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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Because we are lucky enough to have so much family!

We are so incredibly blessed to have so much family and so many Christmases.

For our last Christmas celebration we headed to my sister's house the weekend between Christmas and New Year's to celebrate with my side of the family.

A few things went wrong: my bread dough didn't rise, the second stringer cornbread I baked as a substitute didn't cook all the way through and, most sadly, it started to snow when we'd only been there for 90 minutes. 

Then it began to snow hard.  We checked the weather and it wasn't planning on stopping.  (I'm not sure how we missed this detail before leaving home.)  We live an hour and 15 minutes from my sister.  We enjoyed the snowfall, ate a delicious meal (minus the cornbread) the kids played in the snow and then we did a rush through the presents as it became clear a true snowstorm was in progress.

I love everything about this picture of my mom.  It looks like somebody dumped a bucket of grandchildren on her.

The girls' snowman who looks like he is either melting into or emerging from the snow to be reborn.
 My mom finally bought herself an iphone after threatening to for a few years.  She needed some technical assistance and Sandi was happy to oblige.

Anxiously assessing what awaited them under the tree.
We continued our tradition this year of making gifts for each other, rather than buying them.  This year we made rice packs for the kiddos, my always-freezing-sister and my mom.  We filled them with rice and lavender so they smell amazing when you heat them in the microwave.  Sandi has used the same one for years and our kids had taken a shine to it so we came up with the idea to make them.  We made some for our kids too and they love to fall asleep with them at night. 
My very handsome and photogenic nephew showing off his rice bag.
We did cheat and buy this for my mom. How could we resist?

My mom gave the girls the appropriate amount of excitement when they presented her with their homemade gifts: a mason jar full of the coolest rocks from a beach near Beals that you can only get to by boat.
Maya was very excited when she opened up the gift from her grandmother: a set of pjs for her American Girl who, up until then, had had to sleep in her clothes.  For shame.  
Our girls got travel mugs with a picture of them with their cousin.  So cute. Ella enjoyed her first cup of hot chocolate in the car on the way home.  
Each year we make a calendar for my mom and sister and it is so much fun to have them opened.  (We have one at home as well and it's fun to all share the same calendar.)  Each month is full of pictures from the year before and all the fun things we've done together.   My mom all but told us a few years ago that this is all she expects this foom us at Christmas so now we do it with love, knowing how much it means to her.
Michaela got the only good picture of us this Christmas!
I was very sad to leave after having only been there for 3 1/2 hours. I love to enjoy the homemade gifts and really be able to appreciate the thought that went into them. I got a lovely mug with my name on it and all sorts of pictures of me with my family. We got homemade ornaments and decorated tins with chocolate.   I even got a North Pole sign I can use next Christmas that Braeden decorated for me.
We didn't get a single good picture of my sister and Brian (which is especially a bummer because we need them for next year's calender!) but lots of laughing and fun was had until we realized we had to open gifts in double time because of the snow.   I love these two so much and was so full of appreciation for Brian and all the love and joy he has brought into my sister's life in the last few years.
Having a sister is the very best.  Having someone love your sister the way you think she should be loved is even better.

We hit the road just as it was getting dark and drove 35 mph home on the highway in an all out blizzard, making me feel restless and sad to have been robbed of that special time with my family. We didn't even get to the board games!
We did, however, make a date soon for a sleep over and the vow to do next year's Christmas as an overnight.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great time. So glad you all made it home safe
.When Braeden returned to school they had circle time where they discussed Christmas plans. When asked what he got for Chriatmas, Braeden talked all about the rice sock. When I picked him up, they asked if he got anything else because thats all he talked about. :) We cannot wait for this weekend..:)

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