Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I've been working on this post since Christmas. I'm really bad at this..... In the words of my friend Lee Wilson- most people will find this post boring with the exception of some family, but again, I don't just do this for you- it's my public scrapbook, too. :-) I just wrote some special things to help me remember what happened and I have some reflections from the Christmas season at the bottom of the post.

(Christmas afternoon)
Hope you all are having a great day! We just woke up from our naps to the sound of the double doorbell ring. Not a great sound if you are a parent with a sleeping child, BUT to our joy- were greeted with fresh fried egg rolls from neighbor Lisa!

Now that I am full and Annie did not wake up from the doorbell, seems like a good time to post a blog about the holiday!

(December 23rd)
Papa Earl (Sally's dad) came in to town earlier this week and we got to have a small Christmas celebration on the 23rd complete with sushi and a radio flyer wagon. Annie's response as he wheeled it in "oh boy, oh boy!" as she stood perched on her tippy-toes dancing around like she needed to use the bathroom. She probably peed her pants and is thankfully still in diapers. We went for a stroll around the block to look at "yites" (Christmas lights) and she has played and eaten most of her meals in it since. A hit, to say the least! Thanks, Papa!

(December 24th)
We had a big Peck celebration over at Kevin and Les' house on Christmas Eve for lunch. The whole clan. This celebration includes all Peck siblings, spouses, dad, children, my mom's sister and her clan, my grandma, most of the in-laws, and a few friends- this year we had the Engstroms, Dean, and the Suhs complete with Yuna! All in all, about 40 people! Always a party! We had a mexican feast in honor of us, I suppose. ;-) At the ardent request of Kevin (sal's bro), we always need to make sure we have ice cream pie. This is a family tradition. One year we failed to make it and he said "this is the one thing I ask of the women who love me." It will not be forgotten again, dear brother. One of my favorite moments was when Ellie opened our present to her. I got her Guess Who? but sometime between the time it got wrapped and opened, she got it from someone else. I knew she already had it, but I didn't want to unwrap it, return it, etc. so I decided to just give it to her and let her go pick something new out. I was really curious what reaction she would have as a 4 year old who has, at her age, just started training on social graces- although she is very mature for her age- she is still 4. When she opened it she screamed with excitement "another Guess Who?!" She was genuinely thrilled as if it was the expansion pack. What a hoot.

J and I exchanged presents to eachother during naptime! It was so fun and relaxing. This was my most successful year shopping for J. As you might imagine, he's pretty hard and funny to shop for. He is a giant so that rules out most clothing stores (excpetions: Nike Outlet - where they keep the big boy clothes that didn't sell, American Apparel- big boy shirts in the back bin for $6/ pop) On his loot list: a Nike track jacket (XXL and Xlong, flip-flops, 3 American Apparel t-shirts, some camera equipment, a framed square family picture (he's very particular about the framing). Stocking stuffers: underwear, undershirts, dark chocolate peanut-butter cups, newly printed pics of Annie, a Homeslice shirt (for Annie. J and I can't usually think of things to get so we often default by getting Annie something we know the other will like.)

We headed over to J's parent's house after naps for dinner, movie, and Jesus' birthday cake. A Christmas tradition for the Lopez clan is to watch one of four movies together- Die Hard, Home Alone, It's a Wonderful Life, or Muppet Christmas Carol. It's a Wonderful Life was on so we watched that. It was Molly's (sal's sis) first viewing. She still has about 30 minutes to go so all in all she was left off at the most depressing part of the whole movie. George Bailey just wished he'd never been born! Clarence to the rescue! We got Annie home in time to put on her new Christmas Eve pjs (peck tradition).

(December 25th)
We woke up this morning for breakfast with Molly (sal's sis), J's parents, me, J, and Annie. Molly made a feast of eggs benedict (peck tradition) and blueberry crapes. Delicious! Thanks, Mo!

Annie then opened the awesome kitchen set, complete with laundry center from Nonnie & Tata! This thing took J about 5 hours straight to assemble, which he enjoyed because the directions were really well written! I made 5 attempts to get this thing at Toys R Us before calling my dad who was in Missouri to go get one there! They were totally sold out everywhere! It was totally worth it- she loves it! P.S. to all my friends with little ones, I highly recommend spacing out the opening of presents. It was so good for Annie to be able to enjoy each thing. Lessons for next time: space out presents even more and get her a whole lot less! :-) Our family is so huge at this point that I don't think she would notice if we didn't get her anything. Thinking of implementing the 3 gift rule- a need, a want, a surprise! Thanks, Jamie for that great idea!

I'm not great at reflecting, but here goes. Since I became a Christian, I have always been a little confused by Advent and would not say I practice Advent for all it was intended to be. I have spent this season trying to get a better idea of how people do it. I never really knew why Jesus' birth should matter more on that day or month more than any other time, but I have seen how much God tells His people in the Bible to "remember" through festivals and feasts type celebrations. This coupled with the fact that we are still awaiting Christ as Christians, tells me it's a big deal to practice anticipating Christ, not only in December but always! If we get off track, we always have December as a good checkpoint. :-) Secondly, I really enjoyed getting to teach Annie about Christ to the greatest degree that she could understand. We spent some time everyday playing with a nativity set (talking about the characters and telling the story) and I really loved to see how much she gathered from that time- simply, that Jesus was special. She spent most of everyday carrying him around in her little hand. I can't wait to reveal greater things to her about Him as she grows.

Sidenote: I caught myself constantly reminding Annie that Jesus was also a man that grew up and did amazing things. For all of you Talladega Nights fans, I felt like Carly at the dinner table reminding Ricky Bobby, who only prays to sweet, baby, Christmas Jesus, "you know, Jesus was also a man".

Much love and a happy New Year!