As much as we all love Christmas, it can be rather stressful trying to get the shopping done, gifts wrapped, food bought and prepared, etc. Add to that two feet of snow (or close) and almost 10-month-old twins and, yikes! This was definitely my most stressful Christmas ever, but still very much enjoyed anyway. Christmas Eve was so chaotic! We hemmed and hawed (sp?) for several days about whether or not we could make it up to Mount Vernon for the family gathering, because of all the snow and icy roads. We finally decided we could, but then hemmed and hawed some more about whether we would have to spend the night up there or come home (depending on if we got more snow or if the roads were too icy, etc.). We really wanted to come back home so we could be here Chirstmas morning to enjoy a little family time before Paul's family arrived. But since we wouldn't be able to make that decision unitl we were already up there, we had to pack up as though we were going to stay. It took me from 5:00 am until 11:00 to get ready, pack for me and the girls, get them ready and everyone fed, make my fruit salad to take for dinner, etc. (and, no, we didn't stay). To add to the stress I had been snowbound since Friday the 19th so I didn't get to do my last minute shopping until the 23rd, but that was a bust, too. I started by going to the mall (HUGE mistake!) because I just wanted to pop into JCPenney to get my mom some earrings. It wasn't too bad until I tried to leave and it took me half and hour just to get out of the parking garage! (I also found out later that she can't even wear earrings anymore! All that trouble for nothing!) Then I had wanted to go to Target but the whole mall thing took so long that it was getting late, the girls were tired, cranky and hungry so I just went home. I had wanted to get a DVD for my nephew that I had already ordered online but hadn't shown up yet and some stocking stuffers for Paul. He only had one thing in his stocking becuase I never got the chance to get anything else.
Anyway, we left here around 11:00 with fed, changed and content babies due to nap anyway and luckily they did nap the whole way up there. First stop was Paul's cousins' where we hung out for about an hour, then it was on to my brother's house. We got there a little later than we wanted because some more of Paul's cousins had shown up right when we were about to leave. We got through dinner then had to rush to get the babies changed into their Christmas dresses and make it to church on time where they fussed and caused us to miss most of the service anyway. I would have just stayed at the house with them but I figured the car ride would be a great opportunity for a quick nap. After church we were finally able to relax a bit and just enjoy watching the girls open their gifts. Well, watch them watch us open their gifts! They had a ball but by the time we were getting ready to leave they were both screaming out of exhaustion and just being overwhelmed with all the new people (and/or people they just don't see very often). Luckily they fell asleep as soon as we were pulling out of the driveway. Unfortunately, however, in all the comotion of packing up all the gifts and two tired, screaming babies we left our camera behind, leaving all of the Christmas Day photo taking to Paul's parents and nothing yet to upload and post.
But in spite of all the chaos and stress, we had a great time visiting with seldom seen relatives and watching the girls play with Taylor, their second cousin (I guess--my niece's daughter) who is 11 months older. And Christmas Day was great in that we didn't have to go anywhere. Paul's parents and sister came over for the day, we had a great dinner, more gifts and lots of fun playing in the SNOW and building a snowman for the girls! I still can't believe we had an actual white Christmas!