Thursday, December 31, 2009

Our first Christmas as a family of 3!

I apologize, it's taken me a bit to get a moment to sit down and upload pictures and get my thoughts together to write this post.  Our Christmas season has been filled with many blessings and it was wonderful to be able to celebrate with BOTH of our families! 
My last post was about the forecast for Hastings for Christmas.  Let me just say blizzard was no joke!  I got very discouraged because Reid had to work and I decided we shouldn't leave in the weather conditions late in the evening.  So, I had told my parents we weren't coming.  I was bummed, but I would just have to be sad for a bit and then we'd try and figure out when we could go.  Well, Reid called about 2pm on Wed and said his boss was letting him leave at 4.  "Should we go?", he said.  Bless his sweet heart...he really wanted to get me home for my family Christmas.  So, I agreed and got EVERYTHING packed for all 3 of us and at 4:30pm we left KC.  I sat in the back with Jack so that I could focus my nervous energy on him and we could keep each other entertained.  I truly think if we had left at any other time, we would never have made it.  There was a break in the storm on the radar and I believe it was God pausing things for us to get there!  We made it in just over 5 hours (normal time = 4.5hrs) and boy I have never been so relieved to be home.  I just had a feeling it would be a special weekend. 
Skoch  Christmas Tree 2009:

On Christmas Eve the Skoch tradition is to go to 5pm Mass and then eat at Hunan's Chinese restaurant.  We get the full spread and we were EXCITED to enjoy some great food and company.  After dinner we headed back to the house and played cards for awhile.  That night we went back to the hotel in pretty snowy/windy weather.  The whole time we were in Hastings it snowed.  They had to get over 15 inches.  And the drifts were 6 ft tall in places!  In fact, the wind howled all night long on Christmas Eve, I was up from 5am on!  And that was NOT because I was excited for Santa.  :)  When we looked out the window on Christmas morning it looked treacherous.  Cars were stuck in the hotel parking lot, the wind was blowing so hard you could barely see the building across the seat.  We decided that our little car should just stay parked at mom and dad's and my dad's Tahoe would be the way to travel.  But, we opted to check out of the hotel on Christmas morning because the driving conditions were complete "white out."  We didn't think we'd make it back to the hotel that night and we couldn't just leave our stuff there!  And it's a good thing we did check out because, when we got to the 1 road that leads to my parents house, there was literally a 6 ft wall of snow that had a pathway carved through for cars to pass.  The wind continued to blow the next 2 days and we had 4-5ft snow drifts in the driveway in front of the garage.  The amount of snow was just ridiculous!  We weren't leaving; so we had a big campout at the Skoch house.  We didn't have to say too many prayers for a white Christmas this year.
Family picture on Christmas Eve:

Jack's getting ready for Santa to come!:

All smiles for his 1st stocking:

The white conditions and if you look closely you'll see the snow wall we had to drive through:

This year was the first year the Skoch decided to draw names for an exchange.  We each had fun playing Secret Santa for one another.  Jack got some great gifts from his aunts and uncles and Grandma and Grandpa Skoch.  He had fun playing with the paper and boxes the most, though.  The whole weekend my siblings were trying to get Jack to walk.  He will cruise right along if he's holding your hands.  But, when he's standing alone, it takes quite a bit of coaxing.  They got him to take 3 or 4 steps alone though.  It's exciting to see him gain confidence he needs to get moving. 
All the kids trying to help Jack open his gifts:

Jack and Mommy:

Christmas morning in front of the tree:

He loved the bows...but not when we put them in his hair:

We left for KC on Sunday morning.  We counted 19 cars/trucks/semis in the ditch on I-29 alone (only half the trip).  We're so thankful that our travels were safe and the roads were clear.  Reid had to work that evening and I went back to work on Monday.  We had to get clothes in the laundry and get prepared for the Kirby family Christmas on Monday evening.
Getting a good's nights sleep before Christmas with the Kirby's:

We gathered at Reid's moms house with TONS of food and presents and even a special visit from Reid's cousins from Chicago, Jon and Anne-Marie Phillips.  They spoiled Jack with tons of books, toys, and a great big bag of blocks!  It was a house filled with love on Monday night.  The kids were all smiles, we had a great pitch tournament going, and lots of great family time.  We both are blessed with wonderful families and it was such a great experience for Jack, to be able to share special celebrations with each side. 
Jack's really just interested in chewing on the ribbon:

Cool maracas from uncle Scott and Aunt Tes:

Big family shot:

Jack clapping for his favorite soccer team...the Reds (Liverpool):

Family pic at Kirby Christmas celebration:

We're slowly but surely getting back to our routine.  My living room looks like Santa dropped half the sleigh in it and Jack's got a new toy in his mouth every day!  :)  We don't have any big plans for New Year's Eve.  Reid will be working until midnight.  Jack and I may go to dinner with my sister-in-law and her kids.  If not, relaxation is on my list of things to do. 
We hope you had a blessed holiday season.  May God continue to bless you in 2010. 
Until next time...

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