Saturday, January 1, 2011

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Christmas and New Year's always seem to come and go so fast.  There is a lot of anticipation leading up to Christmas; planning celebrations (with each of our families), getting THE perfect gift for everyone on your list, decorating, wrapping, and this year it included teaching our son about the real meaning of Christmas.  (I realize he doesn't fully understand that Christ was born to save us, but he at least knows who "baby Jesus" is now).  Then all of sudden the celebrations are over and's a New Year! 
For the day of Christmas this year, we were in Kansas City, able to spend time with Reid's side of the family.  On Christmas Eve, we gathered at his aunt and uncles and enjoyed a great lunch (Stouffer's lasagna- Reid's favorite) and we tried a new way of exchanging gifts- a $40 pseudo-white elephant.  I'm not sure everyone was receptive of the idea, but it was fun and nice to keep things different.  We ended up with a massage (for me) and a folding table and chairs (which really is something I wanted and Reid obliged my request...thanks honey).  All in all, its not really about the gifts, but we enjoy being able to all be in the same house for even just a few hours.  I've said it before and I really am so thankful for wonderful inlaws.  I had to leave and sing in the choir at St. Andrew the Apostle (our parish) for the 4:30pm Christmas Eve Mass.  This Christmas marked the year (plus a few days) anniversary that I joined St. Andrew's choir.  It is something I enjoy doing and feel like I'm able to "give a little extra" in the way of my time to the church.  The Mass was beautiful and the music went well.  Afterwards- we finished up the evening with more games and way too many good eats. 
Here are a few pictures from the day.  Jack acted out the part of the shepherd, while Uncle Mark read the story of the birth of Jesus from the Bible.  The other is a picture of Jack dancing to the "chicken dance" song.  Aunt Jayne introduced him to it by giving him a lovely (annoying) little button that plays it over and over and over.  AND- he knows how to turn it off/on, so no more telling him that the chicken is sleeping.

On Christmas morning- we woke up and had presents with just the 3 of us.  It has been something that has been difficult for me to transition into; our own family just being 'us'.  We've always been with one family or the other for Christmas morning.   While we went to Reid's moms after our presents were opened, it's just different not having all the people around for the moment when stockings are discovered or presents are opened.  Maybe it's because I grew up with 6 siblings and there was always so much going on, on Christmas morning.  I guess it's just part of becoming a new family...another part of growing up.  I guess we need to add a few more kids to the mix and then it won't be as quiet.  I suppose I should appreciate it, while it lasts.  :)
Jack was really into Christmas this year, which is rewarding to watch as a parent.  He was so excited to open the presents and even helped to pass them out to mommy and daddy.  Santa was definitely good to us again this year and we're thankful for that.  We spent Christmas afternoon at Judy's for a delicious brunch and more games (we really love games).  Of course the weekend wasn't long enough with both of us not taking any extra time off.  But, the nice thing about this year was that both holidays were on a Saturday and for me that meant 2, 4-day work weeks!  And Reid got both Fri/Sat off, 2 weekends in a row. 
Last night was New Year's Eve and after much discussion about the "plans" for the evening, we settled on just hosting a few of our friends over to play games, enjoy some drinks, and just have a laid back evening.  We've concluded that it's easier with having Jack to put him to bed and entertain in our home.  It was a great time with great friends and we all made it to midnight for a toast! 
We're definitely excited for the upcoming year.  It's kind of like a new chapter, with each new year and we can't wait to see what this one is about.  School, new milestones with Jack, who knows what else!?  We pray for health and happiness and that God continues to bless each of you, as well. 
Until next time...

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