Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Christmas with Cousins.

Last week, we hit the road and made the 10-hour road trip to see our families for a quick New Year's weekend visit. We were dreading the drive; however, the excitement of spending time with our families helped ease the arduous drive we had ahead of us.  It also helps that Noah is such a great road traveler.  This has always been such a blessing to us--especially since for the past 5 years or so, we have lived at least a day up to a 2 day drive away from our extended families.

Noah was especially excited this year about making the trip because he would get to see all of his cousins.  His grandparents had planned a belated Christmas celebration of sorts with their grandkids. The first night we arrived at my parent's house--we were exhausted from the drive but almost immediately, we seemed to forget about being tired as the festivities with our family began.  My mom (a/k/a KiKi to the grandkids) had all of the presents beautifully wrapped under the tree and they were ready to go for the gift exchanging. In addition to opening presents from their grandparents, the cousins did a gift exchange and opened presents from each other (and their aunts and uncles).

Here are some of our precious photo memories from Noah's Christmas with his cousins (and grandparents, aunts and uncles, too)....

My Dad enjoying watching the kids open their presents

My brother, Brent, with his son, Beck

My sis-in-law, Katherine---she and I joking around taking pics of each other while taking pics of everyone else...

Ava -- she and Noah are only 3 weeks apart in age.

Brent's wife, Sheri, getting a big thank-you hug from Noah for his Christmas present

My dear, sweet, beautiful mama---I so love getting to come home and spend time with her.

After the gift opening, we plopped all the kiddos in one tub to get them bathed quickly before the annual grandkid Christmas pajama picture.  

The bath time didn't go as smoothly as we had hoped....poor Kinsey was a little overwhelmed by all the noise and splashing.  

The older cousins had a blast playing in the bathtub

After getting all the kiddos clean, we put them in their special Christmas pajamas that KiKi had bought them to wear for the annual Christmas picture.



As always, there were happy, joking smiles from the older cousins and then some angry tears from the youngest cousins who were not happy about having to line up in the hallway for the cousin photo.

Front to back cousins.... Otto, Ava, Lola, Marcus, Kinsey, Beck and Noah

They were all completely pooped and worn out after opening their presents, taking a big bubble bath and muscling through the annual cousin picture-- it came as no surprise when they all passed out not too long after this picture was taken.  

What a fun-filled belated Christmas celebration we had with Noah's cousins and the rest of our family.  While there, my Mom and I took a day to have a girls day out in Dallas together shopping and hanging out.  I so enjoyed our time together and am really grateful for this special day I had to spend with her. We rarely get to hang out like this and so I truly cherished this time with her. I just wished we lived closer so we could do this more often. I also have to give a big shout out and thank you to my dad for watching the kids for us.

 The latter part of our trip, we spent time with Jody's family for New Year's Eve and had a great time setting off fireworks, shooting guns (yee-haw!) and opening Christmas presents with them as well.  I didn't take pictures of that event because I was enjoying visiting with the family and didn't want to get bogged down taking pictures. 

We drove back home yesterday and while I miss our family, it sure feels good to be nestled back into our home.  Our kitty-cat, Lola, was super excited to see us walk in the door.

I've now been staring at our Christmas tree and decorations all morning--I know I need to take them all down and dive right into January, but I'm just not ready.  I need a few more days to get over the jet lag, catch up on the huge piles of laundry from our trip and then {maybe} this weekend I can focus on tackling the Christmas tree and decorations.  

It always makes me a little sad to have to say good-bye to December.




  1. LOVE the photos. the bath time looks like one wild party:) the pjs are adorable, glad y'all had some sweet family time!

    happy new year, jennifer!

  2. We LOVE our cousin get togethers! Love the pajama idea too!

  3. I love their cute matching pajamas! It was great to get your Christmas card, Jennifer. I've been such a slacker at blogging and am glad to see what you've been up to lately. Take care!


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