I don't know about all my peeps out there, but this has been one of the best holidays on record for the Hickoks. Not to say our vacation was filled with mind blowing salivary experiences (cheese and crakers for Christmas dinner? Sure!). Or that we whizzed off to any magical places for some fancypants holiday raucous. Nope. Just some good, hometown family time, baking cakes in the kitchen, playing games, chillin with the G-ma, and getting our LEGO on.
We started off this season with a little trip to the park with our girls, the camera, and a wagon. Our annual Christmas card photo session (thank you bench and tree branches for taking all our photos!) took place at a nearby nature reserve filled with pecan trees and lovely views of the water. Here are some of the extra photos we got that afternoon.
A few days later my uber-tastic momma flew down from Washington to spend a week with us over the Christmas holiday. She and I were both pleasantly surprised (or more accurately, shocked and awed) by one of the mister's gifts this year.
Be advised: I am about to bragg a bit on my most splendid husband.
After the morning service at our church a couple days before Christmas, my man whisked us away to Fort Worth to see the Nutcracker at the Bass Performance Hall (ok, so there was a tiny bit of fancypants holiday raucus)! No one but the man had any clue what was going on! He even arranged to borrow a posh minivan (if you are a momma of multiple kiddos, you understand the appropriate mingling of the words "posh" and "minivan"), to take us out there. Since it was a surprise, I have no photos to share, but it was one of the best gifts I have ever received. I just couldn't stop grinning the whole day!
Mom and the girls loved the show. Both Lily and Adelaide were completely engrossed in the story, constantly asking questions about the dances and the story line the whole way through. My man is always full of surprises! Love him to the brim!
Ok, bragging completed.
Christmas morning began with the reading of the the Christmas Story by my momma, followed by the girls acting it out with our new Little People Nativity Set (thanks Grandma Jere and Grandpa Bob!).
We started a different tradition this year to help teach the girls about Christ and the gospel during Christmas. Some friends at our church tipped us off to a great idea of hanging a huge nail (we're talking eight inches long) on the tree to represent Christ's death on the cross for us. The girls each got to hold the nail as their papa explained again the reason Christ was born as a baby: to become the Savior of the world! While he explained the salvation story to them, holding that huge nail really seemed to help the girls understand a little more what our Lord did for us. I was so moved by the girls' solemn reactions. This is definitely going to become one of our family traditions from now on.
Christmas evening we celebrated another birthday, mi momma! She is one of three siblings in her clan born on Christmas Day! And, since we don't have a fireplace in our apartment, her cake kept us toasty warm for the whole 30 seconds it was lit. I would never be so egregious as to reveal her age, but I think the cake speaks for itself!
There they are, all 29 (and a couple more) candles. Double Chocolate Wax Cake, anyone?
The youngest in reboot mode.
I think I should sleep more often. It looks so nice.
What holiday would be complete without a little LEGO organization? With a few extra days off work, the mister decided to start attacking his minifigs collection. This is no easy task, I tell ya (especially with two sets of little hands always wanting to get in on the action)! This project is still in progress (and will be till I die, I fear).
Well, there you have it! Merry Christmas and Hoppy New year to all our lovely friends and family! Hope your 2013 is already turning up joy and smiles!