Christmas Eve in the Lanese House was super relaxed this year. Lilly Belle and I spent the morning baking cookies and playing while Matt worked from home. We made our favorite Peanut Butter Blossoms even though we still had like 4 dozen cookies left from the cookie exchange I had with my friends.
Lilly Belle and I had to run to Target for a few last minute things and when we came home, Nana and Papa's presents had arrived and Matt had them all set up under the tree. We Skyped with them while we opened our gifts and Lilly Belle was so excited to "see" them!
Just as we were about to head out to church before dinner, my childhood dance coach and her girls surprised us with a visit! I didn't know they were in Orlando until Matt saw it on Facebook a few hours before. Lilly Belle showed them her recital dance and they taught her a few cute little songs too - she loved it! It was a really nice visit and felt good to have some "family" with us for Christmas. I was feeling homesick all day.
We made it over to church and Lilly Belle was thrilled to see that her friend Emilie was in Kids Church with her. They got to go on a train ride outside around the parking lot during the service and she made me a sweet nativity craft. Lilly Belle is like mommy and loves going to church!
We headed home for our usual traditions - even though it was super late! We had our chicken asparagus casserole (tradition for 8 years now since Matt and I were dating and he made it for me). We had hot chocolate and popcorn while we watched The Grinch and Mickey's Christmas Carol. Lilly Belle was exhausted so we read her The Night Before Christmas and she got to sleep in our bed. She loves when she gets to sleep in our room! She was also excited to wear her Santa "footies"!
One last time checking the Santa Tracker! He was in London. She didn't understand where that was, but we have some friends who were in England, so I told her that Pennie and Poppy were getting their presents delivered and she was happy about that.
We set out the cookies and then it was time for Santa's Elves to get to work! We put the hoop together in about 3 minutes and then...it was time for that crazy kitchen. It took us 3 hours to put it together. Matt and I usually hate putting things together...together, but this wasn't so bad.
We were exhausted at midnight when it was all done, especially knowing Lilly Belle would be up crazy early the next morning!
It was a wonderful Christmas Eve. I'm so thankful for our little family and that we have Lilly Belle to experience Christmas with now.