A December Recap [ Jude's helmet, my birthday, our 6th anniversary [[ kind of ]] and our two Christmases- It's a long one! ]


Oh, how I love all of the Holidays! That string of holidays that kicks off in the fall and carries right through to Christmas and new years. Then it keeps coming with chocolate on Valentine’s Day and my favorite candy of the year on Easter. And though I love the holidays, it’s kinda nice to have some relaxing downtime in January and recovery from the craze.  (Especially with my birthday and our anniversary thrown in the December mix…if we have more kids – they are not allowed to be born in December).
I tell myself every year that I will have Christmas purchased and ready to go like in the summer! But then how can I do that when Eden changes her mind almost every hour leading up to the holiday? I need to do something though, cause I really, really want to have the season be more calm and Christ centered so it would be great to get that other stuff out of the way early on.
Anyway, this year was particularly crazy, since we were headed to Florida for Christmas and decided to still do our own Christmas, with just our little family the weekend before.  Our schedule went something like this…

December 8th

Jude received his helmet…this means that he now needed a bath every single day and that his helmet needed to be cleaned every day too (during the one hour he had if off). Fortunately, the kid was a champ at adjusting to the thing and we are glad he has it in the desert and in the winter, cause it's amazing how much the thing insulates his little head and keeps him heated. 

December 10th (31 years old) --this is long and kind of a vent...so you may just want skip down to Christmas, haha!

You know those days you plan almost hour by hour and you are so excited for?! That was my 31st (yest I’m getting old) birthday. What I really wanted for my birthday was “a day off” or just some me time. I had it all planned out. I would go to bed early, get up early, go for a run, shower, pick a good book and head to kneaders where I would get there just in time for a ham, egg, and cheese sandwich on sourdough and a mango smoothie. I would slowly eat,  nestled in a warm corner of the restaurant, while I read my book. Then I would mosey on home and possibly take a nap. Then we would all go out for an early dinner at a Japanese Steakhouse.  The kids would thouroughly enjoy watching  them cook in front of us before we headed to Magleby’s restaurant for a huge slice of chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream

….if there is one thing I have learned in life it is not to get your heart set on expectations (and that chocolate makes everything better)… here is what my birthday actually looked like….
The night before, I was trying to get all of the Christmas shopping done so I didn’t have to think about it on my birthday. There were a few gifts I was stuck on and just couldn’t figure out for people…so I ended up being up till about 2am on Amazon (ugh!) and still didn’t finish. In addition to that Reed had started not feeling well…annnnnnnd I happened upon a swimsuit warehouse sale that was suuuuper discounted, announced on intagram that happened to be early on my birthday morning.  So I went to bed at 2am, woke up at 7am. Fed Jude, went to the warehouse sale where I was panicked because when I got in the door I was told I had only 10 minutes to make my choice and get in the purchase line….yeah right! I am one of those people who put on the same shirt in 3 different colors like 10 times each before I can finally and painfully decide which one I would like the best….and these were swimsuits. Not as easy to shop for as a shirt. Anywho, I ended up overstaying my time and overstaying my time and then once the crowd died down they no longer had a time limit and I was able to get out of panic mode, calm down, and actually process my thoughts. I ended up checking out 10 minutes before they were going to close (at 11am) where I discovered that purchases were to be made with cash only!! What?!?! How did I miss THAT on instagram? So I rushed to my bank, panicked again, withdrew some cash and hurried back and grabbed my bag of goods. Since it was a sale, it was an “all sales final” type of deal and when I got home and tried on my suit top I hated it! To top that off I looked back at the shop’s instagram posts to discover that some guests were randomly given their purchases for free…well, I usually don’t win things, but that would have been SUPER nice and saved me a trip to the bank, stress over spending money on something that I hated and not to mention it was my birthday (not that anyone should have know all of that). At least Eden’s suit was cute and fit right.  So basically at that point,  I was a zombie mom (which I like to call a mombie), too tired to run, hadn’t eaten a thing for breakfast, hadn’t pumped any milk for Jude, hadn’t showered and I got home from the swim sale after kneaders had already stopped making breakfast. I had no book in mind. I fed Jude (honestly taking a day off when you are nursing is kind of difficult anyway) , took a nap, and cleaned my closet.  I also, helped Reed get Eden ready for a birthday party. He was being so sweet and such a trooper trying to juggle the kids while he was pretty out of commission with a stomach bug.  That evening Reed said he was actually feeling hungry and well enough to go out to dinner, so at least one thing I had planned, would go according to plan. We both got showered and ready to go and just as we were about to the head out the door Reed started feeling really bad. He had to lie down (poor guy)…needless to say we did not go out to dinner. I had gotten all ready to go somewhere and so I decided to take Eden to our church Christmas party that was going on that night to at least get some dinner other than PBJs or cereal from home.  It was a really nice program with great food and they actually even had Magleby’s chocolate cake…so there was that. It wasn't particularly one for the books, and I decided that I would do a re-do in January sometime when things calm down. I have yet to do that, but I will write about it when I do…hopefully it will go better, but I’m not getting my hopes up, haha!

