c h r i s t m a s | 2 0 1 5.

christmas twenty fifteen looked like this.

after being in nashville for less than 48 hours, i turned around and made my way to charlotte. H and J had to work, so they spent christmas in connecticut while the rest of us were in charlotte.

i will never not feel weird about us being in different places for holidays. or in general, but especially on holidays.

mom, T, and i carried on our tradition of baking fudge and peanut clusters. although, it was sandwiched between the other activities we had going on that day and we didn't make nearly as many as we usually do.

we also forgot aprons and this is the only photo we took, with "let's get this over with" expressions.

it was fun, as is anything we do when we're together. but it was less of an event and more of a thing we were trying to check off our list, i guess is what i mean to say.

never not in love with this boy.

although, he is less about auntie these days and more about mama and daddy. like i'm shocked he even willingly participated in taking these photos.

my parents' neighbors got their kids a puppy for christmas and they kept her at our house until christmas morning.

her name is macy and she is the tiniest, fluffiest puppy.

pre-church selfie.

when you both have the same good side.

growing up, we always took a photo of us lined up on the stairs on christmas morning. i posted about this last year, when we were all together and able to re-create it. this year, we woke up in separate places. H and J in connecticut, T at her house, and me at my parents' house. T sent a photo of luca on the stairs, so i had my mom take this one. H also sent one of achilles, which made me laugh out loud.

our plan was to open stockings before breakfast and the rest of our gifts after T, lee, and luca came over. before we started, my parents' asked if i wanted to make coffee before opening stockings.

"because it would be better for us if you did," they said.


but also, yes. coffee first always.

we had some kind of a french toast bake for breakfast, and then monkey bread (!!) for a snack when T arrived.

the thing about monkey bread is that it's DELICIOUS and my mom used to make it often when we were little, but she rarely makes it now. she made it to surprise us, and we were both absolutely thrilled.

my mom let me in on the secret when she casually mentioned it should be coming out of the oven around the time T arrived and i gasped so obnoxiously, i basically sucked all the air out of the room. when T saw it sitting on the plate after she walked in the door, i was upstairs getting ready but i could still hear her reaction.

monkey bread is the best.

luca is at the age now where he understands what it is to get a present and reacts appropriately. in fact, there were a couple things he kept asking for, by name. by this i mean, when i arrived in charlotte and walked in the door, he greeted me by asking for this one toy in particular.

here, he is opening ton-ton, the toy he was most excited to open.

however, i will say that when he got to my parents' house on christmas morning, the tree and unopened presents waiting for him, my name is the one he was calling when he walked in the door.

i like to remind myself of this when he whines and swats me away when i try to feed him or give him a bath or take him out of his car seat or, sometimes, just look at him.

at least he was more excited to see me more than he was excited about getting ton-ton.

abs and J got me the coffee supplies, and while we were facetiming with H and J as we opened gifts, abs wasn't there. so i sent her this photo.

i also got these earrings, and i wanted to see what they looked like, so i used the selfie camera as a mirror. and then it was just like, well, i might as well just snap a photo while i'm here.

somehow, there was a matching pajama pant tradition started. i don't remember how, but it's not surprising, considering how we end up matching, intentionally and unintentionally.

thanks to facebook, we know it goes at least as far back as six years.

T recently got new glasses that are similar to the ones i have. in one of these pictures, we're wearing our own. in the other, we swap. i'll let you guess which one is which.

on saturday morning, we mostly sat around with our phones glued to our hands, excitedly awaiting text updates from H regarding the hike she and J and abs went on. we all knew they would be coming back down the mountain newly engaged and we could barely contain ourselves at the thought.

they facetimed my parents and T and i at the same time to (officially) tell us and show us the ring. abs had requested that she be the first one to see it, so all we had been working with was the unopened box he sent a photo of that morning.

more on this later, but i cannot miss an opportunity to express how THRILLED i am. not only because he is (we are) getting a great girl, but because it's ABS.

i like to remind him i liked her before he did.

watching inside out.

the guys were confused as to why a bunch of grown ups would be interested in watching an animated movie, but they totally liked it.

we did a lot of hanging out, per usual. but this time it involved paying with all the new toys he got for christmas. and taking selfies.

luca says "on your mark, get set, GO" and takes off whether you're ready or not. he will also cut in front of you to take a small detour to stomp in a puddle.

he also stops when you say to, which is nice and refreshing after being on the road for five weeks with a couple of kids who would run and not stop.

on monday morning, T went to get the girls she nannies while i stayed home and let luca wake up on his own. he was not thrilled when i went in to get him (because, i'm not mama) but that didn't stop him from wanting to cuddle.

shaking it off.

in all seriousness, when all else fails, have a dance party. t-swift is still his favorite.

documenting what his face looks like. because it's constantly changing.

on this day, we went to a children's museum with an area called "aunt sarah's attic." luca's cheese face kills me. it also kills me that i get to be his aunt.

looking casual while actually throwing toys out of the chest.

the little boy T nannies has this cape that he let luca wear.

i went to the bookstore, in search of a book i wanted to read before ordering online, and i happened upon this pop-up book full of transportation vehicles. he didn't seem too thrilled about it when he opened it (probably because it wasn't a dinotrux toy), but it's the one he picks to "read" over and over before bed.

his favorite pages are the ones with construction vehicles, the "pooper scooper scooter (from france)," and "blades" - the name of a transformer helicopter from the robots show he watches. he also likes the rocket ship that pops up and has fire underneath it and the page with an ice cream truck.

getting ice cream out of the ice cream truck and handing me some.

T and lee live near this waffles and espresso place i've been wanting to try, so my dad and i had a breakfast date.

later, we hung out at the house (while T worked) until it was time for me to go to the airport.

because i spontaneously decided to book a flight and travel on top of traveling.