Christmas Eve was really fun. We usually go to church in the evening but thought that it would be smarter to go earlier because of Cecily. Our usual tradition is to go to church in the evening then eat at a restaurant like Hof's Hut or Coco's (places we would never eat usually - for some reason, they're so fun on Christmas Eve). That just sounded like a nightmare with Cecily though. She's usually really good when we go out, but we didn't want to risk it and have her screaming her head off in the lounge at Hof's Hut with all the older people trying to enjoy their drinks and dinner. Too stressful.
So instead, we went to the 2:00 p.m. service at our church. We put Cecily in a cute Christmas-y outfit. She wore shoes for the first time! I bought those for her the night we got scary news from the doctor about my placenta prematurely aging, anticipating that she'd wear them on her first Christmas. It made me feel better to buy something for her, and I'm so happy that she was actually able to wear them for Christmas! The rest of the outfit we bought for her was way too big and had to go back. The shoes are still a little big, but they looked darling. Levi and I both wore red shoes to match. Haha! We're nerds. I never got a picture of all our feet together though. We're not very good at getting photos of all of us together yet. We took about a zillion photos on the steps before heading out.
(I made Cecily's headband the day before.)
We left early so that we'd have time to get lunch and coffee beforehand. We tried a new place called Pandor across the street from Kean. It's a little boulangerie and café. We shared a croque madame, and it was DELICIOUS. Probably the best I've ever had. After lunch, we popped into Kean for some decaf macchiatos and my beloved Susie Cakes sugar cookies (I'm addicted). We made it to church with time for me to feed Cecily and get seats! This NEVER happens. A Christmas miracle! The church service was really beautiful. The theme this year was Wonder. We focused on how awe-inspiring God is and how His creation should fill us with wonder. The drama team did a really incredible performance (it even included a dance that reminded me of the wild rumpus in Where the Wild Things Are). But my favorite part was singing by candlelight and celebrating Jesus in worship.
Cecily was pretty good. I just had to hold her and stand in the back the whole time... as usual. I think we might have solved this problem this past weekend though. We got a carrier for Christmas so I wore her in that last weekend, and she didn't make a peep the entire service. Much better!
After church, we went home and baked some really awful cookies. Ha! They seriously went straight into the trash. We watched Elf, and Levi made our favorite cornflake crusted chicken. We decided to make a tradition of reading The Story of Holly and Ivy to Cecily on Christmas Eve (we aren't going to do the Santa thing so we didn't want to read her The Night Before Christmas). This was, by far, my favorite moment of Christmas. The book is pretty long, and I didn't expect Cecily to listen to more than a few minutes of the story. It took more than a half hour to read, and Cecily sat on my lap, quietly and happily listening to the ENTIRE STORY. At the end when Ivy goes to her Christmas tree and finds Holly, Cecily started panting a little bit and sounded all excited. I cried after I closed the book. Reading her first book to her was one of the sweetest moments of my life. This girl is everything I dreamed she would be and more. And more. And more. And more.