How is it possible that Christmas has come and gone? And that I’m actually writing my recap within a few days!? I remember two years ago writing my holiday recap in February – oops. Here are some bits and pieces from this year’s holiday celebrations!
My mom and Jim arrived on Wednesday morning, and the boys could not have been more ready. We had been counting down for all of December! We hung out at the house while they settled in for a bit, and then we headed to Wildlights at the Zoo that night. It was freezing and windy and rainy, but we braved it anyway.
Thursday morning was Christmas Eve, and we had a full day of fun. I had saved some of our favorite holiday activities for when they came to visit so we could all enjoy it together. We spent our morning at Seattle Center – first up was operating the control booth at the holiday trains!
The boys are super into trains this year, so this was naturally a BIG hit.
And there is truly NOTHING better than having Grandma in town. They are both so in love with her, and I can’t get enough of being with my mama. We fantasized about them moving to the PNW all week long!
Next up was ICE SKATING! I’ve looked forward to this all year long. We took Cullen last year when he was three and it was a blast. I wasn’t sure how Graham would do, but I figured it never hurts to try, right?
They have these awesome walkers for little ones to skate with, and even though he was probably the youngest kid out there, he did pretty well. He loved it for about ten minutes and then he was DONE. His skates were soooooo tiny and precious – I could not stop laughing!
Cullen started off super cautious and scared and then ended up loving it.
By the end we ditched the walker and he ended up skating around holding our hands. In related news, I was SO SORE afterward from holding him up and keeping us both balanced.
I am crazy and have now gone and looked up year-round ice skating rinks in Seattle, because I loved it so much. When I was growing up, we’d do family skate after church on Sundays in the winter, and I have so many good memories of those afternoons!
We headed back home for naps and some relaxing, before gearing up again for our last official holiday activity of the year – the Garden of Lights at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens. The light display was AMAZING, and definitely one we’ll do again!
Back at home, we sprinkled “reindeer food” given to us by our neighbors outside, we set out treats and milk for Santa and the reindeer, and the boys opened their new Christmas jammies. Then it was off to sleep to wait for Santa!
We moved Graham to a big boy bed on the night of the 22nd, after a month of non stop climbing in and out of his crib. He was starting to sleep really poorly with all the excitement of climbing, so my hope was that removing the climbing element would make him want to sleep better. Wishful thinking?
Back downstairs, the adults relaxed and we set up the morning for the kids. We put big bows on Graham’s new scooter and Cullen’s train roundhouse. And then we built this ridiculous fake wall out of their new Mondo Bloxx just to add to the morning excitement.
And was it ever exciting!! We woke up at 6am when Cullen got up to go potty, and discovered Graham coming UP the steps. He announced “I climbed out of my bed and over the gate and went downstairs! Santa brought my orange scooter and Cullen’s roundhouse!” And couldn’t have been more proud of himself. I felt equal parts terrified and impressed – what two year old sneaks down to see Santa??
We finally all headed down as a family, and after Cullen got his chance to see Santa’s gifts, he immediately started digging under the tree. My heart burst into a million pieces when he very enthusiastically pulled out the gift he’d picked out for Graham – a new night light for his big boy room. I felt so proud that the thing he was most excited to do was to give, and to see Graham’s reaction. He even opened it for him. :)
And then of course, they got started on the rest of the presents. I was really bad about pictures over this holiday and visit. I had great intentions to lug out my big camera, but I was so excited to just have family around that I never thought to actually grab it.
But it was a magical morning, and the kids had SO much fun. This was my mom and Jim’s third year in a row being out here for Xmas, and it’s so special that they have been able to create such wonderful Christmas memories with us.
Christmas day was full of relaxation. I never got out of my pajamas, and Casey and I were able to sneak away for a long walk with the dogs during the afternoon. Then I came back and cooked us all a big holiday feast – mashed potatoes with shiitake gravy, sourdough stuffing, roasted Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce, and a Field Roast celebration roast. So delicious!
On Saturday, we all ferried over to Bainbridge Island to do something a little fun and different. We all love the ferry boats – I think it would be so cool to live over there and ferry back and forth!
We had a nice breakfast at Pegasus Coffee Shop, and then headed up to Fay Bainbridge Park to check out the beach area. Can you see Mt. Rainier?
Obviously I love the beach in the summer, but I love it in the winter too.
Sunday was our last day with my mom, and it was also Casey’s BIRTHDAY!! He and I went out for an early celebration, and then headed back to spend the last few hours with my mom and Jim before they left.
Our house feels very quiet and empty now that they are gone, and I’m feeling sad that the holidays are over. BUT – we had such an incredible week, and I know I am so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life that make the goodbyes so hard. Luckily, we have a really fun New Years getaway coming up in two days that has me quickly changing gears and getting excited for what’s next.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday – and I’ll see you in the New Year!