We had a wonderful Christmas at home again this year. It sure has felt like a busy holiday season with my parents and grandparents in town for Thanksgiving, and lots of fun gatherings and activities to celebrate Christmas. We had a Christmas party for members of our community group on Dec. 18, and have enjoyed Snowflake Lane in Downtown Bellevue (think lights, huge drummer boys, and live drummers and costumed high schoolers on stilts passing out candy with “bubble snow” and a super loud Christmas soundtrack in the most concentrated 2 blocks of downtown shopping). We did the Christmas Eve service at church, have been enjoying our tree nightly, and Tim even put up lights on the exterior of the house. I love going out to get the mail and coming back to our front door with the huuuuge wreath from, where else? Costco. :)
We missed being with family but were able to celebrate with 3 families from community group and a family I know through the downtown library who were able to join us—the husband is from Hungary and works at MSFT, and the wife is Japanese. Their daughter and Linnea are regular playmates with a couple other moms and toddlers from the same library storytime where we met last February. We all had a group dinner at our house with the requisite prime rib and attending goodies. It was delicious and super fun!
Christmas morning was special as Tim got up an hour before Linnea and me to build the fire, cut up pineapple, light up the tree and make French toast. We have been enjoying the espresso maker I got him for his birthday and lately are adding hazelnut syrup from Starbucks in latte form. His gift of choice this year was another “fake book” of a slew of pop songs from the last 50 yrs he can play on the piano – oh, and sing! Handy to have for Rebekah’s, aka Aunt Bergie’s, imminent arrival (She’s a great singer!). My two gifts are fitness related—a super awesome York adjustable bench for weight lifting and the new EA Active2 personal trainer fitness game for XBOX Kinect. It’s a 9-wk workout program that comes with a heart rate monitor and resistance band, and you have a virtual personal trainer guiding you through the workouts and providing feedback on your form and progress in real time. So far I have done 2 workouts and they are intense and really fun! I chose the hard setting since I have little time for getting in shape, and it has been a lot of jumping, squatting, and running in place. I feel a little funny doing it in front of my living room window, in plain view of the street, but it’s been great so far, and I’m already sore. With this game, the erg, my workout bench, and my bike, I have no real need of rejoining the gym! Love it!
Okay, enough about our gifts…what you really care about is Linnea’s first walking talking hand-clapping Christmas! Right? Right.
Some highlights were a table and chairs from my parents, a zebra scooter from Aunt Mandy and Uncle Dave, and lots of books and birdies from Grandma and Grandpa. Uncle Mike and Aunt Karen had the same idea with the birds and got some that tweet when you press their backs….unfortunately that little upgrade has stricken fear into the heart of my little baba-loving girl, and I have had to put them away for a later time when she doesn’t try to climb into my lap at the sight of a little stuffed bird. There are really too many wonderful gifts to mention, but here are some photos of our Christmas. Linnea really is the best gift of all---my happy, healthy, increasingly-better-sleeping (more on that soon!) little girl! Love her bunches!
She loves sitting there for her snacks or playing with Play-Doh!
She is very intrigued by the buttons instead of zippers.
First time sitting at the table on Christmas morning.
I will always treasure these stockings knitted by Great Grandma Jean! Mine from 1984, Tim’s from 2007, and Linnea’s from 2009!
Contents of Linnea’s stocking: two bouncy balls (racquet balls really) and a bite-size Milky Way. Guess which one she liked the most.
Best present of all, next to baby Jesus, of course.
First set of play-doh. It has only gone in the mouth a couple of times. She is learning!
I got her this water bottle, which is a Camelbak for kids. I love the pretty Zinnia design and bright pink color. Linnea loves having her own water bottle after playing with my Nalgenes for months and drinks a ton of water out of it! Double score.
With her dolly on Christmas Eve. Sweetie pie. Mary made Linnea and her dolly matching plaid dresses which are to die for. The dolly is currently wearing hers but I don’t have a picture yet.