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:

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

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

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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:

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

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

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

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


  1. 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.

  2. 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!!!

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

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.


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