December 17th – Our First Christmas

The week before our Christmas was craziness as we tried to wrap up Christmas shopping and Reed was swamped with work, his church calling, and School finals. We were leaving on the 19th for Christmas in Florida and decided that we should do our own Christmas with our little family beforehand, just so that we could do our traditions (and be super laid back with how things rolled in the larger group) and so that we didn’t have to tote gifts back and forth in our limited suitcase space. So on Christmas Eve (the 16th)  we read Luke 2…Eden got to be Mary and Jude was baby Jesus. We laid him in our blanket basket to enact the manger scene, haha. It was too fun. Then we read The Night Before Christmas and put out a gingerbread man cookie and some egg nog for Santa and a huge carrot for Rudolph. Eden kept saying, “I can’t wait to go to bed!!”…which was hilarious to us, since she NEVER says that…maybe we need to do Christmas more often J.  

In the morning Eden was SO excited and had to exercise every ounce of patience in her little tiny body for us to get up and open up blinds, get our video camera ready, and get Jude fed/a fresh diaper.  Then we finally let her loose, haha. It was a blast! Eden got the Beauty and The Beast Lego castle, make-up, a Wendy Darling nightgown (which was a labor of love by me,  late into the nights preceding Christmas), and some World Geographic books. Jude got a FanFan deer rubber toy and a huge rubber teething oreo, and some new binkis (oh and his helmet of course,haha, poor kid). We also received a package from my mom and Lyle, which contained, among other things, the most beautiful hand-knit items by my mom {heart eyes emoji}.  Then we had our traditional Monkey bread and omelets for breakfast. I was worried that our "fake" Christmas wouldn't feel like the real deal, but I realized when I caught myself thinking, "What is the poor UPS guy doing working on Christmas day?!?!" as I pulled our breakfast out of the oven, and noticed his truck driving by from the kitchen window, that we had indeed succeeded in creating our own Christmas a week early.  After our tummies were bursting at the seams, we slowly showered, pulled toys from their boxes and started playing with them, and we also watched Pete’s Dragon (which I really loved)! Then later that night, we went to Reed’s parents to do Christmas with his family, who were kind enough to do Christmas early with us. We had so much fun eating a nice dinner made by Lynnette, opening gifts, and playing the Nintendo NES classic. 

December 18th

So this day was our Anniversary. It fell right in between our make-shift Christmas and Flying out to Florida.  It was crazy! Reed has a 7am meeting. He also had to speak in church and Eden had to give a talk in primary as well. Then we got home ate, packed, and went to bed. I kept remembering at random times that it was our anniversary, but it definitely didn’t feel like it. We knew it would be crazy though and decided to celebrate in January when things calmed down a bit (which was wonderful when it came). That night after our prayer together we hugged and said happy anniversary –it was so busy and surrounded by everything else that it felt weird to remind each other that this whirlwind of a day was our anniversary. I just wanted to have things slow down…go back to our honeymoon, when it was so easy to focus on our wedding and marriage, BUT thankfully things really calmed down the next day as we headed to Florida. Reed no longer had finals, all Christmas gifts were purchased, and all we had on the agenda was to enjoy time with family and relax together.  We had just taken a trip to Florida in October and were able to do the touristy things, and while we were there my dad and Kay surprised us with an invitation for Christmas! It was nice to see them again so soon (which is too rare) and having just been there made this trip really nice, just to focus on family and relaxing.

The next week and our Florida Christmas 

We spent the beginning of our time in Florida at my dad and Kay’s.  Each morning Eden would get up bright and early—her little body totally ignoring the time change because she was overcome with excitement. She would hang out with Grandma Kay and eat a special breakfast with her.  Then boring mom and dad would make her get ready and take her to do some shopping at my favorite grocery store, Publix, my favorite mall, The Mall At Millennia (we tried to see the most legit Santa there, but we got there at 2pm and wouldn’t have been able to see him until 9pm that night!), and to get a Christmas tree for grandma and grandpa’s. Once family started getting work off for the holiday and Christian arrived in town with his family from Texas, we were able to spend more time just hanging out.

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve at Craig and Alicia’s with the fanciest food, the best company and even a surprise visit from Santa!! And my grandmother, gave each grandchild a gift bag stuffed to the brim.  Jude got a fox that plays peek-a-boo and he couldn’t take his eyes off of the thing, haha.  It was super cute watching all the kids overjoyed with excitement, opening their gifts.

Then we got home and in bed, to get ready for Santa. When we woke up, it was so neat to be with my siblings and to have our kids together and experience Christmas morning together.  Stockings were emptied, presents were opened, giggles were heard. Then we quickly got ready and headed to church since Christmas fell on a Sunday this year.  Afterwards, we all headed to my dad and Kay’s for lots of food and more visiting. The kids even took a dip in the pool…and let’s just say Eden slept SO WELL that night.

The next evening we went bowling and had a blast. It was Eden’s first time ever bowling  and it was super cute to watch her intently watching her ball make its way down the lane…sometimes when she wanted to “roll” the ball all by herself, I felt surprised that the ball didn’t fall right through the floor as she would spin and drop the thing right out of the air, haha. She really had a blast though, especially getting to bowl with her cousins…and let’s just say that Jude had no problems fitting in as well J

The day after that, it was to Utah for us, back on an airplane and back to reality. The adage that says, “Time flies when you are having fun.” Is never wrong, but fun we definitely had and we were so glad to be able to spend time with our Florida family and other family who was able to come into town! We are so grateful to  my dad and Kay who made it all possible! 

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