Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas 2015

 

Our Christmas this year started out very low key. It was just the four of us. 
At home.


After several days of rain and fog, there was a break in the weather and Christmas Eve Day was warm and sunshiny. We took the opportunity to take a family bike ride around our neighborhood. Each time we do this, Jack gets a little better with his biking skills.

 

That evening we drove around to see neighborhood lights in our town. Jack must have been worn out from our bike ride because he fell asleep almost as soon as we started driving. Before heading home from the lights, we grabbed a pizza from Domino's.


Christmas Eve we let the boys unwrap one family gift containing pajamas, hot chocolate and a Christmas movie. This year it was A Charlie Brown Christmas. Jack thought it was "cute."


Once in bed, Jack said it was too long until good morning time (what he currently calls morning) and that he didn't want to wait that long for Christmas. I told him that the sooner he closed his eyes and slept, the sooner it would be Christmas. He fell right to sleep.

 

While the boys slept, Daniel and I wrapped the last of the gifts.


I don't know how many years will go like this, but right now Jack and Isaac both sleep in until after 8:00 and even after he was awake, Jack was super patient about the whole Christmas presents thing. We ate a leisurely breakfast and didn't start on the stockings or presents until after 9:00am.


This is the first year we had Jack choose presents to give each of us. He really enjoyed picking out something for Isaac, then taking a turn wandering around Target with me to find something for Daniel, and finally going with Daniel to find something for me. Next year I may have him make presents, but this was a nice introduction to the idea of giving gifts.

 

We don't do Santa presents, but we did do a visit to Santa on our trip last week where we discovered that a Ninja Turtle costume was high on Jack's wish list. 


Since we had already purchased gifts, Daniel made a last minute order from Amazon and we told Jack that the Ninja Turtle costume was from Isaac. He said it was his favorite gift and that he got everything he wanted. We don't buy a lot of gifts, so that was sweet to hear.


Isaac experienced a lot of firsts this Christmas, each experience is so new and he really seemed to enjoy himself. He is sitting really well and sat in the middle of the floor where he had a ball pulling the wrapping paper off of gifts (and then trying to eat it). He was a bit ambivalent about his toys, but did seem to love his brother's toys. 


My sister has spent her entire life complaining about how the first-born gets everything and the second-born (and subsequent kids) get overlooked. It is really hard as a parent because I already see that playing out with Isaac. 


While he is well loved, he mostly gets hand-me-downs and where Jack was fawned over with visits and excessive presents and a million "first Christmas" ornaments, Isaac did not. Thankfully he is too little to care, but I hope to make an effort to make sure he feels equal in that regard as he grows.

 

Where we live, the weather was unseasonably warm and rainy on Christmas day. Heavy fog and raining cats and dogs. My brother drove up from Nashville and barely made it to our house before two of the three roads roads up our mountain closed, leaving one access on and off the mountain. 


The rain, along with flood warnings, continued all day. You don't think about a mountain having flooding conditions, but the runoff down the mountain was swift moving and enough to make the roads treacherous. 


Hydroplaning on a mountain road that drops off on one side is not a good prospect. Also, the runoff down cliffs was bringing down a lot of debris that had to be cleared from the roads. 


One of the roads actually ended up collapsing in one spot from the barrage of water. It was a crazy weather day for sure.


We have a tradition of going to eat Hibachi on Christmas Night (Jack's first Hibachi experience was when he was about a month old). With the crazy weather and only one way off the mountain we debated the logic in leaving our home. In the end, tradition won and we safely made it to have dinner with one of Daniel's sisters and their dad and his wife.


Hibachi was a little bit of a disappointment this year in that our chef lit the table on fire as soon as he stepped up to the table. Normally the chef lights an onion volcano at a later point in the meal, and that is what we had prepped Jack for. Unfortunately Jack freaked out and ran away from the table, and our chef proceeded to cook our meal without any special effects. 


Of course Jack was fine and ended up standing in his chair watching the other chefs in the restaurant do cool tricks with their knives while lighting tables and onion volcanoes on fire. Isaac was pretty mesmerized by the whole process. Thankfully the food was delicious and we enjoyed our visit with family, even if I felt a bit cheated with the show.


Two days after Christmas we headed to Nashville to spend some time with Daniel's family. We had a lovely Christmas dinner and the kids received more presents. 


Up until now Jack has been the only kid, this year two more boys were added to the mix – we had another baby and one of Daniel's cousins also had a little boy. It was fun seeing the two little boys interact (they are about 2 months apart).


After Christmas with Daniel's family was wrapped up, we went to meet some of our old friends from Cookeville. Jack had a blast playing with their kids and we enjoyed catching up. It's been four years (too long) since our last visit!

 

Finally rounding out this extended Christmas week, we went to my aunt's house in Ashland City where we were able to visit with some of my extended family including one aunt and uncle and their family from Canada, as well as my parents who had driven over from Arkansas.


What started out as a very low-key Christmas ended in a very busy week of visiting and seeing as many people as we could see. We are all set for a quiet evening at home for New Years and hopefully we will accomplish some house projects in the next couple of days.


 
We hope you had a very Merry Christmas and were able to spend time with loved ones!

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