Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Holidays

Our holiday festivities this year went as follows:

December 23rd- Mom's Birthday
We headed up to my home town for a birthday/Christmas celebration with all of my Mom's side of the family. Grandma, aunts and uncles, cousins (and their kids!)-- there were nearly a kazillion people in Grandma's house. It reminded me of Christmas growing up and it was so nice! Before we opened our stockings, everyone sat in the room together and shared memories of Christmas with Grandma. That was really just a special time.
Me and Grandma!

Top: Jackson showing off his first (of many) toothbrush from his stocking, Mom singing "I'm a little teapot"
Bottom: The big kids had a toilet paper snowman contest (Julie, Julian, and Erin won!), and then the little kids had lots of fun playing in the left over toilet paper!
Christmas Eve
We started out the day with a Hardee's Breakfast- biscuits and gravy. Amazingness! We then drove through a snow/slush storm to Derek's Grandma's house. We met up with Derek's parents along with his brother and family while we were there. It was great to get to spend some one-on-one time with Grandma! ( I'm just now realizing that I didn't take pictures with my camera. Making a mental note to get them from Mary soon!)

Julie was able to "spend" Christmas with her family in Denmark via Skype that afternoon. Christmas Eve is the day they open presents and do the majority of the celebrating, so she was able to be a part of that for awhile. She took turns opening presents with her family, which she had been very eager to open ever since the packages (three!) arrived a week earlier.

Per our holiday tradition, our family headed to the Christmas Eve service at church that evening. The Christmas Eve service may be my very favorite part of the whole Christmas celebration! Derek's family came over for awhile afterwards. Derek and I ended up staying up until after 1am wrapping presents.

Christmas Day
Derek was the first one up (before dawn) on Christmas morning. I keep waiting for him to outgrow this tradition, but I am losing faith that will ever happen. He promises that he didn't wake Jackson up, but I have my doubts.

Even though the concept of presents was brand new to Jackson (one from Grandma on the 23rd and one more from Great-Grandma on the 24th) it didn't take long for him to grasp the concept. Halfway through reading the Bible story, Jackson attempted to cease the talking and begin the opening. He's two for goodness sake. Not only did he open (very, very slowly-- about one inch of wrapping paper at a time) all of his presents, but helped the rest of us as well.

We headed over to Derek's parents for lunch (and more presents). Several of Derek's extended family stopped by and it was good visiting with everyone. Derek was more than bummed to miss out on the annual Risk game, but on a positive note, it meant that we weren't around for the yelling and bad-mouthing that happens during those games.

Jackson and cousin Gabe!

Could our child be any more spoiled?! 

And as much as I have told EVERYONE that Jackson does not need anymore balls, people insist on buying him balls. All of the balls in this house are actually packed away... but somehow they keep multiplying. Jackson enjoyed playing with his basketball at Grandma's house at least. 

And later Christmas afternoon, my parents drove down for dinner... and more presents. We had a super fun time playing The Game of Things and we got to experience Derek's major (hilarious) parenting fail as well! It involved a farting app on Derek's phone, Jackson, and a swear word. I won't go into any more detail because I know that some of my family who read this won't really find it all that humorous.

Seriously... more balls!!! UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Jackson's Grandpas just LOVE to play ball inside but I will bet you a MILLION dollars that neither of them would have allowed for ball throwing inside with their children. I am seriously considering placing those two grown men in time out soon!)
My siblings plus me and my gang 
Julie, Laura, Jackson, Derek, Me, Phil, and Ashley

Overall, this was simply one of the best Christmas's I've ever had. And I am convinced it was because the focus was all on spending time on family and not on gifts and gadgets. (We did end up with some awesome gifts, though) I hope that I will remember in years to come to keep the focus of this holiday on the things that matter!!


  1. Looks like you had a wonderful Christmas! Stopping by from Wednesday's Walk today.

  2. Just for the record: You are looking SO beautiful my friend!

  3. Stopping by from i fellowship! looks like you had a wonderful Christmas celebration together!

  4. How funny/ironic that I took the exact same pic of you and gma this year :)


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