charlotte : christmas.

moving away and following your dreams is all fun and games until it's time for christmas and then it's like, wait but why are we not all together? it sort of felt like that last year, when we weren't all together for christmas either, but i sort of just pushed it aside as the exception, since my family being stretched between three different states was still a relatively new arrangement. surely by this year we would have things figured out, right? but actually, it felt like we were even more unsettled, in the middle of dreaming and planning and changing.

my parents (who i mentioned are currently living in separate states) and heather were all in CT together, while T and lee and luca and josh and i were all together in charlotte.

i got to charlotte three days before christmas, and we mostly spent those days baking and having dance-party-sing-alongs to the best christmas album ever recorded (mariah carey's merry christmas, of course). luca really enjoys auntie's dance moves and mommy's singing. and by that i mean, he mostly looked at us like he didn't understand what was happening.

baby, all i want for christmas is youuuuuu.

T and i did our nails all festive for christmas. and matching, of course, because that's just how we do life. practically the exact same way.

it didn't feel like christmas. of course it didnt. we weren't all together, but there also wasn't any snow, or any leftover snow, or even an appropriately cold temperature. (the south, you know.) even with the stockings and the tree and the christmas nails. it felt strange to be leaving the house on christmas eve, wearing a light jacket, to go somewhere that wasn't the candlelight christmas eve service at my old church in CT. elevation had a great thing going for christmas (of course they did), but i've never known anything other than a room full of people and lit candles and the lights turned out.

however, we did cling to our long standing tradition of the christmas eve photo shoot. AND THE BOYS WERE COOPERATIVE. up until a certain point, but still. it needs to be noted, in caps, for the record. this is significant, you know. and also includes luca, who always knows where the camera is. (i wonder who taught him that?)

side note: you better believe i was smooching those cheeks every chance i got.

and then, christmas. luca's first christmas.

we woke up, opened some presents, hung out, ate some reese's trees for breakfast, napped. you know, typical christmas morning activities.

like i said, we're all about the matching.

i also want to give a shout out to lee, who was (mostly) patient with us as we gave him specific instructions on how to take the photo (no, don't hold the camera that way! make sure you get our feet!) and then had him retake it like three times. at least.

we had brunch for our meal, which is not exactly the spread i'm used to having on christmas, but breakfast foods at any point on any day is a win in my book. i was in charge of the pancakes and french toast (because we had to have both, you see, because some of us like pancakes and some of us like french toast) and T was in charge of the bacon and eggs and ham. and potatoes.

okay, she had a few more things than me and i'll admit that there is nothing more stressful than cooking bacon, but figuring out how to simultaneously cook pancakes and french toast is quite stressful as well. i may have even flipped a piece of french toast right onto the floor at one point. but rest assured that i did eventually find my groove and they were delicious.

(shout out to my mom, who can simultaneously cook all of those things by herself. i realized that i have not given her as much credit as she so very clearly deserves.) (cooking is hard.)

the day after christmas, my mom and heather drove down to charlotte (with their dogs in tow) and we celebrated christmas again with them on friday night. so i guess being separated isn't that bad when it means extending christmas? but it was still that bad because i didn't get to see my dad for any part of it.

my mom got luca this rainforest and that was it. the rest of our time was devoted to watching him play in it.