For the second year in a row, I’ve been fortunate enough to spend Christmas with the Becker family. Although I was sad not to go home, they have become a second family to me here, which I am so thankful for.

Becker and I do gifts on Christmas morning, but this shot was taken early on Christmas Eve. Here he is with a surprised reaction as he opens up a gift from me–custom poker chips! Look at how excited he is!


The reaction is completely fake. He was over at my house a few weeks ago and was snooping around in a room he didn’t belong in, and saw the set. He pretended he didn’t see it, but I know he did. Anyway, he was very happy with his gift, even if he wasn’t surprised. We will be giving them a workout tomorrow night, hopefully they will be extra good luck for him since they have his name on them!


Probably the best Becker family tradition–these cinnamon rolls. They are delicious and the recipe is kept under lock and key:


Becker gave Caden a bouncy ball on Christmas Eve, which he loved:


He bounced it everywhere!


Look at how good at blocks Becker is! He is no match for demolition man Caden though…


Stinker! (I am referring to Caden)


He is getting so big–I think he looks much older than 2.5 in this shot:


He gets cuter all the time:


So does Becker–he is such a good Uncle! Not the most polite Uncle, I shudder to think of the things he will teach Caden, but nobody has more fun with his little nephew. Check out uber cute parents April & Matt who hosted Christmas for the first time:


They get a huge shout out for making a huge, killer, special meal just for me. All my whining paid off!

I got lots of great gifts this year–check out a couple of personalized ones I received:

From Janey


And from Jesh De Rox 18 Clairetastic songs! How great is that!?


I’m totally spoiled. I got one thing in particular (actually two) I really wanted from Becker (more on that in about a week or so), lots of goodies from Mom, Bose headsets to replace the ones i lost from dad, and an assortment of other great items. So fun!

Here’s how all my gifts that I gave were wrapped this year….a little more foreshadowing…