After Christmas this year, I felt kind of the same as I did when our wedding day was over… only a less extreme version… all that planning and preparation and now, it’s all over. I’ve got to say, it was probably the best Christmas I’ve had to date. Not because of the extravagant presents or any specific event, but because it was Jarid & my first Christmas together… I just couldn’t wait to wake up and see the look on his face. He makes everything SO much fun.
Before the Christmas day carousing began, let me rewind to Christmas Eve. Jarid & I both had to work. Luckily, we both had gracious employers who let us out early. By 3pm, we were on our way to Lancaster to spend time with my Dad’s side of the family, which I look forward to each year. We don’t often get to see them, so for us all to be together in one house for a solid couple of hours is really special.
This little red-head, Jack, absolutely loves Jarid *see the above tackle picture*. I can’t say I blame him 😉
My cousin Ryan (right), who was an usher for our wedding, was home from college, too, so that was a highlight for me. Ryan and I were best buddies growing up… we always had a love for video games and frequently teamed up to conquer games together… Yoshi and Aladdin were some of our favorites 🙂
We had a delicious dinner there! They always spoil me with goodies.
Delicious fresh greens and vegetables from the heart of Lancaster (where the BEST produce in Central PA is grown) along with a rotisserie chicken that Grammie got just for me. She even sent me & Jarid home with a whole one! See?! I’m super spoiled.
Three cheers for a whole weeks worth of meat for the Snyder’s!
Anyway, our next stop Christmas Eve was my parents’ house.
Momma’s side of the family in all of it’s traditional glory. Nana & TT (my Godparents) buy for allllll of the kids in the family, but in order to get your presents, you have to sit in the middle of our huge group and the spotlight is on you to pose and holdup your gift for everyone to see. Lucky for me, once you’re married, you no longer have to! Everyone joked with Jarid that I was using him to avoid doing so this year.
While there, we gave Bowman his gifts along with Bran & Jared. I know I’m biased, but I think a lot of you would agree… he is SERIOUSLY the cutest kid in the universe. For his Christmas gift, I took photos of everyday things that were in the shape of letters, then I printed them in black & white, and used them to spell out his name in a floating frame…Something similar to this:
We knew he probably wouldn’t be thrilled about it, so we got him a fun gift, too. Bran said that he lovesss Boz DVDs, so we found the Christmas one to add to his collection. His reaction was priceless… he kept saying “Boz, Boz!” and “watch now?”
It truly was a wonderful night, but I was fighting a nasty flu (not stomach, thank GOD), so I tried my best to enjoy it in spite of my throbbing headache, swollen lymph nodes in my neck, and stuffy nose, not to mention the achy body that I’d been lugging around from place to place.
When we finally made it home that night, we prepped for Santa’s visit! I insisted on putting out some cookies (which ended up turning into Jarid’s breakfast), and we tried to go to sleep, but we were a little bit excited for the next 24 hours!
Around 7:30am, we woke up and had our very first Christmas morning together. We prayed and thanked God for all he had given us out around the tree, and then I videoed us opening gifts. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to upload the video, but I did snap a quick shot before we got down to business.
I love that I can see his big cheesy grin even though I’m standing behind him. I surprised Jarid with a North Face Fleece & a Google Nexus as his big gifts. Plus a few odds and ends that I couldn’t pass up: The Dark Knight Rises DVD, The Amazing Spiderman DVD, two dress shirts, some Axe spray, deodorant, & body wash, a bottle of his own Sriracha (which he puts on EVERYTHING), McDonald’s gift cards (because he’s deprived of it living with me ;)), his favorite candy–butterfingers, Halo 4, Madden ’13. The thing I was most excited about from him, was the Beauty & the Beast Broadway tickets that he got us! We get to spend a weekend in Baltimore, too, which means…. WHOLE FOODS! Yay. Oh yeah… anddddd:
A brand new elliptical!! EEEEEeeeek! I ran my old one into the ground… it needed new bearings! With labor included, it could get pretty expensive… plus, once that is fixed, you never know what else could break down… it was three years old and I’ve probably run 102394209385 miles on it. We figured that it would probably be best to just invest in a new one. Sears was having an awesome sale and we got this one for about 1/2 price. It has been so awesome, although, I haven’t been able to use it much since I’m down and out from this flu. The features include:
Compatibility with iFit Live technology, which wirelessly connects your elliptical to the Internet, where you can access workouts powered by Google Maps, train with Jillian Michaels, receive automatic workout downloads, and more.
