Monday, December 28, 2009

The Start of New Traditions

Ever since Rick and I started doing holidays together 10 years ago (yikes!) we kept the same tradition every year. At first we had thought it would be difficult to spend time with both of our families since they live 3 hours apart, but we figured out a schedule that worked well for us. Since Rick's extended family always got together on Christmas eve, we would go down to Effingham a few days before Christmas and attend the big get together Christmas eve. Christmas morning we would wake up at his parents' house and open presents, then drive back up to Chicago to have Christmas dinner with my family. This was our tradition and the only year we didn't do this was when I was very pregnant with Evan. After Evan was born we were able to continue this tradition since he did not yet understand the concept of Santa. But, we knew eventually we would not be able to do that any longer...

This year was very different for us. Evan is now almost 3 years old, and we knew it was time to start doing our own thing. Although we could have dragged everything down to Effingham and celebrated Santa's arrival Christmas morning there, we really wanted to wake up in our own home Christmas morning. And so enters the beginning of new traditions. On Christmas Eve I made one of Rick's favorite meals - stuffed shells with homemade garlic bread. Then we gave Evan one gift to open, which was a pair of Cars pajamas. He was so excited! We all put our new pajamas on and watched Polar Express. We weren't sure how much of it Evan would watch, but he was completely engrossed in it and watched the entire thing sitting on the couch with us. After the movie, we set out cookies for Santa and read The Night Before Christmas.

Evan woke up with a cold Christmas morning at 5:15 AM. We brought him in bed with us hoping he would fall back asleep but that did not happen, and by 6:30 we decided to get up and see what Santa brought. I ran downstairs to start the coffee and get the cameras ready then Rick brought Evan down. Evan's reaction to seeing the presents under the tree: "Presents! I want to watch a movie now." Rick and I quickly suggested that we OPEN the presents and see what Santa brought, and Evan got to work opening everything up. He loved everything Santa gave him and was very excited to play with all of his new toys. We enjoyed a french toast breakfast with lots of coffee for me and Rick, and Evan played all morning with his toys. After Evan's nap we headed over to my parents' house for a delicious dinner and more presents and arrived back home around 11:oo that night.

We had a wonderful 2 days as a family and I really did enjoy doing our own "thing" this year. However, I missed our old traditions. Unlike many of my friends, I love my husband's family. We always have a great time together. I feel like they are MY family. I wish there was an easy solution to this, but there is no magic button that would put Effingham any closer to Chicago. So, we have to accept this change and just be thankful that we have this dilemma and WANT to be with both of our families on Christmas!

Evan bundled up in his snow suit on Christmas Eve to play in the snow for the first time this season

Opening his first gift of the year

Watching the Polar Express

Getting Santa's cookies ready

Santa came!

More pictures to come soon!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Just Saying Hi!

Evan has been talking about his friend, Brett, a lot lately. Unfortunately Brett lives 3 hours away so we don't get to see him as often as we would like to. I asked Evan if he wanted to make a video and say Hi to Brett and he was very excited to do so!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Future Olympian

Evan just keeps going and going and going... he's my energizer bunny. As I posted on my Facebook account, I definitely need to get him into a tumbling class again!

And, I promise to do an actual post some time soon.