Sunday, December 29, 2013

Rives Family Christmas

My dad's side of the family is really laid back.  When I was little, sometimes we would have Christmas with them in March or April.  It. Was. Amazing.  All the other kids in my class were just chugging along, and then BAM!  I had more Christmas presents to open!

I told my grandmother that for Christmas, I wanted to buy them a canvas print of our side of the family.   I knew that the only time we would all be together would be our Christmas celebration.  I called everyone and let them  know ahead of time that we would be taking a family photo. 

Our family has really grown!   Aren't they just beautiful?


My wonderful grandparents.


The grandkids!




Not sure there is a lot to be said about this photo other than the slang, "We Crazy."




Our expert package opener was at it again with another huge stack of presents.  I keep telling Bradley that we shouldn't ever buy her anything.  Ever.  We should just put money in a bank account every time we want to buy her something.  She could live so happily with just the blessings that our family gives her.



J.T. was pretty excited about his gift.


A pretty Minnie blanket!






As always, we had an amazing time visiting with all of our family.  Although we may not get to see each other as often as we like, when we're together, it's as if we were never apart.  I love that.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Day

Bradley's family met at our house for Christmas dinner/lunch this year.  Unfortunately, not everyone could make it, but we did get to see most of our Cedar Park peeps!

After a wonderful lunch of fajitas and all the trimmings (Thanks Bradley!), we started opening presents.  Emmy made sure that she showed everyone that she was pretty much a pro at this present business.



Robbie got a really awesome Van Gogh print that he was really excited about.


I of course had to take a photo of our guests outside. It just wouldn't feel like Christmas to me without copious amounts of picture taking.



I am teaching Emmy young apparently.  Pappy bought her a digital camera of her very own.  She was walking around excitedly taking photos of everyone.  Bradley was pretty psyched about the camera as well. (Perhaps more than the gift's actual recipient...)


All that fun was pretty hard on a little girl that refused to take a nap.  She crashed out in her playhouse while arranging her dolls.  I am imagining many afternoons of playing and napping like this in our future.


This next part is a little facetious.  We didn't actually open "our" Christmas presents on Christmas day.  We waited until the next day..but for the sake of not starting another Christmas post, I'll just lump it in. 

We bought Emmy a few things this year, but I wanted to try to stay away from buying her more big stuff to just sit around.  We bought her a box of books, a reading learning system from Costco that she can use from now until kindergarten (flash cards and stuff), princess dresses (thanks black Friday!), a mega blocks table, a ton of movies, and an ipad mini (for the whole family).  We felt like these gifts could grow with her for a few years and MAYBE we wouldn't be adding as much as we wanted to to the clutter in our house. 

She was over the moon about most of the gifts.  Ironically, the ipad mini got the least reaction. 



She was freaking out over these princess dresses.  You recall I'm sure that she was fresh back from Disney world at this point.



Not all of these movies were for Emmy, but she sure stacked and posed by them like they were.


We are hoping we found another fan favorite!


Before she could even open all of her gifts, she had the Sleeping Beauty dress on and was twirling around the house.  I. LOVE. HER.



It was a very merry Christmas indeed, and we still had one more to celebrate!

Christmas Morning {PJ Time}

In order to stay on our Christmas timeline (because we had to have one of those this year), we had to wake up and get over to Mom's house by 8:30. Before I went to bed on Christmas Eve, I made a french toast breakfast casserole and put it in the fridge, so we wouldn't have to cook breakfast.

We sorted all of the packages into piles per person.  It's amazing how OCD everyone can be before all Hell breaks loose.


Kari was still a little sleepy!


Brad was ready to open presents!


Emmy was super excited to see these "friends" that Papa picked out on Amazon.  She yelled "MINIONS!  'SPICABLE ME!"


Britt loved the sign that I made for her.  She sent me a pin with this saying and wanted to design it for her classroom sometime.  Well Christmas is sometime!


Kari bought Bradley a Sega!  That was probably the pinacle of his excitement over gifts!


She could not wait to get this baby out of the box.  She tried to rip her out, but was unsuccessful.  I love this little face.


Nana got some new blingy shirts.


Anything that is hunting related is okay in Papa's book.


Britt was Happy Happy Happy over her Duck Dynasty shirt!


Along the way, I put the French toast in the oven.  It was super sweet and YUMMY!


Group picture.  Brittany cheated and got ready to go see Garrett!


The boy and I.  I still love him.


A photo of our little family unit.  We are just so blessed!


Emmy wanted a photo with Nana and Papa!


Sister pic! 1, 2, and 3 have to get a photo everytime.  My dad calls us by our numbers sometimes...Brad and Emmy are 4 &5.  The important thing for everyone to remember is that I'm number 1! ;)


It was a beautiful morning spent with the people I love most.  I couldn't have asked for more!

Christmas Eve

We spent Christmas Eve this year with the Nelson Clan. Bradley had to work until 4:00, so Emmy and I waited around for him. We finally got to Aunt Kathy's house around 6:15, and we were so excited to see everyone. All but two of my first cousins were there, and it was the first time in forever that I really got to see everyone.

We ate a lot of really great food. We played a couple of rounds of white elephant. We took a lot of photos. This is just what we do. It's not anything super fancy, but it's always amazing. My aunt does a really great job at making everyone feel at home and welcome. She is one of the most loving and considerate people that you will ever meet (if you should be so honored).

It was a great evening, and we stayed so long that we didn't get back home until almost 2:00 A.M. Once we arrived home, we still had to put Emmarie's playhouse together and straighten up the house since we were hosting Christmas dinner for Brad's family at our house. Luckily, I only had to play assistant in the playhouse building business. One of the big perks of marrying an engineer is that you have a professional toy assembler on hand at Christmas. I let him to go bed after the house was put together, and I scurried around the house until around 4:30 A.M. It was quite a night.

Following is a highlight reel of the night in photos.  Enjoy!


Kari hanging out waiting for present time!


Angela, Hunter, and Chris posing.  Hunter was so sweet to everyone.  He was not clingy with his parents, and he was happy to let everyone hold him.


Aunt Louise and GiGi hanging out in the kitchen.



The Three Amigos ride again. 


The Nelsons!


The Collin's Family!


Hunter really liked Emmy's hair.



Uncle Mike with his kids.  Jennifer didn't get to come home from Boston for Christmas, but we sure did miss her!


Here is our hodge-podge group.  Sure do love these guys!


Bradley and I striking a pose.


These two were up to no good.  I LOVE IT! 



Emmy's new dress from Halle.  She was so proud of it.


Micheal was more impressed with Ollie's gift than Ollie was.


The cousins!


The girl cousins!


Somewhere along the way, they found some hats!


I am not sure what these girls were doing, but it sure looks like fun!


Ollie thought it was fun to keep his distance form these two. He must have learned about cooties already at school.


I sure do love this little lady!




She had another one that said that she wanted a doll, but last second, she changed it to Barbie.  Sadly, she didn't get a Barbie for Christmas, so I guess it's good that she doesn't believe in Santa.