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:
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:
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.
Speaking of the cousins, the hats I crocheted for the girls were a big hit:
We woke up Christmas morning and opened a few gifts with just our little three-person family:
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.
Then, the tables had fuchsia decorations and napkin rings featuring some of our favorite Mena pictures:
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:
the pope her papa:
Aaaaaaaand, drumroll please, here she is immensely enjoying playing-kinda-eating cake:
After all the birthday festivities, we went over to Ryan’s side for Christmas night.
With her Uncle Kevin and Godfather-Uncle Kyle:
And, that’s it, folks. If you made it this far, congratulations. Maybe I should have edited down the pictures a tad. Indeed.