Christmas Twenty-Seventeen

Christmas is all packed away, the last of the pine needles were vacuumed up New Years Day and all the evidence of the Christmas sugar coma have been destroyed, but I wanted to share a peek into this sweet day before moving on to the new year. Partly because I need this video to live on the blog forever and partly because I just can’t get over how precious and special this particular year was.Both the babes had passed a cold back and forth for the better part of the month and even though it had finally left our house for a full week, it came back guns blazing the day before Christmas Eve. Oshiolema had been practicing the song he was singing with the other kids in his class at church all month long and was SO excited. We’d play “Happy Birthday Jesus” no less than 10 times a day and dude was pumped just knowing he’d be on stage and “singing with his friends.” Suddenly every time he tried to sing it he had a cough attack and it just broke my heart.

We debated whether or not we should even go to church because we were germy and they were definitely under the weather, but we decided it was Christmas Eve after all! And there was no better place to be than church. I pretty much spent the whole service apologizing for their coughs and being a human shield around Keogena. Oshiolema was so sleepy for his song but oh my goodness. Nothing could have prepared my mama heart for my babies first Christmas performance…the feelings are just too big. We prayed that he would be able to make it though the song without a cough attack and God is so faithful! Plus, the live Nativity (Camels! Alpaca! Goats! Sheep!) definitely served as a much needed boost to the kids morale.

We came home, set out carrots for the Reindeer and gluten free cookies for Santa (sorry, Santa…you can’t have mama’s cookies) and read the story of Jesus’ birth with the babes. It was a whirlwind Christmas Eve for them but still as special as can be.

Once the kids were tucked in bed, Santa’s workshop came to life in our family room and for the first year ever, I had almost all the wrapping totally finished! I hope I remember how worth-it that is every single year because watching The Santa Clause all casually and wrapping at a sloths pace instead of sweating bullets in a wrapping frenzy and trying to remember where I hid the rest of the gifts at 1am like I usually do. This was a much better look for me. We decided to have Oshiolema ask for one gift from Santa (as a surprise to no one, he asked for a fire truck) and he kindly told mall-santa his baby sis wanted a baby doll so we put those toys under the playroom tree. We explained the next morning that the other tree were from people that love him and I think I liked it? I’m still not sure, it may take some tweaking but he was so grateful either way.

there are few things more beautiful than a Christmas Eve tree

these gold rabbits are a favorite of mine and now that Christmas is over, I hang the kids  aprons on them.

Christmas morning was so sweet because the kids actually slept in! I woke up at 6, came downstairs to make a cup of coffee and snap some photos before the whole first floor was inevitably destroyed by our little humans. I snuggled Oshiolema for a minute when he woke up and had him crawl in bed with O until Keogena woke up. They both peeked over the banister to see all the presents and their faces were priceless!! Oh I wish I could relive this morning with a 2 year old and a 1 year old over and over again.

he kept peeking over the ledge, wide eyed and giggling

(the kids gave their titi and uncle their colds for Christmas. Sorry, guys!!)

(her first little taste of marshmallows…you all can guess her verdict)

My favorite things for Oshiolema are a special slingshot just like the one David defeated Goliath with since that is his favorite Bible story. He’s been pretending everything is a slingshot for a year now, so this lit up his world. A firefighter jacket, a lifesize plush dalmation, a handmade wooden fire truck and a superman cape were his other gifts from us. He received so many special books from our family and books always end up being the thing he spends the most time with each day.

We got both of them really special xylophones in New York and those were a big hit, as well as the chalkboard we got for them to share.

Keogena is at the age where she’s quick to lose interest in things, but a book will keep her attention forever. And by “forever”, I mean 10 minutes. My sister-in-law got her a doll that has a magnetic pacifier and that pretty much never left her side the whole day. Poor girl’s cough really picked up by the afternoon, but I was grateful for a couple hours where they were both well enough to just play and laugh and soak up all that is Christmas Morning.

We did end up doing more steam showers and nose frieda-ing than playing for the rest of the day, so O and I didn’t even open a single gift until two days later when the coughs and fevers all disappeared and our happy healthy babies returned. There was a moment there, laying on the couch, both babies sleeping and only O and I holding hands where we both realized if we didn’t open a single gift under the tree we’d still be overjoyed. Maybe this is shameful to just be feeling this at 27 years old, but true complete contentment washed over me for what may be the first time. It was delightful.

Christmas was full of love, laughter, and hot chocolate with marshmallows. Also, coughs, essential oils, steam showers and herbal teas. It was chaotic, sure, but I pray I never forget the way my spirit stirred all day long in gratitude for the gift of Jesus Christ, and the gift of this beautiful team of mine.


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