Although this was our 5th Christmas as a married couple it was our first Christmas all on our own. We decided to stay at our humble little abode here in Michigan and start our own traditions. We had so much fun! Ann Arbor was a perfect winter wonderland!
The day before Christmas eve Austin got the 24 hour flu! The poor guy was throwing up constantly and totally drained of energy. It was hard to not feel down. That day, while Austin and Oliver were sleeping the day away, I missed my family more than ever.
But, the sickness was kicked out of our house really quickly. On Christmas Eve Austin and Oliver were mostly back to normal. We decided to carry on with our festive plans and make this Christmas a memorable one.
On Christmas Eve we attended the most beautiful Christmas pageant at a church here in Ann Arbor where they re-inacted the nativity including LIVE animals!! It was seriously cool and also very entertaining as they pushed and prodded the stubborn donkeys through the church towards the front stage. Not all of the animals cooperated. haha. But, it was still very special. All the prayers and Christmas songs really gave us the Christmas spirit!
Then we went home and had our first ever "Christmas Eve in Bethlehem" dinner. I had been wanting to do this for years and we were finally able to. We had a very simple meal of lentil stew, artisan bread, fattoush, cheese, olives, grapes, nuts and juice. It was so delicious and as we ate we read the story of Christ's birth from the Bible. It was really nice.
Then we set out Santa's cookies and milk and sent our little Oliver to bed. The next morning was a pretty normal Christmas morning. We all opened up our presents and took a million pictures. Then we had a really big breakfast. I made homemade croissants, bacon, eggs, fruit, juice, etc. It was yummy!
Later on Christmas day the La Croix family came over and we all had Christmas dinner together. They are from France and this was their first Christmas in America so we couldn't wait to make them a traditional American Christmas dinner. We love them so much! They are the most incredible family. Baptiste (9) and Louise (7) love to run around with Oliver and their baby, Leon, is the cutest little chunk in the world. I hog him as much as I can when we are together!
All in all, it was an amazing Christmas! We made tons of memories, started some new traditions and feel closer than ever to each other and also to Christ. Christmas success! :)
|Saying "hi" to the sheep, donkeys and the camel before the Christmas pageant began!|
|Such a beautiful church!|
|Saying "hi" to the camel after the pageant|
|Our "Christmas in Bethlehem" dinner|
|Oliver eating Santa's leftover cookie on Christmas morning- don't judge us. We know we're not model parents. haha|
|Opening a present from Mimi|
|He is obsessed with these trucks!|
|Austin made him this train table. The top is reversible with roads on the other side. Santa brought the train set|
|Oliver thought it was funny to make me kiss his bugs|
|Wow. He is one spoiled kid!|
|My family always does a puzzle together during the holidays. So, I just had to buy a puzzle and complete it by myself. :)|