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Svea's First Christmas

Christmas came...
and it was, 
like I already said,

On Christmas Sunday, 
both of my parents spoke in church and we loved listening to them speak
and bearing their testimonies of the Savior.

I am truly blessed to have such wonderful parents
who are such great examples to me.

That evening we ate together 
and had a nice family home evening. 
Svea even got a nice aerial view of the tree from Uncle Kaj!

Christmas morning came after an excruciatingly long night of checking the clock every hour.
I couldn't fall asleep at all and I was so excited when it was finally time to get up!
I mean just look at my Christmas baby!
Who wouldn't be excited for a first Christmas with that sweetheart?!

We gave our pups their Christmas treats 
and opened the stockings we had filled for each other. 
Svea's stocking had a little chocolate lab stuffed animal
which she refused to put down for the rest of the day!
A chocolate lab doll is always a safe bet with her.
My girl loves her doggies!

After we were done, 
we loaded up our gifts and drove over to my parents' home.
We have a tradition of coming down the stairs at 8am while my dad films us, 
so this year, 
Svea was in my arms as we came down.
We opened our stockings from Santa
and then read the story of Christ's birth in Luke.
After reading the scriptures, 
we watched the Nativity video
and were reminded of why we were really celebrating that day.
Svea snuggled into Kaj's chest and watched groggily.
She was precious.

Next was gift opening time.
We all sat in a circle and opened our gifts one by one. 
I absolutely LOVE watching my family members open their gifts 
and seeing everyones' reactions!

Hubby got me lovely little sewing scissors 
and Santa got me RedKen conditioner!

Lance received an extra special gift of a cross-stitched stocking from my mom!
She has made them for me and all of my siblings and father,
but they take a really long time, 
so this was a labor of love for certain!
She is so talented!

KineBritt got several books and lots of clothes!
She's our little bookworm.
I love her.

Kaj got some awesome new clothes (like Nike brand)
and one of the things I got for him was a big pack of Warheads.
When we were little we used to have contests to see who could suck on them longer
and who could eat them without tearing up. 
I love giving gifts that have memories attached.

Mathea, of course, is the fashionista of the family, 
so she was super excited about the clothes she got!

My dad is the "expressive" gift opener 
and definitely makes the best faces for the camera. 
He got his favorite treats, 
new books, 
and new clothes!

Jonas has been helping my dad build a doll house for him
for over a year now, 
so a lot of his gifts were doll house accessories.
He especially loved his "Uncle JJ's Notebook" from us.
We made lots of personalized gifts from Shutterfly
that turned out beautifully!

Svea crawled around and ripped up everyone's leftover paper.
She got mostly clothes for the upcoming year, 
but she also got a big shark (in the picture above)
some board books, 
and a Twig camera.
She really loved her camera!
My little photographer in the making...

She LOVES having stories read to her, 
so the board books we picked out have been wonderful for bedtime!

KineBritt wants to learn Russian too, 
so she got Rosetta Stone to help her along. 
I just love Svea's expression at Kaj kissing her in this photo!
She squealed with happiness afterward!

Overall, it was so much fun to have Christmas with my family
and ESPECIALLY because everyone was there together!

My favorite gifts were the handmade headband holders that my hubby made for us from scratch
and the chair that he created from an old nightstand!
They turned out stunningly 
and they match the bed end table that he made for us last year
out of an old coffee table!
I'm so blessed to have a handy husband who can take old things
or scraps of wood
and create amazing things for us!

Somewhere in the room, 
Svea found a lemon, 
which she sucked on for a majority of the time.
One of her funny quirks is that she LOVES eating lemons!
We always just have to make sure she doesn't rub the juice in her eyes, 
because she goes to town on them!

After we were done opening gifts, 
we had our annual wrapping paper fight with everyone. 
It's basically the Arizona version of a Christmas snowball fight.
It's awesome
and definitely one of my favorite Christmas traditions!

Grandma and Grandpa J stopped by to wish us a Merry Christmas
and Svea was happy to see them. 
She sure does love her family!

After all of the morning festivities were over, 
we all headed to my other Grandparents' home for dinner 
and extended family time. 
We ate a yummy Mexican food dinner
and my Grandparents gave me a stunning quilt!
Both of my G Grandparents love to quilt
so once upon a time, 
I asked my Grandpa G for a quilt
that was made from fabrics that reminded him of me.
That's exactly what I got.
They gave me a patchwork masterpiece 
with stories, memories, and feelings behind each piece of fabric.

After spending time there, 
we finally headed for home.
We put the baby down for bed
and crammed in one last Christmas movie for the year
while eating our raspberry Christmas cupcakes that I made
and sipping hot chocolate.

I am so thankful for peaceful moments like that with my hubby.
He works so hard to provide for our family, 
to love me, 
and to be a wonderful father.
Quiet moments spent snuggling him at the end of Christmas Day 
are a treasure.

Our sweet puppies looked adorable just lounging in their Christmas outfits
and playing with their toys. 
They really completed my day of being reminded of all the blessings I have
in the form of the ones I love. 

 This Christmas was my favorite one yet!
I can't wait for all of the years and memories to come, 
but for now, 
I am locking these sweet moments away in my heart.
They make me stronger when I feel tired or weak.

The few days after Christmas, 
I spent time with my siblings before Kaj had to head back to Utah for school. 
I really feel like I have the best siblings in the world. 
I love them all so stinking much! 
It makes me want to burst 
how much I love them!

I am so very blessed to have a wonderful family,
a beautiful baby girl, 
a hard-working and hot hubby, 
two loving pups, 
and a Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ, 
who both love me more than I can even fathom.
I love Christmas.
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