Merry Christmas 2015!

The Twenty-fifth day!  Christmas!  It truly went by in a flash and it’s so hard to believe that the big day is finally here.  As I do most years, I will mainly let the pictures speak for themselves and just do big photobombs with a little explaining here and there.

Marshall and Violet found themselves on the nice list this year, both Santa’s and papa & mama’s.  We were also buying things on sale all year- pro tip: July/August is when many stores start quietly clearancing off items in order to make room for the incoming holiday stock.  These savings by far overshadow Black Friday if you can remember to keep an eye out.

Anyways, here we go with our Christmas Day 2015:

Brad slept on the couch right next to the tree to ensure Marshall,
in all his excitement, wouldn’t start opening presents without us on Christmas morning


Taking a peek in his stocking to make sure Santa didn’t
forget his favorite boy
Despite being so tired from a late bedtime and early awakening,
he still was full of smiles and excitedly bouncing
Our beautiful family excited for the much anticipated Christmas!
Finding the Christmas Pickle ornament on the old Laundry chute
(Don’t worry, it’s securely boarded up so there will be no flying kids here)
Christmas Pickle winner!  There’s two ways to do the Christmas
Pickle winner.  It’s either a) the one to find it gets an extra present or
b) the one to find it gets to open up the first present, we go with the former.
We found our Christmas Pickle ornament a few years ago at the dollar store (naturally)
So excited to get the Christmas Pickle bonus gift
Our Christmas pickle gift is always a dvd so that the whole
family can enjoy it.  This year we had a hunch that Marshall would be the
child to find the pickle, so we got one of his favorite movies in his favorite genre
(children’s “horror” movies) ParaNorman
“Oh wow, presents!”
He loved reaching into his stocking to fish out the contents
Marshall had to make sure his sister wasn’t left out
“Sissy, here is your stocking, baby!  From Santa, Santa loves you!”
His stocking presents: candy filled candy cane and little
people professionals (a dentist, police man, veterinarian, and
Helping sissy open her presents from her stocking
Fun fact: my fifth birthday party was Jasmine themed.  I liked
her because, unlike all the blond haired and blue eyed princesses, she looked the
most like me with her long black hair and big brown almond shaped eyes.
Marshall was equally excited over this.
We had the yule log going on the tv, Violet sleeping contently on her daddy’s
chest, and Marshall excitedly opening up presents- always making sure to alternate and take turns without us having to remind him- it was seriously the best morning.
Making sure papa got his stocking which featured gourmet donuts
(Santa likes cop jokes)
In between opening gifts he would sing us “We wish you a Merry
Christmas”, as seen here
Slowwwwly opening the package
This kid and his big reactions make giving gifts so fun
I’d say he likes it
“A Mario wheel!  Oh wow, I love it!”
Unwrapping his gift from Violet
He’s literally yelling “Captain America” here
Sissy gets a kiss for getting him one of his favorite superheroes.
She knows him so well already!
You know they love it when they are rendered speechless
Marshall kept commenting on how much he loves the wrapping paper and
bows this year.  We color coordinated them: black with reindeer for Mads
and glittery gold & pink Christmas trees for Vi from mama & papa with
the Santa buckle ones from the big man in red
Disney infinity sets! Marshall just kept saying how
they were “like Isaac’s”, his older cousin that he looks
up to so much.
Princess little people!  Marshall was excited enough for the both of them
Princess headbands!  Vi likes to act like she is the ruler of the
house, might as well make it ‘tiara’ official!
Vi received an adorable little fox with starry night back and button eyes
from mama & papa
She automatically started to cuddle her new little friend
Gonna keep going with the presents, sissy sleepin’ or not!
A Paw Patrol watch!  Marshall’s favorite cartoon-
and bonus: it has a charm of ‘Marshall’ the firedog on it
He would constantly try to take papa’s watch, now he
has a way cooler one of his own
“Who needs a prince? (I have daddy)”
Pretty fitting for this papa’s girl
Papa helping open one of Violet’s gifts
A queen’s crown piggy bank!  Perfect for her Alice in
Wonderland themed bedroom (above the gold diamonds are
little strips of hearts) her room doesn’t have characters from the movie,
but instead subtle references to the book.
“Yay school bus!  Marshall loves the school bus!”
Posing with his big present from Santa.
He loves to pose for pictures.
“Yay, school!!”  Let’s hope he is always so excited
about school and learning.
Opening Violet’s big present from Santa
An interactive princess castle- all the princesses that were in her stocking
interact with this castle by saying their names, singing signature songs, and sayings.
Santa was able to get it- along with all the princess sets- for 1/4 to 1/2 the price last August. Santa’s tallest elf was pretty sweet and had to rush to the store to buy the castle the day his princess was released from the hospital.  He went to three department stores looking for it.
Marshall helping Violet open her big present from
papa & mama
When she wakes up, she will be pretty excited for
her new activity block
What could it be?!
It’s a baseball bat shelf to go perfectly in his sports
themed bedroom
Opening the present papa was most excited over
He was just speechless and hugging the box at first,
he was so thrilled to get a wii U
Marshall giving papa the gift he made for mama & papa
at preschool
We loved how wonderfully Marshall decorated the giftbag
Lots of hugs and kisses are deserved for this beautiful ornament
A puzzle-piece ornament wreath with Marshall’s picture
inside it!
Marshall giving sissy her presents from him
Marshall’s portion and Violet’s portion from Christmas 2015

