christmas eve.

elle was SO excited about christmas this year- she really put all the pieces together, and it made for such a fun season. it's not common for mike to have christmas eve off work, so this was a delightful treat! i loved these couple days together as a family. 
first up, christmas eve >>
my sweet aunt in ohio sends the babes ornaments every year. elle's castle this year was quite the hit! OH! and can we pause to remember that last christmas i was pregnant?!? oh. wow. what a difference a year makes!! i can't believe this was jude's first christmas. he seems so much older than that, doesn't he? maybe it's just me.
^^ our first real tree! i'm such a fan. i loved the solo string of lights, and 10 total ornaments. it just felt fun to me. i'm not a fan of the entire front half of our house being frozen since we shut off the vent above the christmas tree. i'm ready for my house to be warm again! (i have frostbite on my frozen fingers as we speak.)
getting ready for the crowds. our "christmas card holder" is upstairs, and seeing as though we own no decor other than a few sparse trees, we had to improvise. our poor cards just hung in our kitchen with duck tape.... and i may have not gone to the mailbox at all last week, so we were like a dozen cards short :-/
mike got the fridge ready- i meant more-so for food, but he took the liberty to stock it full with drinks:) such a mike thing. (drinks? check!) also noted, elle's decorating of the table settings.
^^ i can't believe this was elle's first ornament from her first christmas. (look how tiny she was!)
^^ elle's thoughts on her cousin's near-arrival...
^^ i loved these chocolate advent calendars as a kid. loved them! we found one and elle enjoyed it thoroughly each day. i'm pretty sure the chocolate was good when i was a kid though... man that stuff is cheap and waxy these days. blegh! jude just ate all the paper doors off once they were opened. (let's be honest, the paper and chocolate probably tasted about the same.)
^^ the annual fish pond w/ mike's mom (grandma taco), held in our "play closet."
^^ the kids decorated sugar cookies. they were intense, man. check out the heaping pile of sprinkles in that top photo!
^^ when the crowds went home, jude enjoyed opening his presents via his mouth. like always. if there is paper around, he'll find it.
after our pj reveal & christmas story we headed upstairs to get ready for the main man to do his santa thing...

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