Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christmas 2009

So, I'm going to start writing posts to recap some of the big events over the last four months. I wanted to start with Christmas just because it is the freshest on my memory, then I'll probably go all the way back to the wedding and work my way forward.

Our first Christmas as a married couple was WONDERFUL, but exhausting! Many people often say to us, "It's so great that you are both from the same city. I bet it makes the holidays easier since you don't have to alternate years with each family."... I would say, I definitely agree somewhat. I absolutely LOVE that we get to see both of our families. I'm such a huge family oriented person, and I can't imagine not being able to spend Christmas day with either set. However, I would also like to add that I wouldn't quite say that it is "easier." Because we do live so close, we feel like we should attend every little gathering, and don't want to miss out. That means a lot of going back and forth alll day long, and a lot of planning to try to make it all work out. Heres a peek at what our schedule was like for the holidays.

We started with Christmas Eve at Ben's grandparents house in Huntsville. I had actually tagged along with Ben last year, so this wasn't my first experience there. His grandparents always prepare a delicious meal and set the table so beautifully! They pull out all of their fine china and set the big dining room table, and then a few smaller tables in another room. Its always a running joke around the family who will get to sit at the big table. Ben and I actually made the cut this year for Christmas because his aunt and uncle weren't there! After dinner, we all opened presents and then went to the Christmas Eve service at Ben's grandparents church. It was a nice service, with the quickest sermon I've ever heard haha (The real preacher wasn't there because he had slipped and fallen a few days before.) It ended with a few Christmas carols and a candle lit singing of Silent Night. We then headed home to prepare for Santa!!

Christmas day was BUSY! Every year for the last 12 years, I have always gotten up early to go watch my neice and nephew open their Santa presents. I absolutely love watching the joy on their faces when they see their presents! And, Guess who joined along this year!! Ben! haha Although he wasn't too excited about waking up early, I got him up at 6 and we, along with my parents and my brother's family, went over to my sisters house. The kiddos must have been good this year because Santa sure was good to them! Here is a picture of my neices and nephews opening presents.
When they were finished, Ben and I headed to his house to see what Santa brought! I'm so mad because I didn't get any pictures over there! Here is the only one that I took. It is of Ben's mom and dad when they opened their presents to each other. They didn't know it, but they had both bought each other the exact same thing!! A flat screen HD tv! I guess thats what happens when you've been married for 28 years!

I wish I had more pictures to share, but I was slacking with the camera. I remember trying to take a picture of Sally, but she denied me. haha Next year, I'll force a picture. After we opened presents, we ate breakfast and then headed to my house.

We ate breakfast...again! Then opened presents from Santa. Here are a few of the funny gifts from the day..

Kayli, Chase, and Abby all call my dad "Pappy." We don't really know where the name came from. Kayli came up with it when she was a baby. Anyway, when Ben and I were shopping, we saw these and couldn't help but buy them! hahaha We LOVE to buy people funny "gag" gifts..It makes for such a fun morning. Don't worry we did buy him a real present too!

We just couldn't resist! A man thong that said "Papi!" Although it wasn't spelled right, it was still so funny!

This next one is of Ben with a present that my mom bought him. It was a hat that she thought would be great for him to wear when he runs to keep warm! I have never laughed so hard in my entire life... everyone was laughing. Even her. Needless to say, it was the first gift we took back to exchange.

One of my favorite traditions ever year, is that my sister takes my neice and nephew to the dollar store and lets them pick out a present for everyone. It is so great to see what they pick out because they put so much thought into what they buy. This year, she actually asked me and Ben to take them to the store. It was SO much fun! Ben and I split up, one with each kid, and let them pick out their gifts. When I was with Chase, he said " OOO.. This is so cool! I'm getting this for Ben! He will love this!" Wonder what it was?
A poster of the Incredible Hulk! hahaha Chase was so proud of it! We all thought it was so funny! Sweet little Chase! What a great memory!

Here are a few other pictures from the morning:

Here is my sister, Tasha, and and brother-in-law, Mark, with Abby.

This is their daughter, and my neice, Kayli.

Here is Ben and Mark with their new northface jackets from my mom and dad!

And this is my brother and Tiffany, as she opens a purse from my mom and dad.

After we finished at my house, we went back to Ben's house for a lovely Christmas dinner prepared by his mom and dad. They pull out his mom's china, and we enjoyed a nice dinner with the family. It was so good! After that, we then went to my grandparents house to open presents. We ate dinner again!!, then opened more presents. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera to both Ben's house and my grandmothers house, so no pictures to share! After my grandparents, we headed back to Ben's house to enjoy a little more family time, and then later back to my house to crash! I think I fell asleep the second my head hit the pillow!

As you can see, it was a BUSY day and we were EXHAUSTED by the end of it. Not to mention our stomachs were SO full! We ate so much! However, it was a GREAT first Christmas together! Tomorrow I'll post a picture of our first Christmas tree, and a few of my favorite gifts.


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