Snapshots of Christmas Morning

December 29, 2010

I always seem to stress and get so wrapped up in the hustle and bustle during those last few days that lead up to Christmas and then the holiday comes and goes in the blink of an eye and I feel as though I didn't get to relax and enjoy it.

This year I made it a point to chill out and not sweat the small stuff. I really wanted to cherish every moment since this was Reagan's first Christmas.

We did have a wonderful holiday. My only disappointment was that we didn't have Nick with us Christmas Eve and first thing Christmas morning.

Ever since his Dad and I divorced, we had agreed on the holiday arrangement. We alternate who gets him Christmas Eve. Last year, we had him Christmas Eve and first thing Christmas Morning, so this year he was with his Dad. As you will see, there are very few pictures of him. He got to our house with just enough time to open his gifts before we had to leave and head to my parents. It all worked out, it just would have been nice to have all the kids together to open their gifts.

These pictures not the greatest and I didn't even attempt to edit most of them. The light was horrible and I was forced to use my speedlite(which I never do) and when I did not use the speedlite, I had my ISO cranked up to the max, so they are pretty grainy or noisy, but at least I captured some memories....right?

Santa's Cookies and Milk Collage
Sarah was especially excited when she saw that Santa left a note in her favorite colors, pink and purple! She was also happy with her decision to leave him a few oreos in addition to standard Christmas cookies. It appears that Santa loves oreos as much as Sarah does. He also eats them just like her.....licks the filling and leaves the "lids".

Opening gifts and getting hungry collage
Sarah had to show Reagan how it was done as she was a little unsure what to do with all of these wrapped gifts under the tree. After four years, Sarah is a pro:)

Lego Building Collage
The giant pink and purple legos were a big hit with both Sarah and Reagan.

MandM Collage 2
Santa left Sarah two packs of M&M's in her stocking and the minute Sarah emptied her stocking on the floor, Reagan scooped them up. She has never had an M&M(to my knowlegde), but she was drawn to them and once she got them in her little hands, she would not let them go.

MandM Collage
It was either the smell of the chocolate or the sound that they made when she shook them, but they were the highlight of her morning. I love the shot of her looking at Sarah and touching her face as if to say "Hey, stop looking at Mommy and help me open these things so I can eat them"

Sitting with Legos and MM'sBLOG

I'm Hungry
After she gave up on the M&M's, she moved onto Santa's leftover cookies. She started eating the cookies on the plate and then I realized it would probably be a good idea to feed my frustrated and hungry baby girl some breakfast.

Ball Pit Collage
While I got breakfast together, Pat put up the princess ball pit and as soon as the girls saw the balls go in, our familyroom turned into the set of wrestlemania! There were balls flying everywhere, lots of giggles, a few headlocks, and some serious staticky hair!!

Nick Christmas Collage BW
Before long Nick joined us and opened his gifts too! He was thrilled with his new guitar. He got his first guitar last Christmas and has been taking lessons for a year now and he LOVES it. Reagan jumped in to help him open his gifts... I think she was hoping to find more M&M's!

Reagan BW
After all the gifts were opened and we got everything cleaned up, Reagan put on her pretty little Christmas dress.

Reagan Ball Pit Collage

Just as we were getting ready to head out the door to go see my parents, Reagan decided to jump in the ball pit one last time!

This was such a special holiday for our family as we have waited so long for Reagan. It felt so good to finally have her here with us after the many Christmases of the past that were filled with waiting and wonder. It was definitely a holiday to remember.

I did find myself getting a little wheepy at times when I looked at her. The memories of her humble beginnings and her orphanage are never far from my thoughts, but they were especially close this Christmas.

I couldn't help but to think of how different her life would be if she were still in China and I could not stop thinking about the many children who are still there waiting for forever families. Many who will never get to experience "Christmas" as we know it.

My trip to China changed me in ways that I can't even begin to explain, but it has definitely given me perspective on life and the things that really matter. We are so fortunate for all that we have and I am trying hard not to take any of it for granted.


Buckeroomama said...

Oh, Lisa --these are all precious, precious photos! I love seeing the joy in their faces and I especially love that one shot of Reagan looking at Sarah and touching her cheek. Super sweet.

Here's wishing you all things wonderful for the coming new year. :)

Heather H. said...

Merry Christmas to you, Lisa, and all your family!


These Are The Days said...

I can so relate with your tearing up as you think about little Reagan's humble beginnings. I feel the same way w/ Sophia and still almost 4 years later find myself doing the same thing now and again. Love all the pics, keep them coming! :D

Christy said...

We got a ball pit for Christmas too! Super fun! I love your pictures so very much and little Reagan looks to be fitting in so well. I'm like Buckeroomama and love the one of Reagan touching Sarah's cheek.

Wanda said...

