Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas celebrations underway!

On Friday after Thanksgiving, we headed out to pick up Andrew at Ga Ga's and drive to Craig's parents for an early Christmas!
When I was growing up as an only child...this was what I envisioned Christmas looking like.  So many family members, kids and tons of presents to open!  This is what the Huegel family Christmas looks like!  I always knew I'd marry a man from a big family!  Ha!  It is so fun and there is never a dull moment.
I think Andrew's shirt is a misprint!
Andrew and Kerigan with their presents
I love this- cousin Brooke admiring Kerigan, and Auntie Darlene
This is blurry because I was laughing so hard.  But everyone else got these nicely wrapped presents with colored paper and bows... this was Craig's present!  (And don't you love the Elf in the background??  Ha!)  I just think this is so funny.  We do a gift exchange with Craig's siblings and his younger brother got his name.  I think one time he had my name he wrapped my present in a diaper box!  Ha!  At least the gift inside was nice! :)
The Huegel side of the family is growing... but these remain the only 3 boy cousins (out of 7, soon to be 8 grandkids).  They all got matching jammies from grandma.  Craig's sister is having a girl at the end of January!  All the cousins are so close in age and they all love each other so much and love playing together.  Andrew was so sad when it was bedtime he insisted on sleeping with Evie and Jayden!  Ha!
We had tons of good food and munchies... all the kids snacked before bed!
The next morning we woke up and got in our Christmas outfits for pictures and Craig's mom's side of the family had a huge Christmas celebration!  It is next to impossible to get a picture of this many kids looking at the camera.  This was the best we could do!  But they sure are cute! 
And if that wasn't hard enough, we decided to try the whole family in one!  Talk about impossible!  This was the best one with my camera, but there were about 16 cameras (not really)... but I think we got a good one on someone else's camera!
Much easier... just Grandpa and sweet granddaughter.
We all got together at a large hall so we could fit my mother in law's 9 brothers and sisters and all their families in one room!  Talk about tons of food and family fun!  Andrew was so darn sweet this day.  He is getting so good at puzzles lately.  He was just engrossed in this (when all the other kids were playing with play doh!)  He was so focused.  He'd look carefully at the box, then find the piece.  Aunt Joan helped him a little, but not very much!
I was so proud of his determination.  He normally would have given up, but he just kept at it until it was all done.  I learned later that his cousin Evie had wanted him to put it together for her, so when he was done he ran and got her and she came running to look and said "Good job, Andrew!" and gave him a big hug.  I could have cried it was so sweet.
These two are 4 days apart in age.  And the love is so amazing!  Andrew just adores her (and all his cousins).
After the Christmas, we added one more thing on the agenda for the evening!  A baby shower for Craig's sister!  Bring on more pink!
I decorated the tables with baby clothes wrapped in ribbon and headbands and bows!  What else??  Ha!
All of my wonderful sisters in law!  Love them! (Craig's sister in the middle...the rest of us are married to the brothers!)  So happy to be part of a big family and get the sisters I always wanted!
Back at grandmas on Sunday morning, more puzzles!
So sweet... Andrew looked up at me and said "no more pictures!"  It was so funny!  He was trying to concentrate and I was bugging him!  Ha!
This is what we did most of the time, and I just love this.  Everyone just hanging out, doing puzzles, chatting, snacking and being together.  This is what I always dreamed it would be like having a big family.  And it is just how I pictured it.  And I love it.

We had an awesome first Christmas.  I can't believe how fast the season is going already and it isn't even December yet!  But my plans are working out... by starting early, we have the decorations up, the outside lights up, one celebration behind us... now I'm ready to bake and shop and wrap my heart out!  It feels so good to get things crossed off the list!

(And yes, I make sure I check it twice!)

Thanks for a great weekend Mom and Dad Huegel!

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