Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas!  Well, Christmas has come and gone, and 2017 provided a pretty festive, jolly holiday.
Last Thursday I went to the Austin Trail of Lights in Zilker Park with Amy, Raylan, and my parents.  I don't think I'd been to the trail of lights in many, many years.  I certainly hadn't been to visit it during the current era, with lot of complicated displays and live music and rides and on-site Santa Claus.  It was a fun evening.  Raylan had a really good time, of course.  We went ahead and bought a zip pass, so we got to get in an hour or so before the general admission gates opened.  There were still quite a few people there, but it didn't feel too crowded.

The Zilker Christmas Tree.  Obligatory Zilker Tree picture.

Raylan rode the merry-go-round with Grandma.
When I asked him how he liked it, he said,
"It went up and down.  It was loud."

I mentioned that Raylan liked the lights, right?
Christmas Eve was on Sunday this year.  I think Saturday was spent running around and trying to get some last minute errands resolved.
Our Christmas Eve was a little unusual this year in that they held a service in the morning.  We ended up going to the morning service in order to accommodate Raylan's nap schedule and so we would have more time to make it over to Ryan and Jamie's house in the evening.
The Sunday morning service was pretty nice.  Raylan made it through a little more than half of the service, which was more than I was expecting out of him.

Raylan and Amy before church

Family picture at church

Grandma and Papa with some little kid
After church we got home and got Raylan out to ride around on his bike.  The weather was cool and clear and nice.  We headed up to Joslin Park to go to the playground.  Rylan is getting really good at riding his balance bike.

This tree was bright and colorful enough to fascinate a
two year old

Working out with Mom on the exercise equipment at the park
On Christmas Eve, Ryan and Jamie had all of us over for a dinner/party gathering.  Doug and Kristen were in town from the Bay Area.  Susan, Mom, Dad, Dick, and Juan Diaz were there as well.

It may something about me as a person that I mostly forgot to take
pictures of people at Ryan and Jamie's house, and yet I have a
picture of the food.
We had a nice evening at Ryan and Jamie's.  The food was good, the company was pleasant, the house looked festive, and everyone seemed to have a nice time.  Raylan ran around like the little party animal that he typically is at social gatherings (plus, this time he had Scout and Lucy to "entertain").  Thanks to Ryan and Jamie for putting on such a nice Christmas Eve gathering!

On Christmas morning we got up and did the pretty traditional Christmas morning thing.  Rylan was really happy to open his gifts, and seemed genuinely thrilled to get them.  In fact, at one point he sort of got overwhelmed with all of the excitement.  He retreated to his room, where I found him sitting on his bed.  
He told me, "I need to rest."
Of course, the "resting" only lasted about 30 seconds before he sprinted back down the hallway to the tree to look for more presents.

Raylan started to yank presents out from under the tree, but I quickly
snapped this pic when he ran to his room for a breather.

Amy helps Raylan open a gift

I help Raylan open a gift

Christmas fever!

Raylan is fascinated and mesmerized by the marble run
After we opened presents and helped Raylan play with a few, Amy made a really nice breakfast (eggs, hash browns, sausage, English muffins, fruit).
I took Raylan for a ride on his balance bike, and we went to Joslin again.

Christmas seems to be working out okay for this kid.
After we got back from the park we loaded Raylan in the car and drove out to my parents' house in Steiner Ranch.  We got there sort of early so we could put Raylan down for his nap at their house.
Later on, the gang came over for dinner and to celebrate Christmas.  Susan, Uncle Donald, Ryan, Jamie, Doug, Kristen, and Dick were there with Mom, Dad, Amy, Raylan, and myself.

We had a really nice time!  Dinner was good, and the company was good.  Raylan woke up from his nap, and was happy to find that a party was going on.

Mom, doing a good job hosting her umpteenth Christmas celebration.
We had dinner, drinks, and dessert.  We opened a few more presents.

Amy and Uncle Ryan help Raylan figure out what his stocking stuffers are.

Doug, Kristen, Ryan, and Jamie keep things merry and bright over
on the sofa.

Mom snaps a picture of me talking to Uncle Donald

From left to right:  Mom, Kristen, Doug, Jamie, Ryan, Susan, Me, Raylan,
Amy, Uncle Donald, Dick, and Dad
We had a really nice time at Mom and Dad's.  We all left there feeling happy, jolly, and full.  Thanks to them for hosting!  It was a great way to spend Christmas Day.

And that was about it!  The Christmas holiday has been a good one at our house.

Raylan gets super involved with his train set on the day after Christmas
I hope everyone else had a good Christmas as well.

Peace, love, and joy to all of y'all this holiday season!

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