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Friday, January 2, 2015

December Part III

By the time Christmas Eve arrived, I was feeling a little run down, kind of sick and very stressed.  I went to the gym early that morning with a long list of things that needed to be done to prepare for the next few days.  The more I thought about it, the more I started to feel like a Scrooge - I wasn't excited and really just wanted Christmas to be over.  As I lay there stretching, I realized that I couldn't get rid or a lot of the things causing me stress, but I could make a few changes in our plans to hopefully make Christmas Eve and Day more enjoyable and feel like a holiday.  A few years ago we adopted the tradition of steak and shrimp for Christmas Eve.  We generally invite my parents, Cory and Calvin, and have all of our immediate family here for dinner.  I enjoy cooking and like having everyone at my house, but this year it seemed like a lot of work. As I thought about it I decided that instead of shopping and prepping the house and food, I would rather spend time with my family and go to the movies.  We had such a good time with all of the kids - we made a horrible mess with the popcorn,and the kids were super hopped up on soda and chocolate - but it was fun to just be together and listen to everyone laugh at the silliness of the movie.

We came home from the movie, put the babies down for naps, and I spent the next few hours doing a few little jobs, but generally just hanging out.  Erika made it down from Ogden and it was nice to have some time to sit and chat with her.  I had decided that for dinner, we would let our Australian friends feed us so we all loaded up and headed out to meet my parents and Cory and Calvin at The Outback where we really had a lovely dinner.  This may become our new Christmas Eve tradition.  It was so nice for me to sit and eat dinner without feeling the need to take care of anything and of course, no dishes.  Tim and I said later how much we enjoyed the conversation.  During and after the meal, everyone just stayed at the table and talked. It seems tough to have that happen at home, the kids go play, the teenagers wander off, and just a few of us are left to chat.  It was nice to have a  captive audience.  

After dinner, we came home and watched a few videos of Christmas Carols to help us remember the true meaning of Christmas.  By then, everyone was winding down so we opened Christmas pajamas and headed to bed.  Ok, some of us didn't go to bed for a while, but we certainly had cute pajamas.

One of my favorite Christmas Eve moments is when the presents are under the tree, everyone is asleep, and it is quiet and magical. 

We have had such a mild winter, and I know a lot of people had been praying for a white Christmas, they must have had some serious faith because I got up to run early Christmas morning and shocked to see it snowing with a temperature of about 25 degrees.  This is where most people would have decided to stay in bed, but a Christmas morning run is another of my favorite traditions.  It is better when I have a running partner, but I love the quiet and still of the morning when it feels like I have the roads to myself.  Running has always felt like a gift to me so what better day to run.  I made it back and everyone was still asleep so I got the driveway and walks shoveled before the sleepyheads finally started to stir.

Luke and I had a great time exploring his new teepee.

So sweet, Santa stuck around for the presents.

Ruby was much more interested in presents this year.

Brycen, Taylor, and the famous penny present.

Luke has been fixing everything in sight, including his train.

You know you have teenagers when all they ask for is electronics.

After eating breakfast casseroles and napping/playing with new toys, we headed to my parents to enjoy the rest of the day with family.

This is my favorite present of the year.  Jarin rescued the breadboard from my grandma's house, then found someone to woodburn her mazola cake recipe.  Her handwriting is so recognizable and I love seeing such a tangible reminder of my grandma.  My mom  may not have cried, but I'm pretty sure that Jarin and I did.

The Saturday after Christmas we did a swap with Jarin and Jami so we all could go to a movie sans kids.  They dropped their kids off and went to the movie while we tried to keep everyone alive and having fun. They came home, tagged us out, and we hurried to the theater to see Unbroken.  It is one of my favorite books and I was really excited to the movie.  Understandably, the movie had very little detail in comparison with the book, but I really enjoyed seeing the story come to life.

Unbroken Movie Poster

For a lot of people the holidays seem to be a time to slack off on their work outs.  I actually love having a little extra time and not feeling so rushed at the gym.  New Hokas for running made it ever better.

I went back to work for a few days, then it was time for vacation again.  New Years Eve has always seemed like a waste of a holiday for me and it is hit and miss whether we do anything.  However, when my mom offered to take care of the kids so that we could celebrate, I was more than happy to oblige.  We went to yet another move (three in a week, which is more than we have seen in the past six months).  I had been dying to see Into the Woods I had seen the play years ago and really liked it.  I wasn't sure that Tim would be interested so I kind of tricked him into seeing it.  The great news though, is that he liked the movie as much as I did.  It was super well done and made the story really come to live.

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