These are A Few of my Favorite Things

The joy and the excitement of a child at Christmas. There is simply nothing of its kind. To see a childs' eyes light up and sparkle as they see their gifts under the tree from Santa. Something you truly don't understand until you have a child of your own. What a special time.

Last year for Christmas Ms. A was only about 9 months and simply did not understand the concepts of gift opening and the excitement. What a difference a year can make!

If this picture doesn't sum up the joys of Christmas (not the true meaning) then I am not sure what does.

And so the celebration began. Family, fun, friends and great times. For the littlest Chef, it was one celebration after another with gifts on almost every single day. She started to look at the tree and always think something under there was for her to open and enjoy. It wasn't rare to find her ripping open a gift under the tree when someone wasn't looking!

Drinking milk and gift opening at the same time requires skill.

Still a bookworm. Although she looks like a little old lady in this picture.

The ever growing family (minus Heather - we missed you).

After our vacation in Michigan, we packed up our bags and headed for Indiana, our next stop where Ms. A enjoyed seeing her grandparents and great grandparents and taking a walk in "candy cane lane" where her great grandparents live. She loved the decorations, lights and festivities.

And another Christmas celebration ...

Taking time to make a gingerbread house - a whole family affair.

Christmas morning arrived and Ms. A was smiling from ear to ear.

Art projects are another favorite for Ms. A.

The "Chef" Families' other family. This photo definitely took some bribery and several M&M's to get the little munchkin to smile. It's suprising we even had a photo that turned out so well.

After a long return flight back to California (via Phoenix) we settled into our cozy home ... and yet another Christmas for Ms. A. I must admit, that after so many celebrations, she was overwhelmed with excitement and didn't really know what to do. The Iron Chef and I ended up opening the last few remaining gifts for her. She opened one gift - thanks John and Zoe - and then had Kyle and I open the remaining ones.

Until she came to this one. The box for this item was too large for wrapping paper so we took a huge red blanket and wrapped it around her new playhouse. Thanks Mimi, Papa, Nana and Papa for this one. She has already had tons of fun with this gift and will have many more memories to come.

Goodbye Christmas and all of our fun holiday celebrations. Until next year! This will definitely be the last of my posts (super belated) about holiday celebrations.