The mother's guilt was stirring, much more than that of her spouse
A blog post with pictures had never been completed with care
Even though St. Nicholas had shown up and been there
So when the cranky toddler was nestled all snug in his bed,
While visions of fruit snacks and raisins danced in his head
Mama in her PJs, with computer in her lap
Hoped that the baby would continue to nap.
Then the keyboard produced such a clatter
As memories of Christmas made her post grow quite fatter.
OK...enough of the rhymes. Seriously though. A Christmas post two months late? Shameful. Even though it's very late, I want to document our Christmas adventures.
Kaden met Santa for the first time at our ward Christmas party. The interview did not go well, but we did get a free candy cane out of it:
Since we went to my parents' house for Christmas this year, Santa visited us early in Kinston, so we wouldn't have as much to haul home in suitcases. We went over to Gigi and Poppy's house, so everyone could watch Kaden open his presents. While we were there, we opened our gifts from Chad's family as well. . Here are some of the things Santa brought Kaden:
His very first real soccer ball! It's a size three, and he is quite the champ at dribbling this little baby. Here he is, excitedly showing his ball to everyone in the room, and to Kenzie, Tanner, and Aunt Meredith who were Skyping with us.
Here is Kaden showing off for the crowd at our early Christmas celebration. He kept opening the car door, getting inside, getting out of the car, then slamming the door, and doing a funny dance move. We found it hysterical. As soon as Kaden knew we were laughing at him, it was game over. He is such a little ham and loves to show off. (I can't imagine where he got this from . . . certainly not from his mother! Cough. Cough).
We also had a wonderful time spending two weeks with my family in Utah. Grandma Joy and Uncle Jim were there along with my parents, Jared, Bryan and Lizadel, and their sweet little girl, Adeline.
We did all kinds of fun things while we were there. My favorites were eating home cooked goodness and spending lots of quality time in my pajamas. My second favorites were eating at Cafe Rio and In and Out repeatedly. (Anyone sense a trend here?) We went out to eat (oh, dear, there it is again) with my lovely friend Stephanie and her husband Cameron while we were there as well. Sadly, their sweet little boy wasn't able to join us.
Kaden wasn't so sure about Addy, mostly because he saw her as a huge source of competition. He wouldn't let me hold her at all and would scream, "My mama!!!" anytime I went near her. Don't worry though, I got lots of cuddle time with my beautiful niece when he was asleep at night. Here are some cousin shots of Kaden and Addy together:
Since Kaden's photos with Santa at our ward party in Kinston hadn't gone over too well, we took him to see Santa at the mall in Utah just before Christmas. The photographers there had a great drop-the-baby-from-behind-so-he-doesn't-know-what's-coming-approach that worked wonders. Unfortunately, I don't have a digital image of the picture. It did turn out really cute though, and their Santa was stellar! Real beard and everything!
We had a big scare on Christmas Eve when Grandma Joy had a stroke. She had to spend most of Christmas day in the hospital as well. We are so thankful that she is OK and recovering well. She's a real trooper and is doing speech therapy to help her recover from her stroke. We celebrated Christmas together after Grandma got out of the hospital. We had an AMAZING dinner, featuring prime rib (we used The Pioneer Woman's rub recipe...to DIE for) cooked nice and rare. I also made 48 delicious, buttery crescent rolls.
Here's the table, all set:
Kaden was very spoiled by west-coast relatives as well. I feel bad for my child, since he is clearly not loved, nor does he have anything to play with. Unfortunately, I didn't take many pictures of the gift opening.
One of my favorite parts of our trip was going to see the lights on Temple Square. They always do such a spectacular job. They've added some things since we'd last been there, and it was absolutely beautiful. My friend Callie met us there, and it was also great to see her.
Our vacation flew by all too quickly. We had our traditional Jensen family New Year's appetizer feast a day early, since we flew back to NC on New Year's Eve. Bacon tomato tarts, crab and cream cheese wantons, and spinach artichoke dip were just a few selections on the menu. We got back to Kinston just a little after midnight; our New Year's kiss was shared in the car.
Christmas time is one of my favorite parts of the year. I love that it is a time we think about giving. A time when we remember the Savior. There's just such a special feeling associated with Christmas. Christmas 2011 was no exception for us.