These are wonderful shots Lisa -such joy spilling out of each one. I love the one where Reagan is looking up at her big sister. So sweet.

And I'm so glad to hear that you relaxed and really drank in your first Christmas with Reagan. It's so important to really appreciate everything moment we have.

I hope the rest of the holidays are fun-filled and relaxing.


Charmaine Poulin said...

Absolutely beautiful shots! What wonderful memories you'll have!

Virginia said...

These are such precious photos!
She looks like she's just flourishing and Sarah looks like a natural born big sister. I still get weepy over some of the simplest little things sometimes when I look at my girl. Reagan looks like she really enjoyed her very first Christmas. Have a wonderful New Year!

Dita said...

I'm with all the lovely women who reached this post before me...such beautiful memories of a very special 1st Christmas for Reagan home safe and sound.

As I told you today, these pictures will be cherished memories for years to come...they show the flourishing relationship between all 3 of your children...who are growing by leaps and bounds with every new post.

I know how your trip to China has changed you in so many ways you never expected but I also know that with the experiences and insight you gained along that journey you will enrich and change so many lives along this next leg of your journey.

Happy (almost) New Year, My Friend....its been a long year and I know you are ready to move into this next one!


Missy said...

I'm so happy that you guys had such an awesome Christmas with Miss Reagan and the rest of the fam! These pics are overflowing with happiness, love and life! I ADORE the pic of Reagan reaching for her sissy's face...sooo sweet! Glad you relaxed and enjoyed what is really!!! Hope you guys are gearing up for a big New Year!!! xoxo

Photography said...

I always enjoy visiting and your photo's are always a delight!

Unknown said...

Lisa -the shots are beautiful - however, the story that goes with them is even more...touching, inspiring and filled with deep love. A love that one can only truly understand when you have seen the children left behind and all those waiting to be safe, warm and loved. I understand the small piece of your heart that will always remain in China. Mine will never be the same after going to Guatemala 13 times or to Ethiopia last winter. I will never look at the world the same.

Much love and Happy New Year!

Kim said...

As always, the photos are captivating ... and your words are moving!
Thank you for sharing life thru your new set of eyes!
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

Number 6 and no more counting! said...

I always get the message that you don't take much for granted.

I loved getting a glimpse into your Christmas morning.

A D O R A B L E!


Elizabeth Lyng said...

That image of Reagan touching Sarah's face made me gasp - just beautiful and so very sweet!

Mimi said...

Lisa, I'm lost for words.
This is just beautiful, so beautiful.
Reagan is a different child, I can see how her whole face has relaxed and oozes happiness. The picture of her looking at Sarah is a gem- she's a fully fledged part of your family now, thank God.
Thanks for sharing these wonderful moments.
Happy New Year to you and your family.

Love Letters To China said...

What beautiful memories you captured. They are all wonderful photos of a day you will not long forget.

Even though I didn't travel to China with Mark, I have those same feelings. I often think about the children still waiting for their families to arrive. I wish every single one of them could experience what your sweet Reagan was able to do on Christmas morning.

We have a busy weekend ahead once again. My big girl is having her birthday party at home this year. Will be one day we will soon not forget. ;-)

Happy New Year Lisa!


Sherri said...

Merry Christmas Lisa & Family.
Reagan has changed so much from the pics of a couple of months ago. I love, love, love the pic of her touching Sarah's face.

Freckles & Dimples Photography said...

What a special Christmas for you and your family. Wishing you a wonderful, healthy and happy new year!

Formerly known as Frau said...

What a wonderful all the pictures! Especially Reagan gripping the M&M's a girl needs her chocolate! Happy New Year to you! Gonna be a great year!

Ashley Sisk said...

It looks like you had a wonderful Christmas and Reagan looks like she's loving it!

Robin said...

Such sweet pictures and such a sweet time together!


R Montalban said...

They say all is well that ends well, so I hope this year does just that for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a wonderful Christmas! Great photos.

Everything Beautiful Shay said...

We SURE are fortunate!!! Loved seeing your beautiful photos of Christmas. Who care about light, high ISO, or grainy~ they are perfect to me because they are full of love!!! :)
Blessings and Joy to you all!!!

Unknown said...

dads make their kids the prioritizing factor in every decision they make. They make sure that nothing and nobody takes precedence over their children. If needs be, they give up careers, homes, and dreams to be where there child is. They do it, and they do it at any cost.

Proud to be a Single Dad

Liz said...

beautiful children sounds like you had an awseome time.

Kayce said...

A beautiful Christmas! I was thinking of you guys a few times throughout the day and was pretty sure your day was a fantastic as ours was! Glad Nick made it just in time! We too are on the same schedule with Jake and next year will be awesome having all three of your babes running down the stairs to see what Santa brought!

redmaryjanes said...

Absolutely Darling!

Unknown said...

