Yesterday was a marathon session of one get-together after another.
Our agenda included:
9 am-Breakfast with Santa
12:30 pm-nephew's birthday party
2 pm-baby shower
6 pm-staff reunion
Of course, each place was 30-45 minutes from our house in opposite directions, so a considerable amount of our day was spent on the road. It ended up causing a domino effect of being late.
There wasn't much opportunity to sleep in since everyone had to be dressed and in the van by 8:30 a.m. We met all of Jesse's family at their church for Breakfast with Santa. Amelia and Madeline wanted nothing to do with Santa! In fact, Maddie immediately started clawing poor Santa. Jesse and I ended up having to hold them. You can still see the scowl Amelia has towards Mr. Claus.
We were all able to eat pancakes and bacon,
then participate in crafts.
Maddie felt the need to go through her MiMi's wallet. This picture cracks me up because I am certain I have at least a dozen photos where I am giving the same evil eye at my mother while she took a picture of me. These girls of ours are going to give us gray hairs.
We managed to take several photos of all six grandkids with their MiMi and PaPa. This was my favorite. I love every single expression. (Admittedly, James is showing no emotion, which is typical for his photos.)
On the way home Jesse stopped to get gas. We ended up getting stuck in a car wash line for 15 minutes. This delay sent the rest of our day off schedule. I had to rush home to finish decorating the baby shower cake. I kept the cake very simple since I had waited until the last minute on a very overscheduled day. We had to run by the church on the way to my sister's house to drop off the cake, since I knew I would be late to the shower.
A half hour later we were at my sister's house celebrating my nephew's 15th birthday. My older nieces immediately confiscated the girls. All of the girls turned around when I came in, though this picture was not posed. I literally opened the door and found them like this. Love these girls!
I never managed to actually take a picture of the birthday boy, but here's a snapshot five seconds after he blew out the candles on his cookie cake. Do you think they were ready for dessert?
Jackson missed his usual Friday play date, so he was happy to play with his cousin after lunch.
I wish I had taken video of Maddie's reaction when James came near her while she was eating. She morphs into an aggressive, irrational monster. The girl will not share food, and is especially defensive around James. While Jesse fed Maddie dessert, she immediately scratched and smacked James when he approached the table. Before you knew it, all four kids were impatiently in line awaiting dessert.
As we were leaving, Jackson asked me to take a picture of himself with Clifford in front of my sister's inflatable. Again, I was joyfully taken back by his eager request.
The plan was to go home so the kids could nap, then I would drive to church. We were so late, Jesse agreed to drop me off at the church while he and the kids played in the nursery. The baby shower was for a friend of mine who is pregnant with twin girls. She already has a little girl that is one week older than the triplets. The four of them play and dance together. It will be so fun and nostalgic to hold two newborns at the same time.
One of the games we played was sorting and folding a basket of baby socks. We were each timed. Every woman except one was a mother, most of whom were mothers to young children. The average time was around a minute. I finished in 29 seconds. I guess it's just one of the many mommy tasks I've unknowingly mastered.
The cake turned out better than expected. I used the cream cheese pound cake recipe to make a four layer cake. I dyed each layer an increasingly darker shade of pink, and did the same with the icing. I had made the baptism and birthday cakes for my same friend's daughter. Many of the women asked for my business information, then seemed disappointed that I do not sell cakes.
Jesse was a bit irritable that I returned fifteen minutes late. The kids, on the other hand, were more than happy to continue playing in the nursery.
The final event of the day was a holiday party with dozens of my favorite teachers. The first school I worked at was closed by the district (along with several other schools), due to budget cuts. The staff has remained close, even though we've all found ourselves at different schools or careers. Our former principal organized the gathering and hosted at her spacious home. We made our rounds, with drinks and appetizers in hand, reconnecting with one another. I always feel at home with my two mentors and fifth grade teammates.
It was an exhausting day, but filled with so much laughter and love. I don't think I've ever had the privilege of seeing both sides of our family, church family, and work family all in the same day.