So please disregard the no-makeup, haven't-showered-hair, and the dirty clothes (almost disregard the uni-boob/tummy that I'm rocking in the photo -- I had just pulled my shirt down and my boobs disappeared into my stomach) -- but this was the only photo that I got of the four generations while we were back in Iowa. I had big hopes of getting another one taken when we had the big family Christmas (when everyone looked ready for a photo), but that one never happened.
Being able to go back home for Christmas was really wonderful. I miss the support that I get there when I'm out here in Ohio. It also gave me a much needed reprieve from the demands of an almost two-year-old. Yes, E helps out tremendously here in Ohio, but his work hours don't allow him to be home all the times that I'm at home. So I'm "on" for most of the day and when you are this pregnant, sometimes you really need a five minute break -- like, almost every five minutes! :) While back at home, I was able to be lazy and let Mimi pick up a bunch of my slack. Trust me, traveling across the country at 34.5 weeks does take its toll on a girl.
Finn was so funny this Christmas. She was very into opening presents. In fact, the photo above was her running out the first present before we even finished saying "It's time to open presents!"
She was definitely a "great" present-hander-outer -- until she opened up a present that she really wanted to play with and then refused to cooperate. She couldn't understand that we didn't want to get out ALL the toys that go along with "baby" because we would lose them in the discarded gift wrap on the floor.
The boys of my family are now completely matching in their "Hollywood" clothes. The last to receive one was my brother. Doesn't he look thrilled?
We had a lot of these moments during our time out in Iowa. This one was related to the fact that there were no presents left to unwrap. Someone was very upset about it. Other moments related to her cousin Owen and her having to share things. Let me tell you something... Two 2-year-olds aren't very good at sharing with each other.
This was taken the night of our big family Christmas. Finn looked quite smashing in her red dress and tights. When she went down for her nap, there was only three people in the house and when she woke up there was over 20. She wasn't so sure about all the strange faces at the beginning, but once she adjusted, she was running around with all her cousins and having a ball.
My sister-in-law Mandy and my cousin-in-law were also pregnant this Christmas. My S-I-L is 13 weeks pregnant and really in the throes of first-trimester sickness. I hope that it passes quickly for her as you could tell that she was in some serious misery each night around 7-8pm. My C-I-L Kasey is 39 weeks pregnant and scheduled to have her baby boy today (in fact, while writing this, I'm currently checking to see if he has arrived yet or not).
E and my cousin Nik (Kasey's baby daddy) decided to get in on the belly bump photos. Those two were quite the pair this year.
This is all of us, but not all of us. We are missing about 15 people that were unable to attend. This is the first time in about 4-5 years that we are getting a family photo as Grandma was in attendance this year.
This is really what Christmas is like for us.
Finn and Owen were like two peas in a pod -- that really didn't want to share with each other. Here they were scheming to open up gifts.
And the first annual "Best Xmas Card Ever" trophy was given out. Actually, E made the trophy and then wrapped it up in a big box. He signed the present as "From Everyone". Before opening it, E made a big stink about it being from "Everyone" and Mandy responded with "Well, it isn't from everyone because we weren't in on it." We opened up the box next to her. It caused quite a few laughs.
Finn's cousin Knoxx got a riding tractor and wagon, which was a hit with Finn. In fact, once she got on, she didn't want to share (of course).
I was able to get a couple of photos of Finn & Owen riding around in the tractor. There wasn't much riding as neither could reach the pedals to move the tractor (that and there was WAY too many people to be able to ride much).
Another tradition that our family does is my aunt Vicki brings red velvet cake and we sing "happy birthday" to Jesus. This year, it was kind of forgotten and only remembered after a lot of people had already left. E wanted in on the action.
If you look at the clock above, it read 10pm. Finorah was up until 11:30 that night. She didn't actually start getting fussy and cranky until after everyone left and we were putting on her jammies. Girlfriend knows how to party hard already!