As usual, Riley was a little overwhelmed when we arrived and actually wanted to be held. I know these days of holding her are numbered since she's getting so big so I have to admit I like that she wants this sometimes. Once she started to warm up we guided her to play with the other kids in the back room. Most of the kids are older than her so she tends to tag after Jackson who is pretty close to her age.
The older kids had a hide and seek game going on which was pretty funny since there was maybe two spots to hide in the room. Whatever - they had fun. Jackson and Riley don't fully embrace the rules of hide and seek so the fact that the hiding spaces were limited meant nothing. They were still super excited.
|Stopped for a little dancing. Wearing a dress brings the ballerina out in her apparently.|
Somewhere along the line we ate food. Lots and lots of wonderful food. And treats. And then did crafts, some played cribbage, and the kids continued to run around...
|Grandma was wearing the necklace Riley made for her. Grandma rocks.|
The kids waited anxiously for Santa to arrive. There was a big debate about what sort of vehicle he would have.
And then Santa arrived!
The kids immediately lined up in front of Santa. Except my kid. She cowered behind me and eventually ended up in Jesse's arms. I hope one day this become less scary for her.
It became clear that Riley would not be walking up to Santa on her own or with grandma. Once her name was called Jesse walked up with her while she had her head buried in his shoulder.
And I thought we were making progress after last year where she actually stood in front of Santa.
|2010, 2011, 2012|
Most of the other kids were a little more receptive to sitting on Santa's lap and the cuteness meter went through the roof when the twins fist bumped Santa.
|Waiting patiently to open her gift.|
|Haha. Other gifts in action.|
I still sometimes find it odd to have married into a large family. Jesse's immediate family is small, but since his mom is one of 11 kids I would definitely consider this a large family. I mean, I shouldn't find it odd since I have 15ish siblings myself, but it does. The odd part is that I was always the one explaining to other people whose kid belonged to which sibling and now I am the one trying to remember every one's name and what family they belong to. Luckily, Patty organized the following family portraits which is a great way for me to finally (maybe) figure this out (except that we didn't capture everyone).
Riley's timidness had worn off at some point and she walked right up to Jesse's aunts and uncles and started belting out B.I.N.G.O. How can you not love this family - look how in awe they are of my kid. These people rock.
And then there was an attempt to get a picture of all the kids and kids' kids. And since I was using my 50mm lens there was no way I could get everyone in the shot unless I moved waaaaayyyyy back...
But it turns out I wasn't the only one taking pictures... : )
I think this is my favorite picture of the bunch. Everyone just wanted to seal this moment in time... to capture the holidays and know that we stopped to spend a little time with our loved ones. I love this time of year. Happy Holidays!