I can't believe Christmas has come and gone. Why does it seem to pass by quicker each year? I love Christmas. Everything about it makes me excited for it to come each year. I love knowing that the day after Thanksgiving radio stations turn to Christmas songs and watching lights go up outside of homes and the glimmer of trees shining through the windows. I love the traditions that come with Christmas, carrying on the ones we grew up with and now making some of our own as well. I love singing traditional Christmas hymns in church and watching each week as the advent candle adds a new flame, knowing we are that much closer to the celebration of our King's birth.
This year, we had a new challenge with Christmas. The past years we have been extremely spoiled having our families live 7 minutes apart. Even when we were dating, we would travel back and forth throughout the day to each others home. When we were married, it was easy as can be going from house to house and not missing a minute of either Christmases. My parents moved last spring so I knew that this Christmas would take some rearranging in our schedules to make it work. Trav always works Christmas Eve which puts a twist into the picture as well. All of my family was going to AZ. We haven't spend a Christmas with the Butterfields or Ermelings since before our wedding nor has my entire family all been together under the same roof since our wedding. Since Trav's mom was going to work this Christmas, Trav said of course we would head to AZ for Christmas morning. We didn't want to miss out on the Hardeman Christmas either though and thankfully it all worked out perfectly.
On Christmas Eve morning, we treated it as Christmas morning in the Hardeman house and it was lovely! We all wore our matching jams and it felt just as magical as if it was the actual day. It was fun seeing Van and Huddy so into Christmas this year. Kids really, truly add something special to Christmas morning. Heidi made a delicious egg dish and Cindy had apple cider ready when we woke up. That was always my favorite in the past years. Coming downstairs and grabbing a red mug full of cider than heading to curl up on the couch! We spent the day relaxing and than headed to church that night. It's hard not worshiping with Trav on Christmas but I know it's just temporary and his schedule will change eventually. I'm thankful to have the Hardemans around though so I did have family to worship with. Cindy made a delicious dinner and I stuffed myself silly again, starting off the Christmas feasts! It was a great day!
That night when Trav got off work we packed up and headed out to AZ....by car. I drove while Trav slept and as we were leaving my dad sent me a text saying, " Whether you get here at 4 or 30 minutes later, we will all still be here. Please drive SLOW! Oh man, if only he knew how quickly I got us to Palm Springs! At our pit stop there I had this bright idea to let Trav keep sleeping so I bought a Red Bull. It worked and I was singing along to music the whole way to Blythe, bright eyed and bushy tailed. ( However, I will NEVER even look at a Red Bull again. Christmas morning my stomach hated me. I felt like it was eating me from the inside out. What was I thinking?!?!) My sisters ( aka: other moms) were worry warts and kept calling/texting to make sure we were ok. Somehow we made it there. That last 2 hour stretch was brutal. I was nodding off while Trav was driving and I am pretty sure when I came too once, his eyes were closed. But we made it! It was an adventure and I would do it again if we had too! We unloaded all our stuff and Trav passed out! I was so excited I couldn't sleep ( even though I only had an hour before the kids woke up) and by the time I finally fell asleep, I heard excited voices upstairs.
The Kahler Christmas morning was wonderful as well. 9 excited grandkids led to a fun morning. It was absolutely wonderful having the whole family in one room and I found myself stepping back to take it all in, as if I was snapping mental pictures that I will carry with me forever. I've missed these moments of having us all together but I don't take them for granted anymore when we do have them. My sisters and mom had stayed up on Christmas Eve to make our traditional Christmas breakfast that we all wait for each year. We spent the day undoing toys, reading books, watching games on tv, and Trav golfed. A delicious dinner was made and than Trav headed to the airport to fly home. He was such a trooper for literally having an hour of sleep!
I tried to soak as much of our Christmases up because I have no clue what next year holds. I know Trav will be working Christmas Eve again. I know that I will probably have to work Christmas day seeing that I will be the "rookie" in whatever job I find. I don't know where we will be located or who we will be with. But I am very thankful for fun times, the joy and laughter, and celebration of Christ's birth that we were able to share with all of our family this year.
Here is a video from the Hardeman Christmas that Heidi made. (I tried uploading a shutterfly album from the Kahler Christmas and I could not figure out how : ( )Hardeman Christmas 2010