2015 Holiday Recap

So I haven’t published a post in… a while… a long while. There has been a lot going on, of course, and many valid reasons for not writing, but I’ve felt called to start writing again. Trying to figure out where to start after a long break and how to squeeze in the time to write again has been challenging to say the least. Some blogging friends of mine and I discussed our desire to rejuvenate our blogs and our need for a little motivation, and thus was born Weekly Writing in October, a linkup at my friend Bobbi’s blog Revolution of Love. We have challenged each other to write at least once each week for the month of October. To get the ball rolling, I decided to put the finishing touches on a holiday post I drafted a while ago. Perhaps you’ll forgive me this much delayed post since we’re coming up on the holidays again.

So let’s start with Thanksgiving, shall we? Thanksgiving last year was pretty simple. My parents picked my brother up from the airport Thanksgiving afternoon, and then headed over to our house. Apparently trying to get a decent flight to come home for the holidays is not the easiest thing. The meal was largely ready when they walked through the door, so we jumped right into our Thanksgiving dinner. It was a bit challenging at first for me to transition from Thanksgiving prep to Thanksgiving celebration. However, by that night I was more relaxed, and I I enjoyed staying up late talking to my mom and brother. The next day the relaxing continued as Clint made us French Dip sandwiches for lunch, and then I got to go on a walk with my mom and dad while my brother went on a run with friends. That night we watched part of the movie Cars as a family… kids included. Unfortunately our fun had to come to an end. The next day Justin had an early flight back home, and my parents took him to the airport and then headed home themselves.

Sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner

Sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner

Austin decided Grandpa was a comfortable place to sleep

Austin decided Grandpa was a comfortable place to sleep

Eventually the adults got tired too

Eventually the adults got tired too

Clint enjoying checking out the Black Friday deals

Clint enjoying checking out the Black Friday deals

Audrey sucking her thumb (which she doesn't really do now)

Audrey sucking her thumb (which she doesn’t really do now)

Audrey playing with Grandma

Audrey playing with Grandma

So, jumping right into Christmas. Last year I got this idea in my head that I wanted all the joy of a live tree without all the bummer of tossing the tree to the curb at the end of Christmas. So we bought a real tree in a pot with the notion that it would live in our backyard until the next Christmas when it would come in and be our Christmas tree again. This meant having a tree that was a bit smaller the first year, but it was more affordable as a result, and the expectation was that it would grow significantly before the next Christmas. So we propped up our tree on a bucket, which we covered with a tree skirt, and it looked green and beautiful all the way through Christmas. Everything seemed to be going great… until we took it outside at the end of the holiday and it instantly turned brown! I don’t know if it was the shock of the sunlight or the temperature change, but my Christmas tree dreams were squashed by a dead tree! Ugh! So if anyone has any suggestions for how to do something like this successfully, please let me know.

My attempt at a living Christmas tree

My attempt at a living Christmas tree

Anyway, Christmas Eve morning we picked Justin up from the airport, and my parents came over that afternoon. Shortly after they arrived, we headed off to church (in shifts). We learned the previous year that our church fills up REALLY early, so Clint and Justin got there over an hour early to hold our seats. Having the kids at church for hours was not going to work, so the rest of us showed up about 15 minutes before mass started. Once again, I absolutely loved being at our home church for Christmas, surrounded by my family. The church looked so beautiful, and the kids even behaved well… Austin actually fell asleep in Grandpa’s arms (they were a little too excited to take their nap that day). That evening we enjoyed our new tradition of homemade pasta for dinner. Then it was bath time, and we decided to let Audrey join the boys in the big bath tub for the first time, which she absolutely loved! Of course bath was followed by the long standing pajama tradition where the kids get to open one present on Christmas Eve that happens to always be Christmas pajamas.

Justin reuniting with his favorite kids

Justin reuniting with his favorite kids

Audrey and Daddy at church (looking like the Belle of the Christmas Ball in her super fancy Christmas dress from Grandma)

Audrey having her first big girl bath with her brothers

Audrey having her first big girl bath with her brothers

Uncle Justin with his niece

Uncle Justin with his niece

Sitting down for Christmas dinner

Sitting down for Christmas dinner

Our centerpiece :)

Our centerpiece 🙂

Opening Christmas pajamas

Opening Christmas pajamas

Christmas 2015

Gotta love matching PJ's

Gotta love matching PJ’s

Grandma bonding with her Audrey

Grandma bonding with her Audrey

Christmas morning started off with a weird problem… sleeping in. Everyone was up and ready to begin our Christmas celebrations, but Austin was completely crashed out. Some people may have been a bit grumpy that we couldn’t start celebrating yet. Austin finally woke up with some encouragement but was understandably a little out of it at first. It didn’t take long though before Christmas fun was in full swing.

