Christmas this year was extra special because the whole Nicholes family came to our house for the holiday. Luckily, since our basement is fully furnished with 3 bedrooms, a full bath, and a spacious living area, everyone had room to move around and still have personal space. It was really fun having everyone here! Calvin especially loved all the attention from his grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, and cousins. He had so much fun! The family was even kind enough to babysit Calvin twice during their stay. TJ and I jumped at the chance to have a couple of dates! We rarely get this kind of time together, so we took advantage of it and saw a couple of the movies we have been wanting to see. I feel bad, though, because Calvin was sick with a cough and cold while we were gone one night. He usually never wakes up for our babysitters when it's after 7 pm, so it was very unusual for him to do so that evening. He couldn't have been in better hands, though. Everyone knew exactly what to do to make him feel calm, happy, and better. Uncle Brandon cleaned all the boogies out of his nose (so sweet of him!), Grandpa walked with him and helped calm him down, and Grandma used her essential oils to help him feel better. The whole family pitched in so TJ and I could have a little alone time. It warmed my heart! I sure love all the Nicholes & Smiths! You guys are the best. :)
I had fun decorating the house for Christmas this year because I knew more than just our little family of three would be enjoying it. Unfortunately, I don't think I got a ton of pictures of all our decorations, but here is our dining table setting (courtesy of Target).
It was fun to finally have a real tree in the living room! The house seems so empty without it. It's a fake tree, so we just packed it up and put it away for next year.
Before I get to Christmas day, I wanted to share these fun pictures of the gingerbread house competition TJ and I went to a few days before Christmas. These houses were incredible! I am glad we didn't participate - I would have come in dead last for sure. We had a great time casting our votes. The first house shown was my favorite, while the third house was TJ's favorite. I can definitely appreciate all the detail that went into these houses because I remember how much work my little house from last year was! The winner got $1,000 and an additional $1,000 to go to the charity of their choice. The last house pictured ended up winning first place - a total scam, I think! :)
This house (above) was just incredible. It was so cute how they did a BYU/Utah rivalry as their theme.
This one (below) was TJ's favorite. He appreciated the artistry and architectural prowess.
This sewing one (below) was just too cute!! I thought it was really creative. I think they got disqualified, though, because the swing made of string was not edible. :( Sad!
This one (below) was the winner. Hmm... I think some Facebook voting scam had to be going on. It's cute, but to me, it doesn't compare to some of the others.
We went to Grandma's and Aunt Mel's for Christmas Eve and loved every minute of it. It was so fun to visit with all of the cousins and have Calvin play with his little second cousins (if that is the relation... not sure). Grandpa was so kind and watched over Calvin for me and TJ so we could spend our time eating and chatting rather than chasing our little guy around all night. I think Calvin and Grandpa developed a special bond over this trip. :)
Anyway, back to Christmas, here are a few pictures for you. My phone's memory got full and I didn't have the time or foresight to empty it, so I only have a few random pictures. I'm sorry I missed some group shots of the family! I will have to count on Jamie to cover those for me :) She's the far superior photographer, anyway.
Uncle TJ with sweet little Avery.
Isn't she the cutest thing?? I fell in love with her at first sight! She is such a sweet angel baby. So mild and easygoing. She put up with whatever was going on at the house, no matter what the noise level. I sure hope my little baby will be just as sweet. Calvin was not as easygoing, unfortunately. Haha! I think the noise and stimulation was a little overwhelming for him. Christmas and the day after proved to be his fussiest days in a very long time. Oh, well! He still had fun with everyone and everything going on, I just think he didn't quite know how to process it all.
Mandy spent hours and hours making these gorgeous cards for us! They all had a sweet note inside and were personalized to our tastes. Mine had a "U" on it for the U of U and a flying, baking angel. :) Haha! So sweet! Mandy is so thoughtful. We will treasure these cards for years to come. Thank you, Mandy!
Dad got Calvin something he'd really love for Christmas. He packed a box full of ribbon, bubble wrap, toilet paper, and cords. Haha... oh, Teeje. Calvin did love those presents, I must be honest. Those are the kinds of objects he goes after in the house all the time!
Mom got him a toy, though. He loves this little Dino ball popper thing! I also gave him Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs because it was my very favorite book growing up. I hope he loves it one day, too. :)
It was quite a hit with Calvin's cousins, too! At least for a few minutes. :)
Unfortunately, those are all the pictures I took. I should have planned ahead more! We had a really fun Christmas, though. It was full of love, laughter, and happiness. Thank you to everyone who helped make it so special!