Sam and Nate just experienced their first Christmas and New Year's celebrations. For the holidays, we traveled to Texas and Louisiana to visit family and friends. The first couple of days of the trip were spent in Alexandria, VA with GiGi, PaPa, Aunt Katie, Uncle Joe and Ella, then we got to fly on a plane to Dallas for two weeks of gifts, parties and lots of excitement.

At first, the boys didn't understand the whole gift thing. I think they were a bit confused that, in some cases, they were prevented from touching and tearing the gifts under the tree, then at different times were encouraged to touch and tear the gifts. Come on, Mom and Dad, make up your mind! One thing they did understand by the end of the trip was that every opened package revealed something new to play with and explore.

Another thing you may have noticed about this Christmas is that we definitely got some mileage out of the Santa suits Gina got for the boys. We were unsuccessful in getting them to wear the hats and boots for more than a few seconds, but that did little to lessen the cuteness factor derived from two chubby babies dressed like Santa Claus.

One of the best parts of the trip was traveling to Simpson, Louisiana to meet a whole bunch of new family members. Sam and Nate loved playing with their cousins, Briana and Shana, and they got passed around between many other cousins, uncles and aunts who they got to meet for the first time. After the day trip to Simpson, we headed back to Shreveport to spend a little more time with MaMa and GiGi and PaPa.

Overall, the Christmas trip was a lot of fun and very special for all of us. The only downer during the whole experience was the every one of us got sick with a cold. Until now, Sam and Nate had never been sick, and they didn't know how to make sense out of the stuffy noses and ears, as well as a cough. This did hinder the boys' sleep and appetite a little, but we are all healed and doing better now. The coming semester will be extremely busy (and quite unpredictable) for all of us, but we will carry the joy of our trip and the Christmas season with us for many months to come.

There are many more pictures from the trip in our photo album.