We had a great Christmas here with my parents and sister. We opened stockings on Wednesday when my parents got here (we couldn't resist). On Christmas Eve we baked Christmas cookies including Snickerdoodles and molasses crinkles. Danielle and I also had a battle with fudge that lasted three rounds :(. The last batch was great, so I guess it was all worth it. Christmas Eve night we went to church and then came home and ate birthday cake. Ethan loved that it was birthday cake for baby "Jee-sus".
Ethan loved opening presents on Christmas morning and even asked days later if we could open presents.
Here he is with the "read" he got from us. An ABC book of his second year of life. He also got a "need" of socks and shoes and a "want" of a work bench with wooden pegs like I used to have when I was a little girl. Probably his favorite toy was the hot wheels city that my uncle bought him. You can see him here playing with it, or on our shutterfly site in the Merry Christmas video.
Here is most of our presents spread across the whole living room:
The day after Christmas we headed to the Smokies for Ethan's first hike. He has been hiking before, but this was the first time he hiked with his own two feet. For a not too difficult hike with a spectacular goal we chose Laurel Falls. In retrospect it was probably the best choice because the trail is paved and that makes walking even easier for a 2.5 year old toddler.
Considering that this trail is moderately difficult I think he did a great job! He walked up the trail for at least a half of mile and then he spent some time on Auntie's back and then on Daddy's shoulders.
When we finally got to the falls I think Ethan was a little overwhelmed. He looked around for a little bit, but then he just buried his head into Auntie's shoulder. The water was higher than I had ever seen it, coming up and over the bridge and covering rock that I know is bone dry in the summer.
On the way down the trail I thought Ethan would fall asleep in someone's arms. Hiking up the trail really wore him out! The most impressive thing for me was that even though we didn't leave the trail till about 3, and even though Ethan hadn't gone to the bathroom since very early that morning, he was dry when we reached the visitor center that had bathrooms!