So indulge me, dear readers!
The highlights of Christmas 2010:
Morning at home:
Baked Blueberry-Pecan French Toast. Yum.
Afternoon/Evening at Sis':
Dave getting snuggly with Kaiya's hippo family. (Let's remember that teddy is the "daddy.")
Me and mom and dad enjoying the apps in Dagmar and Dave's swanky new living room/kitchen.
Okay, so I know it looks like I'm in pain here, but I'm actually just busting a gut telling this story about how I realized Gizmo, Dagmar's severely anti-social and neurotic dog, was hiding in the bathtub from all of us loud, obnoxious people, when I heard strange lip-smacking sounds coming from behind the shower curtain while "taking care of business." It was funny; trust me. (And slightly disturbing all at the same time!)
Kaiya and her new doll, with their matching sweaters. Seriously, how cute is this?!
Me and dad. I love this picture. It's so natural. But I also love it because it captures the ambiance in Dagmar and Dave's renovated digs. I think we all felt a little like movie stars that night. Well, I did anyway...
The highlight of our two days of festivities was probably this: Scott giving Kaiya a totally age-inappropriate gift... a Nerf gun (for ages 6+). It came with three darts. Within minutes she had learned how to cock it, and of course, pull the trigger. Then, for the rest of the evening, we were all at the mercy of trigger-happy Kaiya. She ran around like a drunk banshee, wildly waving around her weapon while the rest of us all braced ourselves and ducked. She took great delight in carefully choosing her victims. "I'm gonna get......... UNCLE DAVE!!!!" And then she'd excitedly run after her victim, sometimes firing off the gun while still flailing her little arm around, accidentally shooting someone behind her instead.
You can understand our terror, I'm sure.
But the best part was her crazy squeal/scream every time she got one of us. It had us in stitches. Here you can see our reaction just after she shot Babi:
Muaaaahahahaha... We are crazy people, yes we are.
Uncle Dave learned the hard way what happens if you try to play Kaiya's game on Kaiya. He stole her gun and sneaked in a quick shot on her butt, and he was promptly rewarded with a loud, angry "NO!! I don't like that!" and a swift smack on the arm with said gun. Thatta girl! You show him... Don't mess with Kaiya Jade!
And finally, the upholding of a long-standing family tradition. Every year, since they were wee little ones, Candice, Jasmine, and Dustin have gone to sit on Santa's lap together. Alas, being in their twenties and holding down jobs has made this tradition trickier. Weren't we lucky that Santa decided to make a special guest appearance in the middle of his busy Christmas Eve. I just want to know... why didn't any of them sit on his lap?
Getting to spend time with a baby I have just NOT seen nearly enough of! I was lucky enough to hold her all through brunch before she was stolen away from me.
Jeff being Jeff.
Friends, reuniting again. Everyone's looking at the puppet that Nathan was madly waving around in an attempt to get some smiles from the girls.
Cousins opening gifts at Grandma's house.
Kaiya, in one of her rare sweet, angelic moments, enjoying a new book.
The handsome Epp boys. Let me just say right now how ridiculously rare and precious this photo is. The boys are at their best when they're all bantering together in the kitchen, telling ridiculously rude jokes while getting everything ready for a delicious turkey dinner.
Grandma and Hailey... two seconds before Hailey squirmed her way off of Grandma's lap.
Brian, most definitely being Brian. He seemed to feel a certain kinship with the turkey.
Dancing, whirling, twirling girls. Click on this one. It's worth it.
Dinner at one of the two tables. Looks cozy, huh? We always have to set up two tables to fit everyone.
This wraps it up for me. Memories, and more memories, all made more special with the knowledge of how fleeting it all is, and how different it all may be next year. I'm going up to snuggle up with my bear now. Do you think he'll appreciate my cold toes? :)
I don't know about you, but my favourite time of the holidays begins NOW. After the Christmas buzz and hype. When I get to just cocoon with my two favourite people, playing with new toys, drinking hot tea, eating tasty leftovers, and storing up all the good parts of the past two days. We'll take some walks, drink some cocoa, but mostly just be together in our snug little house.
Sending warm wishes your way.
Good night, folks.