The holidays have always been busy for us since we’re both very close with our families and they’re both pretty local, so we try to fit everything, and everyone in. Now, add in two children under the age of three and then the holidays really get busy. Except this year we made everyone come to us.
Even though Sport is only two, he’s just old enough to get who Santa is and all the excitement that surrounds the jolly old man in red – of course he was still terrified when it came to sitting on the bearded guy’s lap, but what kind of parents would we be if we didn’t do the requisite crying toddler photo?
We started the holiday off with our foot to the floor and going fast. Christmas eve kicked off with spending hours disinfecting our house since we both had the stomach bug just before the holiday and the last thing we wanted to do was pass it along to anyone else (Thankfully the virus fairy took pity on us and stayed clear of the kiddos!). Then we kicked it into overdrive and had to scramble to get everyone in their holiday best for the Christmas Eve service at church where we met Meg’s family.
Church went amazingly well considering the candle lit service started at the time we’re usually getting the kids ready for bath time. Following the service we continued to push the needle to the red line and went to a family friend’s house. We figured since Sport knew Santa was coming it was going to be hard to get him to settle down for bed anyway, so we just put him in his Santa PJs at the party and by the time we got home at around 10 o’clock he was sound asleep from all of the activity.
The night was over for the kids, but not for us. It was time for our first shot at playing Santa. Marcy’s parents were very careful with their Santa versus Mom and Dad presents; they would use two different wrapping papers and Santa’s gift tags would be printed while Mom and Dad gift cards were written in script. This was a tradition Marcy insisted we follow. We realized that the kids were too young to pick up on the difference, but that it would be a good practice for years to come, because hopefully the kids will still be with us.
Christmas morning started with unpacking stockings followed by a couple presents, a snack, then more presents, then brunch with Meg’s family, then more presents, Marcy’s family came over, then more presents. The presents continued. All. Day. Long. It was a very slow going process. Sport opening one present and obsessing/playing with it for a bit then a short while later we were able to continue tackling the mound of presents. Each time he opened a present that was a clothes item he had to put it on. At one point he was wearing a t-shirt, a sweater, a t-shirt, a football jersey and a hat. When he opened his Snoopy sweatshirt we had to strip him down and start all over again with the clothes before he melted from the warmth.
It was busy. It was chaotic. It was amazing. Christmas is a whole new thing with small children in your life.
Well, it was a short week and then another holiday! This one was a bit lower key, in the sense that it was just the four of us. We went away for New Year’s Eve in what we imagine was the kids’ first vacation away. We traveled two hours north where we were able to swim in the hotel pool, hike in the woods, slide across a frozen lake in our boots and take a scenic train ride.
Our midnight celebration wasn’t quite like what we had celebrated in the past, in fact we were sound asleep when the clock struck midnight. However, we were wide awake a few minutes after the ball dropped because our littlest bundle of joy wasn’t so joyous. The dry air in the hotel room was wreaking havoc on Sunshine’s nasal passages and she couldn’t sleep. Thankfully Sport slept through all of the crying, coughing, and constant on and off of the hot steaming shower.
While the whole holiday season had a number of ups and downs we wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. Now, here are a few photos from the amazing celebrations for your enjoyment: