Home for the Holidays

Growing up, Christmas was my favorite holiday. I loved baking cookies for Santa, getting to open one of our gifts on Christmas Eve night and then waking up at 4:00 AM with anticipation to see if Santa had actually come.

Then high school came and I moved in with my grandparents. Suddenly, Christmas wasn’t as exciting once the Santa fantasy wore off and our family wasn’t together anymore. I found myself getting tired of hearing the same old Christmas songs on repeat everywhere I went and not to mention… cold weather is not my thing. As I approached adulthood I found myself gravitating towards Thanksgiving as my favorite holiday and becoming a bit of a scrooge.

Now that I have a family and daughter of my own, I am starting to fall in love with Christmas again. I can’t wait to experience Christmas through my children’s eyes. Brendan and I have had many discussions regarding the values we will teach our children during Christmas instead of just throwing gifts in their faces. While I am still excited to watch them light up when they open gifts, I hope to teach them the real meaning of the holiday. That the season is more about giving and less about getting. That Jesus was born so that he could die for our sins. And that appreciating the time you have with your family is so important because you never know when it could be the last.

Since we have moved out of state, and our daughter is still young, we decided to travel up to Maryland for Christmas to spend it with our extended families. This is not really part of the family tradition I want to start because traveling with babies is stressful! We traveled to Maryland several times this year with the little babe and it is no joke. She gets thrown off of her schedule and by the time we get back home she is a hot mess…and then mom is left with a chronically tired baby she has to re-sleep train😫

We woke up Christmas morning at my brother-in-law and his amazing wife’s home. They made us feel so welcomed. We just lounged around in the morning sipping yummy hot coffee and eating up some pancakes. We tried to teach Hadleigh how to open presents. She loves tearing up magazines at home so this came naturally to her. She’s still too young to understand anything but she’s so darn cute regardless.

During the holidays we are usually going to about three different places in one day. It is always super busy and jam packed with family activities. This year, after Christmas morning, we went to my Aunt’s and then followed up with dessert at Brendan’s grandmother’s. We felt thankful to spend this holiday with Brendan’s brother who is in the marines and is stationed across the country.

Throughout the entire week we slept in multiple different homes, we packed and unpacked everything numerous times, and we had moments when I wished we would have stayed home. But, we also had many moments of laughter with our friends and family and made memories I will cherish forever.

Seeing both Brendan’s grandparents and mine get old and lose memories, makes me realize how important it is to savor each moment we have with loved ones. And while yes, traveling with a baby is stressful and tiring, getting to see her develop relationships with our family is so worth it.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and may God bless you with a happy new year.

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