Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Scenes from Christmas Eve & Christmas Day.

I shared in the previous post that I wasn't feeling the joy that the Christmas season usually brings. That changed on Christmas Eve.

Usually, Sean and I do our Christmas Eve together. We order Chinese takeout and get a nice bottle of wine. We open stocking gifts and give the fur-babies their Christmas gifts as well. Then we watch "Love Actually" my favorite Christmas movie. Sean usually falls asleep but I watch it as though it is my first time. If we both are up to it we watch a classic like Home Alone (the first one, always!) and when I know that Sean is really done for the night I'll pop in other Christmas movies like "The Holiday".

When Sean said that he wanted us to drive to Upstate NY the day before Christmas Eve, I'll admit that I was bummed but I went along with it. It's a 4+ hour drive to my in-laws and unfortunately we could not start the trip until 6pm so we didn't reach our hotel until 10:30pm. We checked in, situated the dogs in our tiny hotel room and went to bed.

On Christmas Eve, we got up early and headed to my in-laws where a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon and bagels with cream cheese was being prepared for us. Our dogs and their dogs went crazy seeing each other and that just got me in the Christmas spirit because I could swear that Walker had the biggest smile on his face. I could tell how happy my dogs were to be reunited not just with their doggy friends but with Sean's parents.

Sean's mom decorated beautifully and when you entered it just was cozy and warm and the smell of bacon cooking (which I don't usually prepare but love the smell of) just felt like home and Mrs. Grinch was replaced with how I normally feel this time of year.

Our niece and nephew were there shortly and soon I was wrapped up in all things Christmas. My niece, Nadiyah, was stuck to me the rest of the day and I showed her how to fix settings when taking pictures with my camera. She's a fast learner and I was a model for the rest of the day which reminded me that I much prefer to be behind the camera vs. in front. I was a trooper though because I had to remember how others might feel when I'm all up in their face with my camera, ha.

Sean knowing that I really love our Christmas Eve tradition made sure that in the evening we ordered Chinese food for dinner with his family which was really nice. He brought my favorite wine and knew that "Love Actually" was playing on Netflix and we all sat down and watched together. When we got back to our hotel room, Sean took out our stocking gifts and the dog's gifts (which I did not even know he brought) and it was almost like being at home.

Here's some pictures of our Christmas Eve:

IMG_1824 IMG_1829

The ornament on the left, Sean made in kindergarten ♥
Sean's mom's Christmas tree is full of ornaments, many over 40 years old!

IMG_1792 IMG_1787 IMG_1793

She is seriously the sweetest dog I've ever met ♥
I'm not just saying that because she's mine. She truly is.

IMG_1821
IMG_1803 IMG_1823
IMG_1852
IMG_1841 IMG_1840
IMG_1860
IMG_1868 IMG_1873
IMG_1879

The following day we headed to my in-laws where we exchanged and opened gifts. The kids were so excited with their gifts and it really just made the day feel so happy. This year, Sean's mom wanted us to do dinner at a restaurant for the first time in over seven years and although it was different, it was pretty special too. I don't know if this will be a new tradition or if it was just something different this year but I know that no matter what we do, as long as we're together that's all that really matters.

When we drove back I couldn't help but feel grateful. Yes, I was sad. With my mom gone the holidays are really no longer the same. A time when so many are celebrating a lot of people are also grieving. I miss my mom and I cried when I thought of her. But when Sean's mom hugs me, I get to feel the warmth that only a mother's hug can bring.

She treats me like a daughter and loves me like one too. And I'm so incredibly grateful that during a time when all I can think about is my mom, there's a person who still makes me feel like I am hers.

It's crazy how much life has changed. How much I was not expecting to be in this stage, at this point in my life.
But I'm blessed that I can still feel God's grace and love by people I married into.

Here's some pictures from Christmas Day:

IMG_1908
IMG_1962 IMG_1909 IMG_1911
IMG_1901

The only picture I was able to catch of him all weekend.

IMG_1976
IMG_1934 IMG_1942

Watching "Home Alone" again!
It was his first time last weekend and he loved it!

IMG_1953
IMG_2004 IMG_2009
IMG_2012
IMG_2018 IMG_2024
IMG_2080

Oh and when she realized we had somewhat matching hoods she was thrilled.
Makes me laugh thinking about it.

IMG_2081 IMG_1834

I hope that you all had a wonderful time celebrating with your loved ones.
Happy Holidays and wishing you the Happiest of New Years! ♥

10 comments:

Nylse Esahc said...

Merry Christmas Faith. I don't want to say I know how you feel but I understand. You look really good in these pictures.
Isn't it great that your extended family is so loving and understanding?

Lots of love to you and yours.

Regine Karpel said...

Great smile

Laura Darling said...

I was thinking of you and am so happy that you had a lovely Christmas. That is SO sweet that Sean brought your stocking gifts and still kept some of your normal traditions. Sounds like you have wonderful in-laws!!!

Pegster said...

Merry Christmas Faith, looks like you had a great time celebrating with the family

Tomes Edition said...

Merry Christmas Faith & Sean. New traditions are great. See you in 2017.

Melissa @ i carry your heart said...

Girl, this made me cry: "I miss my mom and I cried when I thought of her. But when Sean's mom hugs me, I get to feel the warmth that only a mother's hug can bring." So sweet. The holidays are definitely different and hard, but thankfully there are sweet moments like that.

Emily Jane said...

Beautiful pictures Faith.

I'm glad your joy returned Christmas Eve.

I think it's adorable that the dogs all got along. & I love that Sean's mom made you feel cozy and welcoming (and her decor WAS beautiful). LOL @ your comment about your niece taking photos. I much prefer to be behind the camera too, than let a little kid take pictures of me at weird angles. ;) & kudos to Sean for ordering Chinese for you <3

Law_Fal said...

I'm so happy for Sean and his family being able to get you in the spirit. Life is so different now. New traditions can help make things feel like the new normal, but I definitely had my moments of sadness as well throughout day. It's just so different now.

Cece @Mahogany Drive said...

Glad that the Christmas spirit got you even though you weren't initially feeling it. Eating out in a restaurant for holidays has become our new "normal" but like you said-the most important thing is that you are together.

Pegster said...

Merry Christmas Faith, nothing better than spending the holidays with family. I miss seeing your sister, father, and niece and nephew but it was nice to see you well surrounded.