So we braved the 12 hour drive to join with the family for Christmas.
The whole big enormous not-so-quiet family.
Two years ago, we decided that we needed to have another Christmas with the whole crew, so we got everyone to rearrange the in-law schedule so that we could have a wild Youngberg holiday.
I wasn't sure if it would really happen. We had lots of things get in the way. But happen it did.
Here are all the grown-up girls: Nana, Ananda (+1), Christina, Chelsea, Briana, me, Ashleigh. (And Ash, look how close we are. I was totally breathing on you. Aren't you glad you escaped the flu monster?)
Our dear friends, the Knights, brought over their traditional shrimp platter, but added a ridiculous (and ridiculously delicious) amount of king crab legs.
Kate and Will were darling, as usual.
Mike (with carrot tooth) and Bri. Just wait to see what Mike did Christmas morning...
And Ben walked around the entire day with this penguin and this backpack. Neither belong to him.
Chelsea ate a lot of appetizers. (Well, we all did.)
And then, once we were full on appetizers, we got ready for dinner.
We gathered for family prayer, and all achingly felt the hole left by Brent. But I know a few of us also felt him close by. The night felt strangely blessed, sweet, and holy.
After dinner, we played music and acted out the Nativity. Baby Jesus lasted a little while, but finally walked back to his mom and dad.
The first part of the night over, we tucked the littles into bed, kissed them goodnight, and got ready to party.