Wednesday, John and Ava took a little road trip to Medina to see Gram. She hasn't been feeling well and John wanted to squeeze in a visit. I had to work and wasn't able to go.
Ava and GramWednesday night, we went to visit Baby Sawyer and give him his Christmas present. I can't believe how much he has grown since the last time we visited.
He wasn't too thrilled with Ava holding him this time around. But it was time for his bottle!!
Friday afternoon, we went and picked up Aunt Emily. She spent the afternoon with us while we baked cookies for Santa and a birthday cake for Baby Jesus.
Enjoying hot cocoa
Baking Santa's cookies!
But the best thing came on Friday night! Ava, Aunt Emily, and I went to Detroit to pick up Uncle Nate!!!
Later that evening we celebrated Christmas with my mom's friend, Tracy. We had Chinese food and exchanged gifts.
Santa handing out the gifts
And then it was full on concentration while she opened her gifts.
Nana and her popcorn machine
Our first family tradition starts on Christmas Eve for lunch. We meet my dad and his brother's and their families at Fricker's for lunch. John had to work so he couldn't make it this year.
After Fricker's, Ava and I went to visit the cemetary and wish my friend, Tiffany a Merry Christmas. Her first Christmas in Heaven! I hope it was great!
Christmas Eve night, we move on to our next tradition...Church. And here is the standard picture in front of the Christmas tree. She was definitely more cooperative this year.
But the best story of the day comes during church. Yes, I said during. Ava was doing really well but was starting to get restless. So, she walked down to see Nana. Well, about 3 rows behind Nana was a man named John who goes to our church. Well, you see, John has a pretty big beard. And to a 3 year old who associates a beard with Santa Claus, well, guess what happened? In the middle of church, Ava yells "Santa!!!!" and is pointing to John. She asked to go sit on his lap. And so she did. And proceeded to tell him that she wanted a bear for Christmas. John was such a trooper and happily obliged. He said that is something he will always remember.
Ava and Santa (John)
After church, we stopped to visit some friends and then proceeded to tradition #3 of the day. Our entire family and including some friends meet at the truckstop at 10pm for "dinner". We've done this for many years. It started with about 5 people and has now grown to about 30-35 people. Ava did really well considering being up so late.
After the truck stop, we made it home around midnight. Granted, I had to basically pry Ava's eyes open so we could leave cookies and milk for Santa.
And then he visited!! Those are NOT all for Ava!! I swear! It's all of our family presents that we exchange as well. Everyone just brings them over early.
But Santa couldn't proceed without eating his cookies and drinking his milk!
Ava did alot better this year and was tearing into her presents right away!!
And enjoying her candy canes
Aunt Emily and her favorite, Jacob!!
After opening presents, we had breakfast, I attempted homemade donuts this year. They turned out really well! So YUMMY!
I love this dress I got for Ava for Christmas Day. I LOVE, LOVE the pillowcase dresses. I got it big so she could were it next year, too!!
We hosted again this year. We deep fried a turkey and put on the rotisserie. Uncle George came up for the day so here is him and John carving the turkeys. This picture cracked me up!! They are like twins!
Waiting patiently for presents
Blurry picture, but this was her FAVORITE gift! She hasn't put it down yet.
Ava and cousin Ryan
Uncle Nate was flying out early the next morning so we were sucking up as much time as we could. Here is Ava and Nate getting ready to fly to Florida. She told me I could come and visit. :)
A few family pictures, too.
It gets harder and harder to say goodbye to Nate. I keep thinking it will get easier. But, nope. I bawled like a baby all night.
Monday was spent recovering, putting stuff away, organizing. Oh, and a big 2.5 hour family nap in our bed.
We went to Medina on Tuesday to see Gram. She was doing REALLY WELL! We were so pleased. Will stopped by to visit, too. And Ava got to enjoy a tea party with him!