Now, December

I realize we're all about 2015 these days, but I cannot let my favorite month of the year go undocumented.  It was glorious, stressful, full, fun, joyous, and...full.  I love December.

 Unbelievable as it may seem to us, Ella celebrated her ninth birthday.  It was a low-key but fun day of lunch and presents with the gals, followed by her first ever mani/pedi combination treatments.  She can never go back now, I'm sure.

Unbelievable as it may seem to us, Ella celebrated her ninth birthday.  It was a low-key but fun day of lunch and presents with the gals, followed by her first ever mani/pedi combination treatments.  She can never go back now, I'm sure.

 Before we knew it, Christmas Eve (and the chance to open just one present) was finally here.

Before we knew it, Christmas Eve (and the chance to open just one present) was finally here.

 What it looks like when a six-year old opens a present with pure excitement only to discover...it's jammies. (It ended well.  They are his favorite jammies now.)

What it looks like when a six-year old opens a present with pure excitement only to discover...it's jammies. (It ended well.  They are his favorite jammies now.)

 How to get your kids to pose for just one quick photo together on Christmas morning?  Threaten not to let them open any gifts until the next day.  Yes, I went there.

How to get your kids to pose for just one quick photo together on Christmas morning?  Threaten not to let them open any gifts until the next day.  Yes, I went there.

 Distribution time.

Distribution time.

 You can never be too safe with a treasured new toy.

You can never be too safe with a treasured new toy.

 Nana made the coolest knit initials for each of the kids this year. 

Nana made the coolest knit initials for each of the kids this year. 

 Michael clearly agrees!

Michael clearly agrees!

 Yes, our kids like putting things on their heads.  It never gets old.

Yes, our kids like putting things on their heads.  It never gets old.

 While all of the family was gathered Christmas Day, Ella snuck in Birthday Celebration No. 2!

While all of the family was gathered Christmas Day, Ella snuck in Birthday Celebration No. 2!

 One perk of a child who refuses to sleep anywhere but home...a chance to see the sunrise over the lake. (Although, if I'm being honest, sleep is totally better.)

One perk of a child who refuses to sleep anywhere but home...a chance to see the sunrise over the lake. (Although, if I'm being honest, sleep is totally better.)

 The pups needed frequent breaks from each other.  They disagreed with this policy.

The pups needed frequent breaks from each other.  They disagreed with this policy.

 Before the freeze set in.

Before the freeze set in.

 Time to get the ribs smokin'.  Brisket was anxious to learn as well.

Time to get the ribs smokin'.  Brisket was anxious to learn as well.

 Not to give off the impression that only wholesome activities happen at the lake...iPad City.

Not to give off the impression that only wholesome activities happen at the lake...iPad City.

 Meanwhile, time to clean yesterday's catch!  One of a few very successful days out on the boat.

Meanwhile, time to clean yesterday's catch!  One of a few very successful days out on the boat.

 When on vacation, play cards.  Lots of them.

When on vacation, play cards.  Lots of them.

 Preferably while drinking hot chocolate.

Preferably while drinking hot chocolate.

 Vacation is tiring.

Vacation is tiring.

 Just kidding.

Just kidding.

 Move aside, boys.  I've got this next shot.

Move aside, boys.  I've got this next shot.

 Y'all!  Happy New Year.  May it be the best one yet. 

Y'all!  Happy New Year.  May it be the best one yet.