Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Highlights 2011

Christmas this year was wonderful and busy and full of family activities as usual. It would be impossible (and frankly, boring) if I were to share all the many happenings of the past month, so I will spare you the details and skip right to my favorite parts...

Annual Costello Sibling's Christmas dinner, hosted to perfection by Sam and Jen this year

Getting the surprise of a lifetime when my parents flew my sister's family home from France for Christmas and they all showed up at my front door late at night and nearly gave me a heart-attack.

Getting to spend lots of time with these giggly girls who couldn't be closer if they were sisters...

and these wild boys who melt your heart as they pelt you with Nerf bullets

Watching the magic of Santa come alive for Eli this year and remembering him asking if we needed to leave cookies out for him or if Santa would just "help himself in our fridge"

Having our own special time on Christmas eve morning to watch the kids open their gifts and exchanging stockings with John

Spending Christmas eve day with the Costello crew where we enjoyed a delicious brunch and relaxing afternoon with our wonderful family

My parent's annual Christmas eve party and the beautiful dresses Grandma bought the girls

Boy's pull-up contest Christmas morning where my husband was crowned the champion and scored us a Cheesecake Factory gift card and night of babysitting courtesy of my parents

The chaos of 8 children opening gifts at the same time and not being sure where to look or focus

Spending time with the world's greatest, great-grandma who asked for a rocking chair for Christmas so she could rock all of her babies. Do you not just love her?

Papa Bob and part of his future baseball team who have no idea how lucky they are to have such an amazing Grandpa

A childhood story published into an actual children's book written by my mom (and worked on for months and months) as a special gift for my Grandpa

Watching this blue-eyed firecracker trying her best to keep up with all her cousins

The annual matching pajamas picture with all the Johnson kiddos and our newest addition this year, baby Harry!

"Fishing for dollars" competition in the hot-tub where each fish was worth a different dollar amount

 Passing around baby Harry for some much needed newborn snuggle time

And though quiet moments have been few in the past week, when I take a second to reflect on my Savior,  my family, and my blessings, I am nothing but overwhelmed with gratefulness. This Christmas was truly a special one filled with everyone that I love in one place and lots of memories that will leave me smiling long after the tree comes down.

 "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore." 
Isaiah 9:6-7