Afton's First Christmas

The Millers couldn't get it together to send a Christmas card this year; we sent a New Year's card in the middle of January. So I guess it's about right that on January 23rd I'm finally getting around to blogging about Christmas. ;) It was Afton's first big road trip, and she did really well traveling all the way to Kentucky. We were so glad to finally arrive at my parents' house, which was all decked out in Christmas cheer, both outside...

brick house exterior with Christmas lights

...and in.

colorful Christmas tree with presents, stockings on fireplace

The house looked beautiful for our Christmas Eve dinner as always.

formal dining room at Christmas
formal dining room at Christmas
table set for Christmas dinner

I managed not to take any pictures of the yummy food; I must've been too focused on all these pretty people!

grandparents with baby granddaughter at Christmas

I always insist on family photos in front of the tree, but they have definitely never been this cute. :)

parents with baby girl at Christmas
four generations of women
family photo at Christmas

Afton got lots of presents on Christmas morning. Books are always my favorite gifts, and I loved hearing my brother read The Polar Express to his niece. 

uncle reading The Polar Express to baby neice on Christmas morning

My husband had me 100% convinced that he'd never gotten around to getting me a Christmas present, so I was truly shocked to find the Sigma Art 50mm lens under the tree! I had read so much about the Art lenses, and this one definitely lives up to the hype. Look at that dreamy bokeh! 

sigma 50mm art lens box with Christmas tree bokeh

The celebration continued at Granny's, with more gifts and more baby snuggles. Once again, I failed to take any pictures of our delicious meal (perhaps because I was too busy stuffing my face?).  

Christmas tree ornaments and bokeh
Christmas 2015 blog collage5.jpg

We didn't go out much during our visit, but I did take my new lens on a little stroll at the park.

fountain and gazebo at Central Park in Ashland Kentucky

I always get fixated on bare tree branches when I travel away from the Gulf Coast in the the winter. We don't have many deciduous trees around here, so they seem kind of exotic to me now. 

bare branches in winter (Central Park, Ashland, Kentucky)

Come to think of it, I think I had this tree branch fixation even as  Kentuckian kid. I can still remember the exact shape of a specific branch in a tree that was near our house but has been gone for years. I thought the angles of it looked like the side of a park bench, and I imagined a lovely little park up in the top of the tree and wondered about who might sit on that "bench." It is just now occurring to me that this is perhaps a tiny bit weird. ;)

bare winter branches

Anyhow, our time in Kentucky was quite Afton-centric. This little girl is so loved! She got so much attention from grandparents, great grandparents, her uncle, great uncles, great aunt...

Even her great great aunts! 

I loved getting to take a step back and capture all these sweet moments she shared with her Kentucky family. It was a very Merry Christmas, indeed.