A grumpy Justin waits for the Christmas festivities to begin

A grumpy Justin waits for the Christmas festivities to begin

Austin got a Razor scooter from Santa. He was always playing with his brother’s scooter, and a lot of time had been spent fighting over whose turn it was to use it, so it was pretty awesome that he got his own. Parker received a kid’s camera from Santa. He often used his dad’s iPad to take pictures and videos, so he was thrilled to have his own camera, and he immediately took quite a few videos of himself jumping around. So many family members really went above and beyond in their generosity with our children, which meant so much to us and the kids! We went practical with our gift giving, and the the kids all got clothes from us, but we may have gotten them one really awesome toy: a trampoline! Clint used his superior deal finding capabilities to locate a trampoline at an estate sale for a ridiculously low price, and oh my goodness, we’ve all been loving it!! It was a fun family day, and of course we continued our food traditions of biscuits and gravy for breakfast and an early dinner of prime rib.

Christmas 2015 Christmas 2015

The newest addition to the snow globe collection I inherited from Clint's mom: an Audrey globe

The newest addition to the snow globe collection I inherited from Clint’s mom: an Audrey globe

Parker takes a picture of Austin jumping on the trampoline with his new camera

Parker takes a picture of Austin on the trampoline with his new camera

CLS_1737 CLS_1748 CLS_1791 CLS_1795

The day after Christmas we kept it low key and hung out around the house. When evening came, we all walked through a neighborhood near us that gets decked out with Christmas lights, even though it was pretty chilly out. My parents headed home from there, and we headed back home to have dinner. Audrey got baby food in her stocking, so we decided to let her enjoy her gift and try solid food for the first time that night (peas… yum).

Austin cruising on his new scooter

Austin cruising on his new scooter

Christmas 2015

Uncle Justin gets in on the fun

Uncle Justin gets in on the fun

And Grandpa does too :)

And Grandpa does too 🙂

Austin helps feed Audrey her first solid food

Austin helps feed Audrey her first solid food

Parker takes a turn too

Parker takes a turn too

Monday morning Clint’s dad came over, and he stayed with us through Wednesday. Audrey, who is often unsure of people she doesn’t know well, took to him immediately. Grandpa hadn’t seen her since right after she was born, so it was a treat for him to see how much she’d grown. The boys were thrilled to get to have Grandpa at their house too, and Clint and his Dad enjoyed good bonding time working in the yard.

Grandpas are the best

Grandpas are the best

Christmas 2015

New Years Eve is always a tricky thing to celebrate with kids. Some years we have gotten together with other friends that have kids, and some years we have just enjoyed a nice evening at home together. This year we decided to spend New Years Eve at Knotts Berry Farm. Clint’s dad got our family passes for Christmas, and we thought that spending the day there would be something both kids and adults could enjoy… and we did! Audrey went on her first rides, and Parker and I got to go on the Log Ride together. We were exhausted at the end of the day, so we grabbed a pizza on the way home. Then Clint and I went to bed before midnight. I’m often awake until after midnight these days, so for New Years I wanted to go to bed early. Ha!

Clint and the boys

Clint and the boys

On the train together

On the train together

Had a blast on the Log Ride with Parker

Had a blast on the Log Ride with Parker

Someone crashed out

Someone crashed out

Trucker boys

Trucker boys

So there it is. A post. A published post. Finally. See you next week!

   

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2 thoughts on “2015 Holiday Recap

  1. This was such a fun post and it has me really excited for the upcoming holidays! I’ve never tried a living tree but we’ve thought about it since there’s a company that will deliver a tree, pick it up after Christmas then care for it until the next Christmas. I’ll have to look them up. Anyway, glad you are posting again. Thx for joining me!

    • I’m not sure what we’ll do for our tree this year. I think we decided to do it ourselves because the companies that do it were a bit pricey, but as you can see from our sad attempt, there might be a good reason for that, ha! Thanks again for hosting!

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