Grafixx displays, a compatible music port for your iPod, and built-in workouts designed by certified personal trainers to take you to your highest training level.
Built-in fan and sound system, and when you’re done working out, it folds up vertically so you can maximize your space.
After we got ready and ate a real breakfast, we headed to Momma & Poppa Cox’s where we were greeted with tears and hugs. They didn’t expect us to make it for the entire morning, but we arrived a little early and just in time before they started!
We each read a page of baby Jesus’ birth story aka the Christmas story before we started gift giving. Honestly, this time in the morning with my family was absolutely precious.
I couldn’t imagine having to miss opening presents with my sisters, brother, and parents, and I’m thankful for a husband who understands that and loves it just as much as I do. Words cannot describe how much it meant to me that we were all together on Christmas morning.
Momma Cox definitely read the blog because she even put some Quest Bars in my stocking! She is the BEST ❤ One of the most wonderful gifts that Jarid & I received from Momma & Poppa Cox, was the fact that they registered us to go to the Weekend to Remember Conference! I just love finding new ways to invest and grow in our marriage. I mean, if you’re going to invest in something, isn’t that one of the absolute best options?!
Next, we played a couple rounds of Quelf, a game my sister had gotten from Santa. It was fun, but before I knew it 12:15pm rolled around and it was time to leave.
I was sad to have to go in the midst of all the emotion and fun at Momma & Poppa Cox’s, but at the same time, I was excited to spend a little time with Momma & Poppa Snyder. Grandma Hess was joining us for lunch at Jarid’s parents’ house, and I just adore them all. I’m so blessed to have such warm, welcoming in-laws.
Momma Snyder even went to the trouble of making roasted vegetables just for me. How thoughtful is she!? The lunch plate consisted of roasted turkey, kale salad with clementines, which I brought (recipe coming soon!), and roasted veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, parsnips, and squash)… quite delicious (but the company was better).
Soon it was time to open gifts! Grandma Hess cried when she opened the gift from us… it was a framed picture of us with her after our wedding… I may or may not have teared up a bit seeing her reaction, myself. Gosh, I love her.
We hung out and just enjoyed each others’ company until about 3pm when we headed over to Grandma Hess’s where the rest of the family would be to sit on Santa’s lap!
I wish this hadn’t gotten blurry, but it’s better than nothing. Every year, Grandma Hess dresses like Mrs. Claus, and Jarid’s Uncle Jim dresses like Santa. The kids all get to sit on his lap and they give out gag gifts. It.is.awesome. I’m actually very excited to have some baby Snyder’s to watch and enjoy these traditions (in due time, of course). We really enjoyed mingling with our cousins in the kitchen. We are actually planning a night to go out to dinner & a movie together to get a little extra quality time this weekend.
Soon, we were off to the next destination: my Aunt Teena’s house.
The majority of the kids here were downstairs playing all of their new games & with their new gadgets…
We finally headed home from here around 8pm. I was exhausted x2 from being sick, but I can say truly, it was one of the best days. Seeing all of our family like that was totally worth all the running around. I won’t lie though, I hit the pillow pretty hard after Christmas day. This chick was out like a light.
I’ll leave it at this…
May you celebrate the FAITH that is at the heart of CHRISTmas, the HOPE that lies ahead in Heaven, and the LOVE of your family & friends. We hope you’ve had a blessed CHRISTmas, filled with God’s love ❤