With the gifts all unwrapped, it was time to get down to the serious business: playing!

Giving her new lovie some kisses
Marshall playing school.  He absolutely loves his real preschool
so this little playset was right up his ally.  Thanks, Santa!
Playing with her fox and showing off her new bow from her brother.
Yay for having thick enough hair to hold the big clips in now!
Cuddling is serious business
Some assembly required on that castle, papa
Violet loved looking at all the bright and shiny princesses and princes.
And chewing on them.  Of course.
Playing with my…uh…Violet’s princess castle from Santa
The moment that Vi realized that mama & Marshall took
over her castle
Playing his new wii U
He was so excited to be able to pick which favorite Disney
characters and superheroes would face off
Since we bought the 1.0 and 2.0 characters after the new 3.0 were released,
we were able to get all of these characters for 1/3 of the price or less!

Our “first” Christmas started pretty early in the morning, about 5:45 am, so we saved our presents that were shipped from Auntie & Uncle Chris for our “second” Christmas morning that was at a bit better time for our West Coast family.  With Auntie & Uncle Chris awake and ready, we used Google Hangout to video-chat with them and open presents together.

His very own official NASA astronaut uniform!
Perfect, as he has been obsessed with space and wanting
to become an astronaut.
A NASA astronaut helmet!
Baby headwraps in every color- a perfect addition
to her hair accessory collection
Mesh teether, owl book, and hat!  Just what
she wanted, thank you Auntie & Uncle Chris
Marshall couldn’t wait to put on his astronaut uniform
and jump on his space rocket
I am so obsessed with these baby headwraps!
Great taste, Auntie & Uncle Chris, thank you!
“Whatcha doin’ papa?”

The video chat slowly started getting more and more glitchy- I assume many were doing the same thing for Christmas and family members far away- so we bid each other farewell and I started putting the finishing touches on our Christmas “dinner”.  Brad had to work, so we had it as more of an early lunch.

Brad wanted to go with the more traditional European version of Christmas dinner and do a duck or goose.  He has too much faith in my culinary skills.  I was intimidated, but found a recipe on youtube from my favorite celebrity chef and gave it a go.  All in all I was pretty thrilled with how it turned out and the ease of prepping/ cooking.  Brad was in heaven and has declared this the official Christmas dinner from now on and ducks are his new favorite poultry.

Our first Christmas duck
It’s stuffed with citrus fruits, that’s what bulging out of both ends, and
crusted with a spice blend and honey
Foodie picture: I’m pretty happy with how the spice crust turned out

Our meal finished, papa off to work, and the little ones getting their much needed naps in, the kids and I spent the rest of Christmas playing and talking about our favorite moments from the season.

The stars are the limit for this one
“Love you to the moon and back Auntie & Uncle Chris!’
And ever so nicely playing together

Today was a wonderfully magical day and was unforgettable.  It was a perfect first Christmas for our little Violet Angeline and Marshall agreed, as he kept declaring it “the best day ever”.  We are so thankful for the many blessings 2015 has brought us and are so looking forward to 2016.  Thank you for following along with us here and we hope that you all had equally amazing days filled with laughter and joy.  See you next year, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!




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