As we have started our own family, holidays have become more and more of a challenge when it comes to ensuring we see both sides of the family--but we make it happen.
This year we did things a little different for the Hartley side but not on the South side. For as long as I can remember we have always gotten together on Christmas morning for brunch. We spend the early morning with our little family & then around 9:30 or 10 we come together & celebrate. We often have way too much food--waffles, biscuits and gravy, bacon, sausage, cinnamon roll casserole (even better than regular cinnamon rolls!), fruit, eggs, & hash browns. As always, Justin doesn't disappoint & we were all so incredibly stuffed but not too stuffed that the boys couldn't open a few gifts!
But before we opened any gifts, the boys had to take their annual picture with Grammy & please note, the boys have yet to take their pjs off--we are trying to stay in pjs as much as possible these days!
We always start with the kids & we always start with stockings. They were filled with lots of goodies & their annual ornament where Grammy chooses one of her favorite pictures from the year and marks it with the date. Both boys instantly ran over to the tree to hang it up, right beside their 2012 ornament & in Logan's case, right beside his 2011 ornament too!
Even the dogs got something special & I think Stoli approves.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme from Kaden's birthday played a major roll in Christmas too. & I love that the boys got the same Turtle van that my brother and I played with when we were little.
They also got a really cool race track from Cousin Colton. Cool & Big--thankfully we have a train table where if fit perfectly. & good thing this mom is good at putting boy toys together or we would have some very sad little boys.
I am so happy that Fishlegs the Elf asked the kids to donate toys because they received more gifts then they know what to do with. We know that we are beyond blessed to give our boys a wonderful holiday but we also try our best to keep things in perspective. After all, it isn't about the presents, its about a whole lot more--family being one thing. & our family is very fortunate to see each other often. Grammy lives only miles away, as does Adam, Becky & Colton but that doesn't make Christmas any less special. Sure we may see each other once, sometimes twice a week but its hardly spent just being. Usually we are off running to see Nanny, or we are celebrating a birthday with dinner out, or it could be just dropping off the boys while we run a few errands. On this day, we just got to sit back & watch the boys play with all their new toys & have time to remember just how blessed we truly are. We have three very healthy boys, who are going to grow up best of friends. Two "bigger" boys who love their mom with all their heart & would do anything for her which only warms my heart more because I can see exactly how my boys will be when they get older. I couldn't ask for a more loving & caring family to marry into.
The holidays bring so many magical moments & wonderful memories & just like each year keeps getting better with the boys, I imagine the holidays will too.
Still to come--The Hartley Christmas.