amazing with the kids. I have been around dogs my whole life, and I have never seen a dog that is so good with kids. He is very protective of them and he even sleeps by them. He is eager to please. He is also already house trained, neutered, up to date on shots, plays fetch and knows how to sit. He seems to be a good one for running, camping, hiking, ect. His name is Nico. Welcome Nico!
Sunday was the ward Christmas program. I played the piano for one of the musical numbers. It was a gorgeous piece and it went really well. The girl who sang had a great voice. There was some flute involved in it as well, and it made it so fun. The whole program was beautiful and we felt such a strong spirit of the real reason for the season..Jesus Christ. It was a wonderful Sunday. The kids also got to wear their new Christmas clothes. William already grew out of his, so he isn't in the pictures, but he looks cute just the way he is.
And there you have it. Another Christmas week...Maynard style. As crazy as it is, we wouldn't change it. The laughter, the love, the joy and the bonding that takes place, makes all of the time and planning worth it.
Coming up...Mary's Birthday, Mary's school spotlight, a visit from some family, Christmas Eve with some cool friends and neighbors, Christmas, our week long vacation with family, New Years and all of the other mind boggling, unexpected, crazy happenings that are bound to go along with it all!
Merry Christmas Everyone!