Our family photo in front of the Christmas tree. (Photo by Heather)
Me & Makai (Photo by Heather)
Makai and Heather
Aunty Laura, Heather, Rachelle: We all got the memo to wear maroon sweaters!
On Christmas day we always go to Dallas’s Aunty Gail’s house out in Mount Prospect, IL. This year Danny, Caroline and Rory were in South Carolina and Scotty, Krystyn and Hideto were in Utah. Cory and Chris stayed in Vail where they live and Uncle Sonny and his family didn’t make it because he just had surgery. So, the group was smaller….. but still a lot of people!
Aunty Laura & Aunty Gail
Every year Aunty Gail makes beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, corn, green bean casserole and her mom’s lettuce/mayo/crab/pea salad. It never varies. Dessert varies because other people always bring different desserts, but Aunty Gail always makes her signature cookies. Uncle Neil and Aunty Peggy’s family came later after they had dinner with Aunty Peggy’s family so we were actually all able to sit at one table without having side tables or kiddy tables. This is who was sitting across from me:
Hana & Makai
And we might not have had a kiddy table, but there was a baby section where babies were sleeping during dinner. Or maybe not sleeping, but hopefully being quiet.
Aunty Laura, Doug, Makai (Photo by Heather)
Grab Bag Gift Exchange (Photo by Heather)
Every year Aunty Gail reminds you a hundred times to bring your grab bag, “no junk!”. This year the gifts all seemed to be decent and the swap did not get too crazy. Almost everyone just took a gift from the middle without much stealing. I’m not sure why. Maybe it was because the family had FOUR new babies to distract them!
Makai & Alexia (Photo by Heather)
Alexia was reaching out to touch Makai and Makai was tipping over on his own, but it totally looks like she is pushing him down!
There was Makai, of course. Austin was born in February, Alexia was born in July and Hanako was born one day before Makai in October! The family was shocked to add not one, but TWO girls. As you can see from this cousins photo, there are a LOT of boys. Poor Kate has been the only girl for AGES.
Tommy, Tyler, Ben, Austin, Derek, Makai, Chris, Eddy, Hana, Kenji, Mitch, Alexia, Kate (Photo by Heather)
Makai was such a good boy. He has a very calm demeanor even where there was so much going on. Aunty Laura was holding him and Hana at the same time and Hana was so upset. .. and Makai just sat there. “Whatever.. I’m chillin’!”.
Aunty Laura with Makai & Hana (Photo by Heather)
There was one time that I put him in a crib upstairs that Aunty Gail has and then I sat down to eat. I heard crying and it took me a minute to register, “Oh, that’s MY kid.” Another time I passed him off to Aunty Laura to eat a slice of delicious cake that Naoko made. I got to talking with people and a while later realized that Aunty Laura STILL had him. Not only that, she’d rocked him to sleep and was still holding him! I need to work on that. I promise, I don’t forget I have a baby when I’m at home! I guess it is good to forget once in a while.
Dallas, Tommy and Mitch playing with some fancy robot toy that Tommy got from his grandma in Japan.
Overall, great family dinner. Nice to see everyone, even if I only had brief conversations with a few. Until next year!
Dallas & Makai
Dallas & Makai (Photo by Heather)
Note: In the hustle and bustle of getting everything together for Makai and for the gift exchange and some things we were storing at Aunty Laura’s, I somehow forgot my camera! Luckily, Heather and Naoko are more seasoned moms than me and remembered their cameras. I must thank them for a bunch of these photos! The other photos are from my iPhone, as you can tell by the poor quality in the low lighting!
Aly, Aunty Laura, Makai, Aunty Glenna (Photo by Heather)
Previous Christmases at Aunty Gail’s: