Instead of breaking it out into each little celebration, I will attempt to have an all inclusive post about our holidays.
Monday the 23rd we went over to Chad’s moms and had the best dang BBQ around. It was sooo delicious. And I was super stuffed the entire night. We went to Newton right after Chad got off work (of course the time we need to leave as early as possible, he had to stay late b/c they were running behind) They got BBQ from Hog Wild and we filled in with side dishes. Brenda makes this amazing mac, cheese, and corn casserole, Sarah brought some great coleslaw, and Paul’s daughter whipped up some of her famous guacamole. There were 17 of us, so we make quite the crowd. After dinner, we settled in the living room to open presents. Ko was pretty content playing with all of gma’s regular toys, but he quickly caught on to the whole “opening presents” thing and kept repeating “opie” for open. The adult kids participated in a girls and boys gift exchange, there was only minor gift stealing. It was a fun night! We were finally smart enough to remember jammies for K, and he fell asleep on the way home and transferred nicely to his bed!
Tuesday the 24th, Chad and I both worked short days and then we hung out in the afternoon before the Christmas Eve service at our church at 4:30. K has started crying every time we pull into the church parking lot because he knows that he is going to the nursery. We decided that for this night, we would try and keep him with us in the sanctuary. He did really well the whole time except for the last 15 minutes where Chad had to take him out. We had the car all packed up so we left straight from church to head over to my Gma Unrau’s for the traditional snacks and shrimp. En route out-of-town, Chad and I realized how hungry we were, and with an hour drive in front of us, we figured we needed to stop for something. Ah! Yes! Taco Bell! Only to pull into the parking lot, realizing it’s Christmas Eve and the place is pitch black. Whoops. But, who saves the day? McDonald’s. Trust me, not my first choice of food…well, EVER. And to be honest, K has never set foot in the play place. But, anyway, it provided a little snack so we could make it out to my Gma’s. We met my parents, brothers, and Aunts, Uncles and Cousins out on the farm and enjoyed catching up and a little gift exchange. K even got a visit from Santa (my Uncle)! He wasn’t quite so sure about him, so mommy stayed very close.
It is always a very late night on the 24th, but K was a trooper. We had also decided to stay the night at my parent’s house so we weren’t making the trip back and forth. Ty and Trey also stayed over so it was just like when we were little (sorta) The boys slept upstairs by the christmas tree and Trey graciously gave up his room so Chad, K and I could sleep in there. I was so tired after I got K to bed, and I begged Chad to come to sleep as well, but he insisted that he wasn’t tired. Whatever, I wasn’t waiting for him…sleep was too important!
Christmas morning I was the first to wake up at 6:30. Gotta love that internal alarm clock. It was kinda nice to sit in a quiet, dark house by myself for a bit before everyone else woke up. K and Chad followed shortly after around 7:30 and we trekked upstairs to try to coerce the Uncle’s into some present opening. Ty and Trey were just a tad crabby from the late night before, so we dove into delicious coffee and cinnamon rolls while the boys slept a little longer. Thankfully, the breakfast casserole and bacon cooking calmed the crabby boys down just a tad and we were able to enjoy some present-opening mid morning. K enjoyed helping everyone open their gifts. Chad pulled a surprise gift from the christmas tree after most of the presents were opened (we got a big family gift this year, so he and I weren’t exchanging anything) He knows how much I enjoy gifts, so he got my some new blue KU sweats, with a condition attached…I had to get rid of my other KU sweats that I’ve had since college and they have been worn to death! This was why he insisted he wasn’t tired the night before, he had to wrap my gift and stick it under the tree! My dad made chicken wings for lunch and we continued the eating fest by heading out to my Gma Unrau’s again that afternoon for a mid afternoon lunch/supper. We stayed out there until later evening and then headed back home.
The 26th, Chad worked another short day, and then we went to his Dad’s house that afternoon after K’s nap. We enjoyed some delicious ham and mashed potatoes and quality time around the table. The cousins enjoyed playing together and opening a few gifts from gma and gpa. K got a semi (with monster truck wheels) and semi trailer to hold a tractor. It was definitely the year of tractors, construction equipment, and trucks!
The Sunday after Christmas, we concluded our holiday festivities out at my mom’s brother’s house in Newton. A few from her family gathered over there for a light evening supper and a traditional White Elephant Exchange. Always lots of laughs enjoyed during those gift exchanges.
New Year’s Eve, Chad worked a shorter day, but I worked in Hesston a full day. So, Chad got the goodies ready for the small NYE party we attended over at Adam & Gina’s. Chad made jalapeño poppers and marinated a flat iron steak. Both were delicious. The kids played and the adults chatted and we actually didn’t make it very long at the party. I was tired from working a full day (plus commute) and K had been fighting some sickness, so we were home and in bed by 10. Party. Animals. Chad actually stayed up because he had some Mt. Dew to drink, so he was ready to roll! Apparently there were fire works at midnight, but I slept soundly through them.
New Year’s day we went back out to my parent’s house for some New Year’s cookies and Chili. K got to play with the tractors and meow-meows, and fill gma and gpa’s love tank. We unfortunately stayed just long enough for a minor winter storm to move in with blowing snow. We drove home in limited visibility and very white knuckles from an unnamed passenger. Adverse weather conditions make me crazy. Chad maneuvered them well, I was just a stressed out mess.
Whew! We survived the two weeks of craziness. With limited time off from Chad’s work, it made getting together kind of tricky, but we are so thankful for his job! And, understanding family that are willing to get together whenever it works!
We are ready for you 2014, and all that you have in store!
The Christmas Card I designed this year!