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Christmas Eve on New Year’s Eve

I know today is New Year’s Eve, but I’m going to share Christmas Eve pictures! Besides, our New Year’s Eves are always dull. Nick isn’t a night owl, so we’re usually in bed at our usual 10:30pm (I’m not going to sit on the couch by myself just to watch the clock change to 12:00am).

So Christmas Eve actually starts a little early for us. Usually it starts on Christmas Eve Eve, but this year it started on Christmas Eve Eve Eve. Are you following me? See, our church is very large. As in, we had 32,000 people attend Christmas Eve services this year (at 4 campuses across Kansas City). So when you’re trying to welcome that many people to church, and your biggest sanctuary “only” seats a little over 3,000 people you have to have services on the day (or days) leading up to Christmas Eve.

This year, we attended a Christmas Eve service on the 22nd, so Christmas Eve Eve Eve! We also attend the service specially designed for kids (no sermon, just music, drama and the candle lighting) on Christmas Eve Eve (the 23rd). Below are a couple of pictures from that service….

You can see Lily running through the very bottom of the frame on that candle one! She was wild and cracking me up! She loved her battery operated candle, she loved the music, she loved running laps around our chairs, and she loved when they turned off all the lights.

Because we had already attended two Christmas Eve services by the time Christmas Eve actually rolled around, we used the day to just hang out at home and have fun! Nick went back to the church to help in the nursery for some of the busier services, and I settled in for a fun afternoon with the kids.

A few days earlier, a new toy arrived for me – a Nikon D600! Woohoo! I had planned on upgrading my camera one last time (I was craving a better low-light body, and was dying to go full frame) in the first half of 2013, but when Nikon ran a great sale on the D600, I had to jump on it. While most of the buttons and dials are in the same place as they were on my D7000, there was a bit of a learning curve with a few things, and I was anxious to practice! Thankfully, my children were too engrossed in their other activities to notice me and my camera 😉

These pictures all just had a little contrast boost and then re-sized for the web. I’m in love! The detail is fantastic and the noise is minimal. I’m continuing to practice with it, because I have a couple of portrait sessions coming up this week!

That night, we baked up a pizza and as we were in the middle of dinner, Nick came home! Usually he doesn’t get home until after 9pm on Christmas Eve, so I was shocked when he walked through the door shortly before 6pm. The nursery had more than enough volunteers for the next services, so they sent my husband home. Woohoo! A Christmas miracle! 😉

After dinner, we popped in The Polar Express and enjoyed a little  family movie night! No, Nick did not really fall asleep, this is just more of him trying to leave his mark in a photo. You know him!

So there you have Christmas Eve! And Christmas Eve Eve, and Christmas Eve Eve Eve. I have just one more Christmasy post for you all, and it’s a good one. The boys were in their first play!

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