Christmas was surprisingly low-key and relaxed this year. I was surprised. Usually I look forward to Christmas with a kind of excitement mixed with dread. We began the festivities with a trip to the cities caroling with my cousins and their kids and my fam. First to grandma and then to their local neighborhood. Then we stayed overnight and had a great time talking with my cousin Marisha and her husband after the kids went to bed (not to sleep, just to bed). Then we had out little family Christmas. The night before, Cory and I were trying to watch a movie and all we could hear was a shower of pine needles raining down on the presents. The next day our presents were buried and the tree was half bald. So right away in the morning we did the presents and then got rid of the infamous tree. Talk about getting stabbed with multiple pine needles from the tree and the carpet on our way out. Cory got it out the door as pine needles exploded from it in every direction, and chucked it right down our front porch. Neighbors probably got a chuckle out of seeing the bald tree in front of our house the day before Christmas. Then we had our annual Christmas feast with fancy dishes and all. Then we had story time, first the Christmas story which we (helped) the kids tell us, and we told them stories of Christmases we had as kids. It was so much fun.
Next day we had Christmas at Cory's mom's. The kids were amazingly good.
Christmas day we had church an hour early. The kids all sang some Christmas carols they'd been working on in Sunday School. We then went to mom's for Christmas. Their 1st Christmas at their new house. We had some rousing conversations, and once again the kids were amazingly good.
Then we took another trip to the cities and went out for lunch with my grandma, aunts and uncle. It was a special time.
New Years we celebrated Christmas with Cory's Dad's side.
This weekend we have a Christmas party with all Cory's extended family on his Dad's side. Whew! I guess that doesn't sound very relaxing, but it was more spread out than it usually is, and we were able to enjoy things rather than just a huge hectic rush. Now we're almost done and I feel...relieved! =) It went well and the kids were the best they've ever been and amazingly no one got sick!
Oh, and did I mention...my brother just got engaged...
Once again it was good to look back on the years hardships and blessings and be thankful for the Lord's faithfulness and His gift of love to us.