On Christmas Eve my family always had a tradition of letting the kids open one gift from our parents (This way Santa didn’t get ALL the credit) and my brother kept that tradition going. My niece got a Lego set and since I have loved Legos for as long as I can remember, was probably more excited to play with it than she was.
The two of us worked on it together until it was time for her to help her mom bake some cookies for Santa before going off to bed. We managed to put the car together and I promised her I wouldn’t finish it without her. She didn’t trust me though so she took the box with her to her room (Smart girl).
Maria Skyped with her family which was pretty tough because they’re close and it’s the first year that Maria is not around for the holidays. They’re very supportive,and are extremely proud of her for doing this. They just want it to be over already, and to have their daughter home safe and sound, having experienced an epic journey.
It’s also tough because Maria’s little brother (she still calls him that despite his age) and his wife are having a baby in April. To call Maria an epic aunt is an understatement. She takes her aunt title very seriously and her nieces and nephews can’t get enough of her, so not being around for little E.J’s birth will be really really tough.
Later that night while everyone was asleep, Maria and I snuck into the living room and set up a camera to capture Santa in action and we did. He did manage to discover the camera and while he didn’t seem thrilled he luckily didn’t hold that against anyone.
When morning came we all were amazed by Santa’s generosity. Like any little kid, Aurora dove into the presents and went to town. It is very apparent based on the gifts that Santa has some sort of partnership with Disney and probably a little crush on Elsa from Frozen. (I sure hope Mrs. Claus doesn’t know about that!)
In one of the sweetest moments I can ever remember, after she opened up all her new gifts, with a sea of unopened toys just begging to be played with, Aurora walked back to her room, grabbed the box of Legos from the night before and asked me to help her finish putting it together. Yup, I melted.
We worked on that while my sister-in-law, Heather, made a huge, delicious breakfast for everyone (Sooo much Bacon!!!!).
The rest of the day we spent playing with all of Aurora’s new toys…we even let her play with them some times too!!! (We’re so nice aren’t we?)
The next day Maria and I put some time into doing some last minute things for Houdini. We made a mosquito net from an old tent (it was Maria’s first tent and she was a bit nostalgic about it and sad while cutting it up.) for the back doors, a make shift awning for them as well and some walls to put around the main awning to give us some respite on a windy day.
The next day was our day to leave. We said our goodbyes and started to drive off and our niece started running alongside the van as the three of us did the Slackline Muddy Buddy chant.
We’ll miss our nieces and the rest of our family as well but it’s time to get traveling.
Next stop…we’re not sure yet. 🙂