Oh it looks like you had a wonderful memorable Christmas, beautiful photos!

Gail said...

You captured your Christmas oh so well Lisa...I love Reagan's expressions. The love between her and Sarah is so obvious. The ball pit pics are hilarious.

And you and I have had some heartfelt conversations about our children's humble beginnings and those that may never be adopted.
You can't take that journey and not be changed.

I look forward to what the New Year brings my friend!

love you,


Michelle R Photography said...

What a special Christmas for you!!! And oh my, you even matched the wrapping paper with the girls' jammies - in my favorite colors no less!! I love the ball pit pictures. And Nick with his new guitar - WHAT a handsome young man he is!!

I am so happy for you, Lisa, that you were able to enjoy this Christmas with Reagan. Happy New Year!!


Casey said...

What is it about our girls and sugar?? Em is attracted to anything with sugar in it even if it was wrapped in kryptonite. lol. She looks so adorable!! I bet she is just made of sugar.

And what a brave mom you are giving them a ball pit!! lol. I bet you'll find those balls in the funniest places.

So glad you enjoyed your Christmas!! You have such a lovely family and I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Sharon said...

Our boys think alike and so do our girls! Gene got a new guitar and Linhsey got the same legos! Merry Christmas. The pics were wonderful, and I am sure this was a very special Christmas for you.

Anonymous said...

Such a glorious family! Thanks for sharing!
I don't know if you know Edie or not,but i have a prayer-hop for her on my main blog: if you would like to add your prayers.

Jboo said...

Oh my -- what a wonderful Christmas! Gorgeous photos -- the girls are so sweet and so is Nick! The first special holiday of many for your sweet Reagan! Happy New Year.


Diana said...

All 3 of your kids are beautiful!!! My favorite picture if Reagan touching Sarahs face..beautiful!!

Hannah said...

I've loved following your blog and to get to see your daughter come home has been such a joy to watch.

I love watching the relationship between your son and daughters. My son and daughter are 12 and 4.

Happy New year!

Stephanie Thigpen said...

Love all of your Christmas morning pictures! What an adorable family.

BA said...

Oh Lisa, I would not wait to see your pictures!!!! and of course they are fantastic!! Love the way you capture their faces!!!!!
We have been home with our daughter 6 years and still not a day does not go by that I don't think about the 15 months she sat in a SWI with no family--with nothing! Still brings me to tears after all this time!!!! These babies are incredible--strong, brave, amazing!!! So glad your family has Reagan home for this wonderful holiday!!!!
Happy Happy new year!!!

JinXiu said...

what glorious pictures. The shirts say it all " Joy" you are so blessed.

Marla said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE all of these! The M&M pictures are hysterical, baby girl is growing and changing so much, I can really see that in these. Love the ones in the ball pit too, I can tell that toy is a major hit.

So happy your family was all together for Christmas this year and that Reagan had a blast. Love you girlie!

Tammie T. said...

Happy memories! Thanks for sharing your Christmas with all of us. Looks like it was extra special! :)

Patricia said...

Perfection!! Looks like you all had a fabulous Christmas!! Adorable photos!

Anonymous said...

You have such a beautiful family! Thank you so much for sharing your perspective & wisdom.

JMCS said...

Absolutely darling Lisa! Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family.


paige said...

such a beautiful post my friend.
i am so thrilled to watch this chapter of your life begin.
you are amazing
& you are blessed

so honored to call you friend

Jodee said...

It looks like you had a great Christmas! Of course, I love the matching PJs! So glad Reagan's first Christmas was so special! She is such a sweet blessing to your family.

Football and Fried Rice said...

You captured some pretty amazing moments! I love the picture of sarahs beautiful face and Reagan looking at her! I love their matching pjs...isn't it fun to say "my girls"?

Especially considering how long you waited to say it:)

Glad this Christmas was Merry - you are so blessed!

Unknown said...

Love all these shots! It makes my heart smile every time I see Reagan and how happy she is!

Thanks for sharing with us!

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

Denise said...

As always, beautiful pics! I am so grateful for your friendship and mentoring this past have helped change my life Lisa, thank you! You sounded so tired today, so I am praying for you...and thanks for the wedding encouragement, I feel better already!

elliotts said...

Lisa-these pictures as always are fabulous! Happy New Year to you and your family...I am so glad we have connected, and hopefully 2011 will lead to an in person visit!!


Galen said...

Wonderful Christmas photos! The shot of Reagan touching Sarah's face so lovingly is a precious moment (even if was because of M&Ms). Reagan is simply breathtaking in her beautiful, special dress.

a Tonggu Momma said...

Reagan's joy with the M&Ms reminds me of the Tongginator's baby fascination with sugar packets. *grin* Loved seeing this peek into your Christmas and next year will be even BETTER with Nick there!