Christmas and the gifts received this year have been sitting with me for quite some time. I think back on my time spent with my family and realize my heart is still full from their genuine kindness and the time we spent together. I've written of a few...a small snapshot of a much larger home visit.

The Gifts

Gift 1:Siblings
The first and foremost thing that comes to mind is the gift of my siblings. Honestly, nothing in life has proven to be more lasting and loving, or made me as deeply happy (besides Andrew ;) than my siblings. I tell my parents, now, more than ever, that it was truly the best life-gift they could have ever given us.

Gift 2: Peter...victim of Grace's design techniques...he gives his best efforts at being a good uncle. He also has masterfully taken his seat on "The Board of Zuniga Tradition Keeping", keeping everyone dutifully informed at what ceremonies should take place and when.

Gift 3: Godparents, they made Christiana feel so special.

Gift 4: Uncle Paul, spends most of his time entertaining the kids and is their favorite.

Gift 5:Cookie Decorating Contest.

Gift 6:Creativity and Dramatic Expression, is never to be found wanting in the Zuniga household. Thank you Jana and Angela for never failing to impress.

Gift 7: Thier Wonder....looking up in the starry sky for Santa. Christmas is wonderful through their eyes.

Gift 8: Tradition #214...piling in the van, after Christmas Eve Mass, looking at Christmas lights and singing carols....very cozy.

Gift 9: Christmas Eve Dinner...and THAT appetizer, (one of 30) thank you Angela and Chef Pete.

Gift 10: The Annual Gift Exchange
Gift 11: That Red Onsie
with a flapper in the back, thank you Phil, as you can see, Andrew couldn't be happier.

Gift 12: Andrew's gift to Madeline: for the his presentation and the belly laughs it brought.

Gift 13: This Moment...my children participating in the "pre-Christmas morning bedroom party" with their aunts and uncles and cousins.

This tradition takes place usually between 5 a.m. (or whoevers excitement wakes them up first) to 8 a.m. and involves "I Spy" book contests, and the games of Trouble, or Sorry...to kill time before we are all allowed to go downstairs.

Gift 14: Singing Happy BirthdayJesus (in record time) before opening Christmas presents.

Gift 15: Joe's Pajama Pants...he also sported a winter coat, shirt, and hat in the same print. Way to go Joe!
Gift 16: Kiddie Table...the first time there was enough little peopleto have one. The conversation was lively I can assure you.

Gift 17: Christmas Dinner Table....it was filled with dozens of people and chattering and laughing.... a happy happy time.

Gift 18: Enough Said.

Gift 19: Cousin Time...they played for hours, upon hours.

Gift 20: My Parents. My Dad, there are many hidden sacrifices in those hands and over 30 years of putting his family first, best Dad in the world. My Mom, three words: TIRELESS Self Donation. Where would any of us be without them.

Last, but not least, best gift Jesus gave me....my own family...a humble selfless husband and three unbelievable children, all who bring me more happiness in life than I thought possible....they are my everythings.

Shown Some Skin

Avila at 6 months...meager attempts, but she made it so fun.


When You Have An Older Brother...

Your everyday feminine item, such as this...

Is a great holding place for these...

She LOVES her cars and trains :)



This is view I got walking into the bathroom yesterday....

Clothes are completely off because she had her hot pink snowman onsie pajamas on.

I admit I didn't come to her assistance right away (ok or the first 8 times she announced she was done) so, as Pudding does, she decided to take matters into her own hands. Pun intended. She also says the whole phrase, I Am (not I'm) Done, and it makes me laugh every time.