I remember my birthday one summer...not sure exactly how old I was turning.  8?  9?  I. was. so. excited.  It was a wonderful day (although now I don't remember what made it so wonderful...sorry, mom...guess I'm getting old.) and at the end of it I cried.  I was so sad that such a fun, special, perfect day was over.  That's how I felt about Christmas yesterday.  From the time I got up until the time I went to bed I was having fun.  Christmas (and Christmas Eve for that matter!) were blissful days here, just as they should be.  Sledding, hot chocolate, games, crafting, napping, wrapping, excitement, Santa visits, unwrapping, snuggling, new books, new games, new crafts, family, friends, fun, amazing food.  No stress!

shrinky-dink necklaces the girls made for me at school...I love them so much!!
 The girls are at such a good age...old enough to really have fun at Christmas, but not old enough that they have expectations of extravagance.  Old enough to enjoy opening gifts and appreciate people's giving.  The best part of my day was watching them give gifts to each other.  They've made gifts for one another since they were able to, but this year they were really able to grasp the idea of making something that the recipient really wanted.  They came up with their ideas on their own, I just helped it all come together.  Sweetly, they both knew what the other *really* wanted for Christmas, and they each chose to give that gift to the other.   Kelsey really wanted "a good book" she kept telling us all, so Stacy took that idea and wrote a book for Kelsey.  She wanted it to be about Kelsey, so she came up with the idea of picking pictures of K doing things she liked and then writing about them.  She picked all of the pictures and did all of the writing.  Kelsey was delighted with the finished product!

the cover
looking at it together just after K opened it
Stacy really wanted a baby doll.  I Googled rag doll tutorials and patterns with Kelsey and she chose this awesome one which turned out to be even more wonderful than I realized because it also includes a tutorial for the hair and a pattern for a dress that fits her.  Perfect!!  Kelsey drew the picture below of how she wanted her to look and then worked from her drawing when it came time to create the details of the doll.  Kelsey and I worked on it all day Saturday and then I worked on the hair in the evenings.  I had never made a doll before, so doll hair was all new to me.  The tutorial was awesome though, and she turned out great.  Stacy loves her!

working from her drawing
finished doll
anticipating Stacy's opening of the doll
happy recipient
Of course, there were so many other wonderful gifts, too!  Games, clothes, new backpacks stuffed with new art supplies, fun lotions, chap sticks, a cool scribble bot, a connector kit to build things out of household recycling...the list of kind and thoughtful gifts goes on and on.  We're so thankful to everyone who thought of us this holiday season!  So grateful for all of the beautiful cards and gifts.  Thank you!

I'll leave you with a few pictures from today...crafting, soup in my new pot, checkers!

Kelsey working on her lion creature cushion
Stacy working on her elephant creature cushion
soup in my favorite new pot
learning to play checkers

 And check this out!