Christmas has already came and went. This was my first Christmas as a married women, and I have to say it was a memorable one for various reasons.
It was such a blessing to be home with family, but as always my time spent at home seemed rushed. It is always hard for me to leave my family, and it seemed I arrived one day and was gone the next, even though I spent nearly 5 days in Montana.
Marc and I made sure to start each day with a great snowy, windy, hilly and sunny run. The wind blows in Montana, especially when we get those Chinook winds. The back roads were covered with snow and one morning ice. I think Marc realized quite quickly why I am good at running hills. The route I ran for many years in Montana is filled with ups and downs. You literally are either going up or coming down, there’s no flats. Mix that with the cold chill, higher elevation and strong headwinds and it’s safe to say both our lungs were burning.
We did get to take along my brother’s Dog Fancy. She quickly made a new friend with me and was always so excited for our morning runs.
Sunday night we had an early Christmas dinner since Marc and I had to drive home on Christmas day and my older brother and his beloved Christine were leaving for her family’s on Monday.
It’s safe to say holiday dinners at my parents house are always big. We had 21 adults and countless little ones from the ages 3 – 17. You can ask Marc, there’s never a dull or quite moment in my parent’s house. It’s one reason I love my big, happy, LOUD family.
Getting ready for the exchange
The precious little ones!!
There was great food, games and a Chinese gift exchange. All family traditions. It was evident where my competitiveness comes from: my mom and dad 🙂
My little brother and his wife with our cousins
My grandma opening her gift
I snatched some photos with my hubby so we would have something to remember on our first Christmas.
And with my sisters and grandma.
Monday we made a trip into town to pick up some last minute gifts and groceries. My mom was still Christmas shopping for various people, even though she started in October. The upstairs living room was covered with presents.
My parents Christmas tree was huge yet again!!
My parents have always loved Christmas. The house is always decorated from the inside to the outside.
As a child I could remember my dad’s sheer excitement to give us gifts. He still acts like a little kid on Christmas. He can’t wait to open his gifts and he can’t wait for us to open ours.
It’s hard to keep him from getting into his presents early or for him to keep our gifts a secret. I love his joy for giving. There was always a perfect balance between the real reasons for Christmas, Jesus, and the gifts. There were years where my mom baked a cake for Jesus and we would have a birthday party for Him on Christmas day. She always reminded us of the greatest gift any of us could ever receive: the Savior.
Even with my mom’s fervor in making it known why we celebrate Christmas, we still, until this day, receive Santa gifts.
Christmas Eve morning, Marc woke up with the flu. Nearly everyone in my family got it before we arrived. Somehow Marc got it from one of the little kids. He was puking most of the day, among other things (no need to share all). It’s never easy being sick away from your home, and especially at your in-laws.
My dad wasn’t feeling well either, along with my aunt and her son, and my grandma. So instead of the traditional seafood Alfredo with family, it was the smallest Christmas Eve dinner my parents have ever had. We set the table for 7.
My little sister, mom and I were the only ones well enough to attend Christmas Eve service. Another family tradition. After the service we had dinner and opened one gift, another one of our family’s Christmas tradition.
My little brother with his wife
My sick husband and I on Christmas Eve
We watched a Christmas movie and all retired early for bed. Christmas morning my sister-in-law and I woke up feeling sick. I was dreading the long trip home. Thankfully I wasn’t nauseous and puking, but I had horrible stomach cramps and a piercing headache.
Opening gifts Christmas morning
We opened all our gifts, packed our car and said our good byes. I was grateful the roads were dry over all the passes on our way home. It was another Christmas spent in a car. I was relieved when we made it to my sister’s house to deliver presents and spend a little bit of time with her family. We watched them open their gifts from mom and dad and then made the last stop at Marc’s parents house.
We finally made it home after 8 p..m. and were exhausted. Marc drove the entire way home since I wasn’t feeling the greatest and I was able to sleep. We quickly unloaded the car and opened our gifts from his parents.
Marc also opened his gift from me (I left it at home since it was big and I knew we would need space for all the gifts we would be toting around). I got him a golf club set. Golfing has became one of his new favorite hobbies.
I would say we were both blessed with our all the gifts we received and all the love from family and time with family. Besides being sick, it was a great first Christmas as a married couple. Definitely memorable.
Hope you all had a great Christmas!!
Until next time Be Whole, Be Fit, and Be Healthy!!