It feels like Christmas came and went so quickly – I cannot believe that 2016 is here!! It was so awesome having Maury, Rachael, Junior, and Ellie in town for such a long visit over the holidays. Loved spending so much quality time with everyone!
We spent Christmas Eve Eve at The Jefferson Hotel under their huge Christmas tree and toasting to the New Year! Love this annual tradition! On Christmas Eve, Ryan’s family has an annual tradition to get together — it’s always great to catch up with everyone. We then headed over to my parent’s house for dinner — their home, as always, was decorated to perfection! The lights outside, the tree, the candles, the music, the centerpieces… I’m envious of my mom’s attention to detail! Christmas Eve dinner was delicious!! I look forward to the spinach stuffed tomatoes all year! I felt so incredibly blessed to have us sitting around the dining room table, exchanging stories, toasts, and laughs. Loved that Maury dressed up as Santa Claus and read The Night Before Christmas — it was his first year reading it to everyone — Grandaddy Russell has passed the torch down. That evening sure did get me in the Christmas spirit!
Growing up, our family had an annual tradition on Christmas morning… my parents would wake up early and Dad would get the fire roaring and Mom would get breakfast started… Maury and I would anxiously wait at the top of the stairs until it was ready for us to come down. We would then hold hands, close our eyes, walk down the stairs, down the hallway, and turn the corner into our family room where the Christmas tree was filled with presents. Mom would then say… “okay, open your eyes!”. Santa leaves his presents unwrapped under the tree and my brother and I would always be SO excited to see what he brought us!
Now that we have Maury Junior, my brother made sure to stick with tradition and do the same for his son. Ellie is still too little to know what was going on but she’ll catch up soon enough. Watching the joy in Jr.’s eyes as he came downstairs to see what Santa brought him just melted my heart. He squealed with delight when he saw all of his presents under the tree. He was grinning from ear-to-ear the entire day! It is such a beautiful thing to watch everything come full circle and see Maury’s family carry on the Christmas morning tradition with their kids… something that Ryan and I can’t wait to do the same with our children one day.
We spent the morning exchanging gifts and eating a delicious breakfast (also a tradition to have Mom’s famous casserole!). Ryan and I received so many lovely gifts!!! Henry loved his first Christmas too! Later that afternoon, we went over to Ryan’s mom’s house for more gifts! Loved spending time with Ryan’s brother and niece! It was a fun-filled day! Certainly a busy one but also very relaxing. So many blessings to be thankful for.
These photos make me smile!! I realized after the fact that I’m not in the majority of them… life of being a photographer, I’m always behind the lens. But I never regret it because now we have these memories to look back on. I also made sure to sit back and take it all in too and not be too focused on capturing every moment. In looking at the photos from Christmas morning… in many cases I would grab my camera quickly and sure some may be out of focus, my manual settings might not have been just right, but the joy and the memory was captured and that’s all that matters! Enjoy browsing some favorites!
At The Jefferson 🙂
MiMi & Russell holding Ellie for the first time 🙂
Christmas Eve dinner!
I gave Maury and Rachael an album of Ellie’s birth story!!!! SO in love with the final product!
Will do a blog post on it soon 🙂
The breakfast spread! DELICIOUS!