Philomena’s Second Christmas (Technically) and First Birthday

December 25 is a big day.

We celebrate Jesus’ birth.

We celebrate our daughter’s birth.

This involves a lot of presents. A lot of food. A lot of family.

[Note: as always, most of these pictures were taken by Ryan. Except for the bad ones. I took those. Also, please excuse the profuse amount of collages. I can’t help myself.]

Christmas Eve is the important celebration on my side. Somehow my family always finagles a reserved front-pew at their parish’s packed completely over-flowing 4:00 Christmas Eve Mass. This year they had one, because my 8-year-old niece had the honor of bringing the little Baby Jesus up to the manger scene in front of the altar. And so, Ryan and I embarrassingly slipped in at 3:50 and walked past countless people standing at the back and in the aisles. With our heads down, we made our way to the front with a sleeping Mena. [Aside from the tinge of guilt, this was awesome.]

We tried to get a family picture after Mass. “Tried” is the key word in this situation. Please disregard the pictures’ blurriness, my shifty eyes, and Mena’s drunken stare:

christmas 1

My sister once again made fabulous matching dresses for all the girls. Getting a good picture of all four of them is almost as easy as the three of us, apparently:

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Then, we went over to my parents’ for a nice dinner [featuring French Onion Soup], and my dad bought Ryan’s all-time favorite alcohol [I love it too]: chartreuse. Monks sure do their alcohol well.

This was Philomena’s first experience opening numerous gifts. She caught on quickly, and the nephew/nieces were eager to let her “help” them open theirs.

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Speaking of the cousins, the hats I crocheted for the girls were a big hit:

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We woke up Christmas morning and opened a few gifts with just our little three-person family:

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Then, it was time to prepare for Philomena’s birthday-not-Christmas brunch ;). She won’t remember this one anyway, so admittedly it was more for the adults. And it was definitely a far cry from the Pinterested amazingness many one-year-olds seem to enjoy; however, she didn’t seem to mind. We had a sit-down brunch for immediate family [which was still 17 adults and 4 kids] and even used our wedding china for the first time.

Here is some of the simple decor. On the mantle I hung a MollieMaes bunting with her month-by-month pictures. [Thanks for the idea, Elizabeth!]

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Then, the tables had fuchsia decorations and napkin rings featuring some of our favorite Mena pictures:

christmas 9 christmas 10

My sister made a fabulous “adult” cake:


And a super-cute smash cake for the baby:


I wish we had gotten more pictures of the birthday girl with all the loving family members, but we just got busy.

Here she is with her daddy:

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And with the pope her papa:


Opening presents:

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Aaaaaaaand, drumroll please, here she is immensely enjoying playing-kinda-eating cake:

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After all the birthday festivities, we went over to Ryan’s side for Christmas night.

With her Uncle Kevin and Godfather-Uncle Kyle:

christmas 12Aaaaaand way too many awesome gifts from such generous 13

christmas 13The morning after Christmas, Daddy had a lot to assemble.


And, that’s it, folks. If you made it this far, congratulations. Maybe I should have edited down the pictures a tad. Indeed.


8 thoughts on “Philomena’s Second Christmas (Technically) and First Birthday

  1. Wow! Every thing looks wonderful. Definitely more than Pinterest-worthy. My fave picture is the one of Ryan at the end – only because we have many similar pictures of Steve.

  2. Pingback: two! | sarahunfiltered

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