Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Our Crazy, Beautiful Christmas

I hate to say it, but each Christmas I have approached the holiday season with a bit of fear and trepidation. Being so far away from family means you are on your own for holidays. Friends are wonderful but they don't quite fill in the holes like family does.

This year though, completely made up for it. And I really am surprised by that. Ian and I didn't even do gifts for each other. For me, whose love language is gift giving, I thought this would only end in me feeling depressed and unholiday like. Instead, we had a wonderful three days of celebration as a family.

On Christmas Eve day, Grace played happily underfoot while I made sugar cookies and icing. Then, when she went down for her first nap, Ian and I spread out in front of the tv, rented Jingle All the Way, and decorated cookies.

Because, apparently, you need some Arnold in order to man up cookie decorating.

Naps and showers followed and then I made our own Christmas Eve feast, with a roasted chicken and vegetables, stuffing, and cranberry sauce.

We loaded up the car and headed to a nearby hotel where our church hosted a Christmas Eve service. I didn't get to hear a word of the actual service because I was chasing our very active one year old down the hallway, but it was nice to refocus on the reason for Christmas with friends.

In all of this, I was not able to take many pictures, because some sand had gotten into my lens. Ian had the brilliant idea of just switching lenses and then we were back in to the picture taking business.

The girls got dressed up into their Christmas pajamas that my mom had sent and we attempted a picture (fail) then they went to bed. Ian and I played yahtzee and watched Christmas Vacation (his family's tradition- I don't really get the humor.) I fell asleep on the couch about three quarters of the way through the movie and then we called it a night.

Christmas morning came early, as we had a 7 am skype time set up with my parents. They had sent a package full of gifts and we were able to open in front of them and see them open the gifts from us. Grace really got into the presents this time. I was a little embarrassed as she tore through one and jumped for the next.

The excitement must have wore Grace out, because she was yawning and asking for "night-night," just an hour after she got up. While she napped, we enjoyed coffee and cinnamon rolls, got cleaned up, and made twice baked potatoes, deviled eggs, and sweet potato casserole. Then we all headed out to our friend's house for Christmas lunch.

Grace played with her little friends outside in the "garden" while the adults chatted inside. Both of our girls took naps at some point during the day at their house.

We were back home by 6 pm for a skype with Ian's parents. Grace was in fine form and danced in front of the camera for nearly an hour. We skyped with my sister and her husband after that, then tucked our girls into bed, and snuggled on the couch as Ian played a new video game. I was battling a migraine that turned into the flu, but it was such a wonderful day.

I'm so blessed with my family and my friends that have been given to me! I hope you all had a very, Merry Christmas too!


Lauren said...

sounds like you had a fabulous holiday even being so far away from family!

grace is getting so have made holidays so much more exciting!

Emily said...

So glad you were able to enjoy the holiday from so far away! I know that you mean though, I often feel down after the rush of Christmas and we have family close by! Our fresh snow today is helping with my post Christmas blues! :)

Kelli said...

so glad you had a merry christmas. your mom mentioned how much she loved being able to see grace open the presents! happy new year!!! we love you!

Emily Powell said...

your girls looked so sweet!

Jessica said...

I'm so glad you had a great Christmas! And I laughed so hard at the Arnold manning up cookie decorating line. Ha! I hope you are feeling better! Luke had the flu on Christmas too, and it was no fun!

Alison H said...

Brad agreed with the "manning up" Christmas comment. Ha. Of course he would! Love ya'll!