Stewart Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014 was one for the books.  I love that my entire family is still able to get together for the holidays.  Its a wonderful mix of fun and chaos and good food and movie nights and snuggling babies.  

We started Christmas Eve off by driving up to my Grandma Stewart's house in Carmichael (just outside Sacramento) and visiting with her and her husband Peter for lunch.   
After lunch, we took advantage of being in Carmichael and stopped by my Grandma and Grandpa Stewart's old home.  Grandma sold this home after Grandpa passed away in 2001 so it's been a while since we've been here but goodness this home holds much of my childhood!  I risked seeming like a total creeper and stood in front of it to take pictures--hope the current homeowners didn't notice!
Then we headed back to Walnut Creek to start putting our Christmas Eve dinner.  We've adopted my brother-in-law Patrick's growing up tradition of having a fondue dinner for Christmas Eve. The table was full of a smorgasbord of food to dip into cheese.
And then the rest of the night was full of watching Christmas Mormon Messages, acting out the nativity, holding a talent show and opening Christmas jammies. 
^^These two had a blast with each other.  It's so fun to see cousins be friends. 
^^When I said "Smile!" they both did this same exact closed mouth smile face.  It's like they are brothers or something. Henry's look especially kills me, the sweetest!
^^Getting ready for her role as the sheep
^^Mary and Joseph
^^Is that not the best angel face? So regal.
^^Baby Jesus was a very good sport.
^^The sheep was very in to it all as you can tell ;)
^^Not quite clued in to the whole unwrapping thing yet.  But we were pretty excited for her to get her first Christmas jammies!
And this next series totally gets me.  Christmas was a complete success if for no other than the fact that we got these three in matching jammies and they held still long enough for these pictures to be taken.  These next three photos are from my dad :)

Then came Christmas morning, which was super exciting for us new parents as we put out Eleanor's presents and tried to get her excited for what was to come.
^^The traditional Christmas morning line-up

Aaron made Eleanor walk the long way to her Christmas gifts and she was all about it.
^^Santa purposely spelled her name wrong since there was only one letter each in the block set :)
^^Santa knows her favorite treat!

I love this next sequence of photos.  Her smile is just the best!
^^Those little teeth!
^^She got a ukelele!
^^We are going to print this photo out and blow it up.  My life is complete now that I have seen my dad make this Superman pose in his new Superman robe.
^^Christmas morning waffle tradition
Christmas was exhaustingly wonderful as always.  We had a big Christmas dinner that night but I didn't get any photos of it.  My mom is a great cook and she goes all out for these holiday meals.  We finished the night off with putting the kiddos to bed and watching movies. 

The rest of the week was filled with good old fashioned family bonding.  Brad's Emily had just returned from her mission so it was fun to have her with us for Christmas.  Blair and Chelsea snuck away to celebrate their anniversary and we got to watch their kids for the night.  And of course, Eleanor was in kid heaven and loved being surrounded by people her size all the time.  I snapped these photos during Sunday School because I couldn't get over how cute these kids are together. 
All in all, we had a fantastic time with the family and we left wishing Christmas vacation could have lasted even a little longer.  Now we can just look forward to Brad and Emily's wedding this summer for our next Stewart family gathering!

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