Christmas 2016

Christmas was so special this year. It was really special last year. The year before was pretty special too (39 weeks pregnant— was also kind of stressful #babywatch). This year though. Undeniable magic!
Lincoln was old enough to know what was going on for the most part. He knew Santa said “Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!” and liked to wish strangers a Merry Christmas out and about.  He understood presents and opening things. He loved Christmas music and Christmas lights and our Christmas tree (although he did not understand why there were toys hanging on the tree taunting him and not letting him play with them). He learned in preschool that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and occasionally would say “baby Jesus, ham!” which was just the most precious thing ever. Also, the Christmas preschool crafts? I die. 
I rented the 35mm 1.4 for the week to get Christmas and his birthday in there, so I tried to document a lot a lot a lot. I missed some people on Christmas day between all the cooking and spending time with visitors, but for the most part I got the days. Loved looking at this photos a month out! 
It’s been really fun to see our own little family traditions come to life and evolve since we got married in 2011 and now with Lincoln and soon with Emmeline! Next Christmas we will have an almost 7 month old too?! So fun.
This was the first year we’ve been really successful at planning and adhering to a budget for gifts for each other and our families which honestly I think made the whole thing even more special. We didn’t have a ton of money to spend on each other so we were very intentional (and may have overspent for Lincoln slightly because they had wooden food at Aldi and I was too excited…) and it made it all the more special. I felt like the Grinch at the end of the story this year, I honestly was SO excited to see the reactions of my people to their gifts that I didn’t really realize I would be getting gifts too! That is such a change from who I was even last year.

We decided that our family gifts will be one thing for each other from each other. We each got Lincoln a gift, and he got us a gift and then we did one “big” gift for the kids, which this year was the teepee. Lincoln’s gifts from me were wooden pots and pans for his kitchen and a little wooden coffee maker which he LOVES. He makes soup, coffee, quesadillas, pancakes, eggs, etc. all day. Marshall’s gift to him was a little Melissa & Doug piano which he ALSO loves. He’ll sit and bang on it and sing “hallelujah”. He is so musical and loves anything music related. I got Marshall a cool amp stack print that he asked for explicitly (gah, so appreciated) and some junk food he likes (Reese’s, Dr. Pepper and pistachios). He got me a precious necklace with our initials, m+k, on it. Lincoln gave me nespresso pods and a Hobby Lobby giftcard, and gave Marshall a little Rubix cube (2×2) and a GearBall (which is already broken, because he later threw it…).

We haven’t quite figured out stockings yet and what/if we’ll do anything with those (although I bought a set of four on clearance after Christmas for next year!) and we didn’t really keep up with any sort of advent thing like I wanted to, but next year will be here before we know it. What a special Christmas!
Christmas Eve is our travel day, so we go to my sister’s in the morning for breakfast and let the cousins play and exchange gifts. Then we mosey over to Marshall’s parents for Christmas Eve dinner and Secret Santa gift exchange. Lincoln got a super cool tricycle this year from Gigi and Pop Pop! It was a little big for him but a month later he can already reach the pedals and can steer it a little bit! He loves his bike. He super loves when friends come over and ride it and he just hops on the back. Christmas Day we spend the day at home, big breakfast, open gifts and play all day. We invited our families over to stop in if they want to and my dad, my grandparents and Marshall’s family came throughout the day and we enjoyed their visits! 
Declaring it: best Christmas yet. Which is fun, because the best is yet to come! 

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