December 31, 2018

Christmas in Seattle - Oh What Fun!

This is a very long post. I was going to break it up into a few different sections, but figuring out how to organize events and photos was to daunting, so I decided to just go for one marathon entry.

In summary, we spent Christmas 2018 up in Washington at my parents house in Bellevue. We were there for 2.5 wonderful weeks that were packed full of Christmas festivities, games, food, and family. The kids had so much fun and never wanted it to end. My parents planned so many fun activities for our stay and were very accommodating with their time, car, and tolerance of our noise and mess. We are so grateful for everyone and everything that was made up our Christmas this year!!

We had an early flight a full week before Christmas but the airport was still pretty busy. Luckily these kids are troopers and didn't make things too difficult. We rewarded them for their good behavior with a treat from Dunkin Donuts. 

Surviving the plane flight. We are able to get direct flights to Seattle from Dallas, but it still is a 4.5 hour trip, which can feel like an eternity with little kids. Luckily there were empty seats so we had room to spread out and create a buffer around our noisy crew. 

Mount Rainier looked beautiful on our approach

Charlie meeting Jobe

This dude was the winner of Pretty, Pretty Princess. He put those earrings on all by himself. 

We used our museum pass to visit KidsQuest. The kids love that place and request it as an activity every time we visit Grandmari's house 

In the hot tub with my little fishies

Too much party for Charlie

Making cookies with Grandmari in the apron my grandma made for me when I was about her age. Sophie loved it and said that it was her favorite part of the trip. In the end we actually didn't get very many cookies because we ate so much dough along the way - oops!

Sophie heard about the Amazon shipping deadline on the news and realized that she had never written a letter to Santa. She was insistent on writing one ASAP and taking it out to the mailbox on a dark, rainy night so it would get to Santa in time.  

My gingerbread house team members. I did the frosting, Sophie did the candy, and Davey was the taste tester. The plastic decorations are the ones my mom has saved since I was a child.

Reading Christmas books with Grandmari

We went to the Garden d'Lights with my parents and sister's family one night. We got really lucky that the rain held off until we were just leaving. Sophie remembered doing this two years ago when we last visited and was excited to go back. 

They have several creatures hidden around that you are supposed to try and spot. Here is Sophie with a dragon and Davey with a spider. 

Sophie and Davey dressed in their Christmas Sunday best. Charlie was sick and so I stayed home from church with him. Hopefully I can get a photo with all three kids next year. 

After church the kids, my parents and I went downtown to see the city festivities. It was raining pretty good, but that didn't stop us from having fun. Unfortunately the line to see the professional gingerbread houses was almost 2 hours long (no thank you!), so we had to pass, but we were able to ride the carosel and visit the Teddy Bear Suite at the Fairmont Hotel.  

In the lobby of the Fairmont there was a life-size gingerbread display that you could actually walk in! Sophie loved going through to look out the windows and Davey's favorite part was the electric train that ran around the front. 

That's one big teddy bear!

This was a fun 1000 piece puzzle. I finished it up the morning Charlie and I stayed home from church. 

We went out for dinner at the Sahalee Country Club the day after Christmas. Since our group was so big (and loud) we got to eat in our own room! It was nice to not have to worry about the kids ruining other people's dinners. We also were all able to order multiple drinks and shakes that night thanks to the bar credit my dad received for getting a hole-in-one!

We went go kart racing! The track had been rained on so it was extra slick, which made things interesting. I spun out about 10 times on our first race, but after some tips from the worker about racing on wet pavement, I had a much better second race and shaved almost 40 seconds off my average lap time. 

Left to right: Nat, Brodie, Dave, Me, my dad, and Jeremy

We saw Annie at the 5th Avenue Theatre with my siblings and niece Anne.  It's a fun show, and Miss Hannigan did an amazing job. The whole family had the songs stuck in their head for a week after though, and someone was always walking around humming "Hard Knock Life" or "Fully Dressed."

On a rainy day my parents (partially for their own sanity) treated us all to a morning at Chuck E. Cheese. We had a few games cards that were passed around and everyone had a great time. We even won a few jackpots!

Cousin time is always one of the best parts of the trip. All these kids make for a crazy house, but they sure have fun together! Left to right we have Davey (2), Charlie (9 mos), Sophie (5), Anne (8), Briggen (10 mos), Levi (4), Jack (1), and Will (6). 

I got these Aquabeads kits as a gift for Anne and Sophie and they had so much fun making them together. It was the perfect craft that required no adult involvement and kept them busy for a few days. 

Davey and Levi playing the the puzzle track. I found these at Value Village a couple trips ago for just $3 each and they are always a favorite of the cousins. 

Chocolate milk tasting contest. We tried 5 different kinds and grocery store brand was the winner! Tru Moo was the unanimous loser and we let the little kids finish it off. 

Charlie was not sure about having Davey join his bath. Love these boys 

After a couple weeks it was time to head back home. We had one layover this time and no empty seats, so it was more difficult journey than before, but we all made it intact. Dave sat in a single seat across the aisle and I sat with the kids. Luckily both Davey and Charlie took good naps. Vacation wore them out!!

December 26, 2018

Christmas in Seattle - Christmas Day

Christmas is finally here! We started our advent calendars the day after Thanksgiving since we were leaving town early, so it felt like we were counting down to the actual Christmas forever. The kids were so excited when I told them that there was only one sleep left until Santa came! 

On Christmas Eve we played bingo as a family, read the Christmas story, sang some carols and then set out cookies for Santa. Sophie remembered from last year that Santa actually prefers rootbeer over milk, and she requested that we leave some out with his plate of cookies. 

Despite their excitement, the kids went to bed really easy that night and were asleep in minutes. Once they were down, Santa made his rounds and left stockings for everyone, a box of cereal (a tradition from my childhood), a small toy, and a letter to each child explaining that the gift they asked for was waiting for them at home in Amarillo, since it was too big to take on the airplane. 

Christmas is such a fun time of year and I loved being able to watch the kids get caught up in the magic and enjoy their new surprises. Every year I wonder when it will be too much to travel at Christmas, but then I'm always glad we do. I love being with family and sharing all these special moments with them. Merry Christmas one and all!

The tree all ready with gifts for 12 people

Charlie had been battling a cold and the worst hit him on Christmas Eve. He had a fever, a nose that was running everywhere, a cough and had thrown up a few times. Neither of us got much sleep that night. Poor baby :(

Anxiously waiting to go downstairs in the morning - we managed to hold things off until 7 am!

Charlie in a daze with the contents of his stocking

There was some initial disappointment over not finding a CD player waiting for her on Christmas morning, but she got over it quickly and enjoyed the other surprises that Santa left. 

Davey loved opening gifts this year, whether or not they were actually for him.

Our gift code names this year were all characters from classic Christmas movies. I have taken on the job of thinking of the names and making labels each year - it's a fun project!

After a second bath and a good nap, Charlie started to feel better and was able to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. Merry 1st Christmas baby boy!