Ahh, Christmas Eve.
I won't even tell you how early we start getting ready for this
crazy Mommy induced "pretend" red carpet event church service.
But for the sake of posterity, I'll tell you that the church service started at 4pm, and it was a contemporary service that was so kid-friendly that Alec sat through it still enough to make me wonder if he was getting sick. He wasn't... he was just enjoying the service.
Here are my cherubs as we were about to leave:
The hair and makeup and clothing is always a big deal, and we start planning it out earlier in the month what we're going to do. I got some fun hair accessories at Charming Charlie's this year. The dresses were secured after a bitterly disappointing scan through the Gymboree and Children's Place offerings forced me to turn to the trusty Internet. And I will admit here what I haven't admitted anywhere else: the website where I got these dresses promoted their stock for holiday dresses, bridal wear and... pageant wear. It took me a long time to get "Toddlers and Tiaras" imagery out of my head. But, I did like the dresses and they were reasonably priced and the girls looked smashing in them.
Jenna wanted her hair down and curly.
Michaela wanted hers back and in a knot to the side. I loved her headband.
And poor Alec just got a regular bath and a finger comb, like usual. But he still looked dashing in his red sweater. I loved that his sweater had a little train embroidered on it... perfect for him. I wish children's wear designers would give boys a few more options: not all kids can tolerate wearing shirts with vests over them. A few more regular crewneck sweaters to choose from would be nice. He looks so old in this picture!
Here's my favorite shot of Michaela, taken while we were waiting for the service to start:
See the blue screen in the background? That's where my parents were watching the service from on skype!
Love, love, love this picture and Alec's baby cheek in the candlelight.
Our church had lumenaries set up all around the parking lot. So beautiful to see.
After church, we went over to my cousin's house for dinner. What a lovely time we all had! Though we missed my parents and their annual Christmas Eve party, it was a wonderful night filled with lots of family and laughter and great food. We teased my cousin's wife that she should host us all every year and she laughed and said she was only hosting in case of emergency from now on.
When we got home, we gave the kids their first Christmas gifts: new jammies. Michaela rolled her eyes when she saw I snuck in matching jammies for her and Jenna (she refuses to match any more) and reluctantly wore the pajama bottoms. Then it was time to put out the snacks for Santa and Rudolph and write a letter:
And Daddy read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, just like every year.
Then it was off to bed!