Christmas morning came early after our wild and crazy Christmas eve. Kids were up around 6:30ish and the festivities began. Everyone stayed the night here including Joanna, Jon, Jordan and my mom. They didn't all stay super long after morning rolled around but everyone was here for the beginning of the present extravaganza.
We took our time in the morning opening gifts and then made breakfast, lounging around in our jammies for the rest of the day. Everyone came back over in the evening for dinner which was laid back and almost unnecessary.
There's always such a lull after Christmas ends...
This year both Joanna and I were in new homes. We decided to share hosting Christmas Eve. We started at her house for appetizers and then we went to church for a candle light service and then ended up at my house for more food and games and presents.
It was very fun and loud and crazy. The kids played musical chairs for several rounds of presents and the adults had a White Elephant gift exchange. Everyone got Christmas jammies and went to bed late!
So, we got back from the Nutcracker and the very next morning we took off for the beach. Rach was recovered, no one else was sick (confirming the food poisoning suspicion), and along with all the kids, Royal and my dad, we hit the road. Royal's family has a cabin at Long Beach which isn't the closest place for us to get to the beach, but we had a nice cozy place to sleep and yummy food to eat. The clam tide was at 6:00pm so that meant digging in the dark.
I'll be honest, I was REALLY dreading this trip. It was 2 days before Christmas Eve and the beach in winter with 6 kids sounds like a nightmare. Usually cold, rainy and miserable.
Well we lucked out!! It was warm, clear and windless. It could not have been better!
We all dug our limits which resulted in the guys cleaning and processing about 195 clams. Not the part of the experience that I stick around for. We all went to bed and headed back towards home the next morning. We had our clam fry celebration a couple days after Christmas. SO worth it!
Yay! Rachel and Royal and Jayden and Willow came to spend Christmas with us this year. We had the room in our house so everyone stayed with us. SOOO fun!
Months ago we decided to all go to the Nutcracker in Seattle put on by the Pacific Northwest Ballet. We have been going to this performance since I was about 12...so about 25 years! For the past 31 the PNB has done a specific version of the Nutcracker complete with Maurice Sendak sets. This was the last year so we made an effort to try and get everyone there for this last special season. Rach and fam flew in Saturday evening and got to our house around bed time. The Nutcracker was the next day at 1:00pm. Sadly, Rachel got food poisoning and spent the entire night throwing up and was unable to go with us. It was heart wrenching to leave her behind all by herself at my house to recover. :(
The Nutcracker was as awesome as it always is and we had fun taking all the kids to Seattle and out to dinner at the Cheesecake factory.