Full disclosure - it's been a bit difficult for me to get in the Christmas spirit this year. The fact that most of our family is all in faraway places has been an ever looming presence in the corner of my mind, and it's been hard on me this year. I hate that my kids don't get to see their grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins on a regular basis, and this becomes a more glaring reality during a season such as this.
God has really shown Himself to be faithful in the midst of my discouragement, though. I was again reminded of all of the people He has put in our lives that are here and close. We are so thankful that the Suens live in Chicago (though I'd prefer that they live down the street!) and the friends we've made in the past couple of years have become like family. We definitely clocked more hours with friends than family this holiday, but who says family has to share blood anyway?
The morning of Christmas Eve was spent prepping some food, cleaning, and decorating for Jesus' birthday.
At lunch time, we headed next door. We had a great meal and the kids had a blast. As always!
We then went to church.
After the kids changed into their traditional Christmas Eve gift of new PJs from us, we opened some gifts.
We did the "pick a name" type of gift exchange among the kids and it was so fun to see what they picked out for each other. Norah got Caleb a Gryffinor keychain (I helped her pick that one!). Caleb got Shane a toy train. Meredith got Norah a little plush unicorn. Shane got Meredith a Beanie Boo.
Then we opened gifts from faraway family. Lots of thoughtful and generous gifts - thank you everyone!
Christmas Morning & Day...stockings, singing Happy Birthday to Jesus and reading the Christmas story, more presents, and a nice meal with the Suens and Aunt Deb!
My 1st time making beef tenderloin....I was very nervous about messing it up (screwing up expensive meat is never ideal), but it turned out great. Phew!
|Shoot. I had the wrong lens for this shot. Oh well!|
|Sparkling juice in real wine glasses at the dining room table with the adults - this was a big time meal.|
|Singing Happy Birthday to C.|
To end the day, friends came over. It was a casual "come in comfy clothes and bring any leftovers you might have" kind of evening. It was so much fun!
Hope you all had a Merry Christmas! Ours was definitely different that what we were used to, but it turned out to be a very special couple of days.