After our busy pre-Christmas week, it felt good to pull up to Mitch and Kathyrn’s house on Christmas Eve and settle in for a few days of laying low with family. I missed these kids!
THIS. This is what I needed.
My dad helped with some last-minute light-stringing in the front yard…
And then it was time to eat! Salmon, chicken wings, roasted veggies, a couple of bottles of good wine – these Jarrells do tasty+healthy right.
The girls got to open their new Christmas pajamas from my mom that evening…
And then, there wasn’t anything left to do but hunker down and wait for Santa to come down that chimney.
We heard the pitter-patter of excited feet running circles around the house early Christmas morning and sleepily made our way upstairs to see if Santa had indeed made a stop at Chez Jarrell. HE DID!
Watching Juliette unwrap this stuffed puppy was the highlight of my morning.
Unwrapping my new boots was highlight #2!
Elise, the budding scientist, was over the moon about her new electricity kit.
My mom, meanwhile, was thrilled with her jars of duck fat and clarified butter (to each his own!).
That blessed moment of post-gift peace, when everyone sits back for a minute to admire their new wares…
We rode that post-gift wave for most of the morning, as the girls set up shop in the dining room to play with their new art supplies and magnets.
Eventually, though, we were all ready to get out, so we hopped in the car and drove over to Westmoreland Park to bike and run and climb. Poor Shane came down with a stomach bug the night before, so he stayed back at the house to sleep it off.
Morgan was eager to try our her new running shoes. It looks like Mitch has just realized he can no longer outpace his daughter!
There was some more quiet afternoon play…
And then I settled into the couch with the girls for our traditional viewing of The Polar Express.
Turns out, this movie is a bit more intense than I realized! Juliette nearly jumped out of her seat as the train skidded across the ice.
We ate a hearty Christmas dinner and then it was back to the chessboard.
And, a Christmas dance party! Courtesy of Juliette and Morgan. What a day.
The day after Christmas was quiet – we slept in a bit and then walked over to the neighborhood Starbucks with the kids for muffins and hot chocolate.
My mom and dad left later that morning, pausing on their way out the door for a few family pics.
The rest of the day was a bit hazy…more chess, I think. Mitch and I got out for a long walk while Juliette napped. I drank a lot of tea and ate a lot of ginger cookies. The girls were thick as thieves.
Tuesday, sadly, was go-day. Elise read Juliette’s new books to her for the umpteenth time while Shane and I loaded up the car.
We grabbed coffee and a scone on Division Street…
Played a round of hide and go seek in the yard…
And then, fare thee well, Jarrells! ‘Twas a very merry Christmas.