Sunday, January 23, 2011

Christmas Eve

I may be the last person in blogland to get my Christmas photos up, but gosh darn it, I finally have them ready to post!!

Please bear with me tonight as I'm going to put them up in three separate posts. Starting tomorrow I have some great scrappy stuff to share with you all week (I had about an hour to scrap yesterday and several hours today and got lots of stuff done), but tonight it's all about the photos. :)

For the last few years its been our "tradition" to go out for sushi for lunch on Christmas Eve. Normally you can find us at Edo, but this year we decided to try out a little place about a mile from our house. It was really, really good!

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We spent most of the day lounging around the house. I had a few gifts to wrap, but not many since I'd tried to stay caught up on them earlier in the month. We tried to go ice skating, but there were just tooooo many people there for it to have been fun, so we came back home instead (and caught Matthew West reading the Christmas story from Luke on WAY-FM on the way back) for more lounging (which I think for me meant scrapping).

We don't go to a mega-church, but it's still pretty big and on Christmas Eve it attracts a lot of visitors from the community. We love having everyone there, but it's gotten to the point where to fit everyone in (because the building just isn't big enough, even for the normal congregation) our pastor would have to preach 4-5 services on Christmas Eve. And the poor guy has had one blown vocal cord for over a year now, anyway (plus, isn't he supposed to get to spend time with his family, too?)

So, our church rented out a baseball stadium for the evening so everyone could fit in at once.

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A minor league stadium, but a stadium nonetheless.

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And it was awesome. Chilly, but awesome (I was wearing about four layers of clothes).

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And then there were fireworks.

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Lots and lots of pretty fireworks. They literally stopped traffic on the parkway as people pulled over to watch.

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And I was kicking myself for two things. First, for not bringing the tripod (I shot all of these handheld).

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And second for not bringing the 70-200 (I only had the 24-70 with me).

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But, really, when you get to see fireworks on Christmas Eve set to a really rocking version of "Joy to the World" it's all good, anyway.

It's also Christmas Eve tradition for us to gather with Darren's family for fondue. Elyse goes to her dad's house on Christmas Day, so his family has been opening gifts the day before Christmas for much longer than I've known them.

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I think I have a picture of Darren's sister making that same expression from almost every Christmas Eve I've been to with them. :)

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Opening gifts with his family is more than mildly chaotic, so it was really hard to get photos of everyone.

Elyse was pleased with her New York ornament, but really she's just so happy with anything at all that you give her.

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Darren's mom, dad, and his sister's husband, Jeff.

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And Mike, Jeff and Steph's youngest, who was understandably wound up all evening.

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By the time we got back home it was nearly 11 and we were sooooo ready for bed, and totally unaware of what we'd wake up to the next morning...