When we got married, he had a little glimpse into what I had to do during the holidays. He had two more families to visit, which made things more stressful. Plus, Braydon wasn't a fan of running around everywhere when he was used to relaxing on a holiday. I didn't blame him. Putting myself in his shoes, I probably wouldn't have cared to do it either! Like I said, it was my normal. Plus, I liked getting to see all of my family within a few days. It was my holiday routine. :)
When we had Landon, things had to change drastically. There wasn't a choice. We didn't feel comfortable traveling with him being so unstable in his medical needs. Plus, the amount of stuff (including medical supplies, machines, baby items, and all of our clothes) we would've had to bring along was just enough to stress anyone out! So, we started our own traditions in Nebraska. It was then that I got to enjoy what Braydon had been talking about. It was peaceful to not have to be everywhere. I missed my family, but was enjoying making traditions with our new little family.
Now, we have a different kind of busy during the holidays. We've created our own traditions, while trying to incorporate the ones from our childhood. I think we've been pretty successful.
On Christmas Eve in Braydon's family, they open presents from each other on Christmas Eve. Having 4 siblings and a set of parents and occasional grandparent(s), I could only imagine how crazy their Christmas morning would've been if they didn't do it that way! We started doing it with them over the internet (on Skype) the first Christmas we couldn't be there (Landon's first Christmas). It makes things so fun and everyone gets to see the kids open their gifts. That's the best part anyways, isn't it?
This year, we met up with them to watch the kids open their gifts first, and then after we put the kids to bed, we all got to open our presents from each other together. It was a very different experience than last year. We didn't really have a chance to see anyone open anything last year because the kids were all over and just wanted to open their presents. Who cares about anyone else, right? ;)
Everyone loved seeing the kids open their gifts. Landon and Sydney opened their presents on their own this year, so I was able to take a few pictures.
The kids sorting through their presents
Landon and Aunt Rhea "playing" matching together. It was more of Landon just showing her the matches. :)
Sydney got a cute little lion from Grandma Bonnie that she now sleeps with (along with her normal two pup-pups)
Sydney checking out her baby bed from Grandma Bonnie and Grandpa Joe
The fancy jacket that Bonnie made from scratch off of a picture Braydon found off of the internet. He couldn't take it off. I've caught him on several occasions modelling in the mirror for himself. Shhh!! Don't tell him I told you that! He's pretty amazed by it, but admitted that he's a little scared to wear it out of the house! ;)
Grandpa Joe made us all coordinating socks this year! These are Landon's.
After we put the kids to bed, we also got to play around and have a little fun. Hanging out with everyone was a lot of fun. Heather got Braydon and his brother, Garrett, some stick-on mustaches. So, of course, we acted like kids. :) This picture makes me giggle whenever I see it!
This was what the kids saw going down the stairs in the morning...Santa did too much!!
Sydney just stood at the bottom of the stairs with this grin on her face for a few seconds. She didn't know what to go to first!
Dad showing Landon how to work the piano
The "wild numbers" that Landon kept asking Santa for.
Poor Sydney. She was so overwhelmed. :)
But Landon was having the time of his life!! :D
Sydney loved the drumset! She didn't want Landon to play on it and had a hard time sharing just one drumstick with him!
We made her forfeit the drumsticks so Landon could try. He did pretty good...with his left hand. Sigh. Something to work on I guess. :)
Santa knows how much Landon loves notebooks. Silly kid!
This was Sydney's face after she pulled out a little tube of mini M&Ms. The girl loves chocolate.
Haha!! I love this picture! I tried getting a good one but when Sydney finally looked up, this is the face I got.
Sydney is pretty good at the shape puzzles, so Santa brought her something a little more difficult.
The rest of the day was just enjoying each other and the kids playing with/fighting over their new toys. Braydon and I had a huge sigh of relief after the whole things was over! We don't have to do that for another year! YAY! :)