Connolly Family Christmas!

I won't apologize for the length of this post or the inane amount of pictures. 
Don't ask me too. 
But I'm sorry ok, I don't scrapbook so this will just have to do! 
(on that note: if you're one of the future Connolly generations and the internet still exists and you're here to see what your ancestors were like - 
Welcome! We've been praying for you!)
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Here are the stats. 
3 days, 13 hours in the car, 2 states, 3 kids, about 6 stops for discipline, toooo many presents, three family gatherings, more money spent on gas than we budgeted for, one blessed family. 

Our Christmas extravaganza started on Thursday with a quick trip to Charlotte to take Pop & Kiki their car as they were arriving from Germany! I have no pictures of this trip because we were psychotically late to get them, kept hitting little glitches, and our kids were utterly melting down for about two hours straight. After meeting up with Pop and Kiki, we tried to redeem the trip with a quick Starbucks trip on our way back to Columbia. We all got out, shared a cookie, and then the kids slept the rest of the way home. Except for Benja, who has decided that while he's comfortable sleeping ALL DAY LONG at home, he'd rather always stay awake in the car. Which is way more funny than annoying, because he says hilarious things to us. 

Ok. On to Friday!
We were in a mad dash to get back in the car Friday morning and book it to Charleston to celebrate with the Hopper/Walters family! And you know what that means! Lots of Asher snuggle time! 
this is me showing Asher to Elias. Shortly after this, Ruby stole him back from me and said, "seriously - I want to hold him". If she wasn't so pretty (and his mom), I would have fought her for him.

speaking of pretty, have you ever seen seven such beautiful kids?! Never. And yes, Rubes had a baby a week ago and looks like a super model. It's much easier if you skip jealousy altogether and move to appreciation:) 

This picture makes me feel really overwhelmingly blessed. 
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy! 

We went to an awesome Christmas Eve service at Seacoast and vowed that every year Nick isn't preaching on Christmas Eve, we'll try to be there. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. It was also Elias' first time going to a Christmas Eve service and he was hooked. They had an ipad band AND a candlelight portion at the end, so he was basically in heaven. This picture is totally unrelated - Glory having a holy cow meltdown in the car. I would say she spent eight out of the thirteen hours in the car screaming at the top of her lungs. That is NOT an exaggeration. 

Saturday morning was present time and our kids were so sweetly blessed by their gifts. For kids who had no possessions a month ago, it's been beautiful to see their reaction to "stuff". This is Glor playing with her pots and pans - which are honestly so nice, I'd like to borrow them. Especially the strainer.


We had a few hours of toy time and then it was off to see the Connolly's in Waxhaw! Here is one of my fave car pics. We've been working with Elias on being Benja's "big buddy" - holding his hand when we're out in public, helping feed him at meals, even getting him dressed. He's been so awesome at it and is such a great big brother. Here he is applying chapstick to Benj. love. 


Nick's parents gave the kids their very own ride-on toys! Our kids are in heaven! We also got to see Uncle Leland, Megan, and Haley - which was awesome, because it's been too long! I love spending time with Nick's family and we're so blessed to have them. When we get back in the car from seeing them, the conversation always goes this this: 
Jessi: "man, I love them."
Nick: "yeah, me too."

Then it was off (in the snow!) to Shelby for the massive Moss gathering. 
There are no pictures because there are like sixty three Moss's - no lie- and we had to rush in and rush out to get back on the road and get back safely (in the snow!) to Columbia. It should be noted though, that my sweet Aunt Sandy stole my dirty Santa gift at the last minute and I wanted it so bad. (tupperware and Chik-fil-a gift certificate) 
Sandy, I will never forgive you. 
(j/k - love you!)

and Sunday was a snow day! Elias woke us up at an ungodly hour to see the beautiful snow!
And we played and played and played and played. We opted out of church since the kids had been in the car for three days straight and had a lovely family day. 

After 635 meltdowns, this girl needed some time out of the carseat. 

And we may or may not have improvised & put saran-wrap on the kids feet since we didn't have snow gear. All I could think about was the 18 pairs of snow boots we have in storage in Seattle, But it didn't mater because we were in the snow for about 12 minutes before the kids wanted to come inside:) 

And that's it. 
Christmas is over. 
And it was beautiful. 
How was yours?!