I am not going to lie: cheerful Alex was hard to find this year. Annie here ^^^ basically sums up my mood for the past several days. And for a couple reasons: firstly, part of my heart was missing in the form of these two...
Clark and Scoots. Forever and ever missed. I hope they are running around having the best time ever up there watching over us today...as they hopefully do everyday. That was just really REALLY tough to stomach today: our first Christmas sans our number one pup...and a holiday mourning the loss of our fourth kiddo Clark. I mean, I tried not to dwell on that...but shoot. It's so hard. I don't know how I can NOT think of it.
And secondly, I felt like complete crap today. Headache, sinus issues, fatigue (from not sleeping at night because I can't breathe and also my mind doesn't shut off...because of what I just mentioned ^^)...and I just felt awful. I'm 99% sure I have a sinus infection and I am praying my allergist is open tomorrow to get into and hopefully get some meds to get me back on the mend.
So! Onward I go with this post to try and highlight some shining parts of our Christmas -- because according to Patrick, it was the best Christmas ever (which I am SO GLAD the kiddos had a great one. I'd rather me be miserable than any of them).
On Sunday we went to my dad's side big family Christmas at Kirkwood Community Center. The kiddos were so excited to go this year -- which I am so glad. They love family and are truly party animals whenever you say the word 'party'.
Santa stopped by this year (what a treat!!) and the big kids LOOOOOVED it. Rosie asked for a ballerina and Patrick asked for a Nerf gun. Annie, not so much. Basically her same reaction from when we went to the mall. I mean, the freak out pictures are the best, right?!? After we stuffed ourselves stupid we decided to go home so Annie could take a nap and the big kids got to go with KiKi to the lake for the night!
I then had this awesome family's photoshoot (which I also had this one earlier in the morning!) before we headed over to Rick's birthday dinner later that night to celebrate a day early.
Monday morning I woke up feeling super guilty about not having a Nerf gun for Patrick...especially since he'd been asking for that for WEEKS. I knew he was getting one (or two!) from family later in the week but I did not want to see his disappointment Christmas morning with not having one from Santa. So off to Target I went to get one before snapping my dear friend Jess' family pics.
After some naps and a visit from an old college softball buddy for me (and she brought my most FAVOOOOORITE pizza from Carbondale, IL which I cannot wait to dive into and eat!) we headed over to my parents' house to meet Patrick, Rosie and KiKi for Christmas eve presents and dinner fun.
Mike made his hors d'oeuvres which he was super proud of (haha!) and the kiddos tore into their gifts and got some really awesome things! Rosie got an American Girl doll and clothes, Annie got a baby doll and a doll stroller, Patrick got a Scooter and a remote controlled car (and other things I cannot remember right now!) and Clark man got this:
Crying happy tears. That means SO MUCH and I cannot wait until June comes to go see it at our favorite Park.
Oh, we also got my brother Charlie probably the best gift ever: beard lights!!
I mean, aren't those the coolest?!??! They were a huge hit.
All in all it was a great Christmas Eve with family and we decided to head on home to do baths and a special story before bedtime.
Mike read "The Night Before Christmas" (on his iPhone cause we couldn't find the book!) in front of the fireplace for the kiddos. They loved it!
I then snapped a few pics of the kiddos by the fireplace before they went to set out cookies for Santa (and a note that milk is in the fridge).
I showed the kiddos ^^^ this pic my hidden camera snapped in the middle of the night of Santa just leaving the living room where the presents were...and they FLIPPED! They thought it was the coolest thing EVER and wanted to show everyone today it! I do love the magic this time of the year sparks with them.
Christmas morning everyone got up a little after 8am and were SO EXCITED to see all of the presents Santa left.
They were SO EXCITED and tore into their gifts! I love how genuinely excited Patrick is for everyone else when they were opening their gifts. Just the cutest.
Rosie got the things she was asking for: LOL dolls, an Anna dress from Frozen and a ballerina...Annie got lots of goodies that she enjoyed opening and could care less playing with (typical. haha), Mike got some cool new shirts, sunglasses, and new swimsuit for our Hawaii trip, and Patrick got his Nerf gun and was SOOOO excited about it!
He's so intense with his gun I cannot handle it! HAHA! He loves it so much though and I am so happy his Christmas was made because of the toy he was wanting.
I got some great gifts too -- a handmade ornament from Patrick, new socks, Polaroid camera, new charger/speaker for my phone, photog shirts, photographer's gloves (so I can still snap and keep my hands warm!), and my most favorite gift: a new name necklace with all of my babies' names on it. Well done Mikey, well done.
We then let the kiddos play for a bit before we headed out to my aunt and uncle's house for Christmas brunch.
Before we went though we had to snap a family pic...
Our first one sans Scoots. And Clark. I wish I'd have remembered to have the kiddos hold Clark Bear and Scooter's stuffed animal dog...next time. It just feels so weird to be sans them. But, as Rosie tells me as she pokes me in the chest: they live in your heart always. And she's so right.
We got to my aunt and uncles and I wasn't feeling great at all. My head pounding and just feeling blah....so shocker I didn't take any pics! Just this video of the kids playing downstairs:
After some delicious food and playing for the kids we headed home for naps all around. Well Patrick played, but the rest of us took a nap.
After siesta time Mike took the kiddos to his parents' house for dinner and I elected to stay home (and write this here post for you. You're welcome). I just was not feeling good (refer back to the first few paragraphs) and just wanted to stay home...and you know what?! That is okay. I've been faking it till I make it all day and I just wanted a break. So I took one. And it was okay. Just like I know I will be.
We have Mike's side Christmas tomorrow evening which will be great...and then another one on Sunday when my brother Ben and his wife Erin are in town, but I'm not going to lie I am getting more and more anxious and excited to bid 2018 farewell and welcome 2019 and all of the newness and changes it includes. My last day at Ursuline in 1/2/19 (day grades are due) and then I have an 8am c-section booked to snap on 1/3/2019 -- so I am taking that as a big huge indication of the amazing things to come in 2019. I just know it.
Welp friends, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your family. As hard as it was for me, I am so thankful and appreciative of the great friends and family I have in my life to get me through these tough times. And I am anxious to see what 2019 brings next Christmas too :)