Monday, January 16, 2012

Our First Christmas

Sometimes I suck at blogging. I have a lot of really mediocre reasons for it. Many of the same reasons apply to why have haven't wrote in my Journal since Aug. 8. That one makes me really sad.

But on we go.

Christmas is by far my favorite time of year. We had our Christmas tree bought before Halloween and I made sure we attended every Christmasy festivity we could.

This is our super cute Fisher-Price Nativity. I am in love with it. Every Christmas my parents give me and Nicole a nativity. We have gathered quite the collection. At thanksgiving I picked this one to bring home- I told Matt it was because it was the only one I could trust him around, but really its because I think its the cutest thing ever. (Rude wife point). We also have a Fisher-Price Drummer Boy set that I proudly set up under our tree.

Our tree. The colors are teal, red, and gold. I kind of loved it.

It was so fun to have all of these new- ultra-grown- Christmas experiences with Mattski. But it was also very different from what I am used to. We all know how well I handle change. I missed my family so bad- probably the most I have missed them since the dark days of Fall 2006 spent in the basement of A. Richards. Ok that was dramatic, they werent dark, actually looking back they were quite fun. But thats how this silly homesickness stuff goes.

We took Nicole up to the airport Dec 17. And I was uber-grump for the rest of the day. Matt tried to cheer me up with a breakfast burrito (that has NEVER failed) and I ended up crying in Carls Jr. I know, I know. Work that week went by pretty fast- but for some reason I felt the need to explain to my boss that this was the first Christmas I had ever not been home at least by Dec 21. Again, looking back embarrassing and highly unnecessary. I dont want to tell all of the ridiculous things I did that week anymore. I was sad. I wanted to be home. Nuff said.

We did get home and buckled in for a week of fun and excitement.

Christmas eve at the Smith home is usually spent wrapping the presents that dad got for mom. Because mom was done here wrapping weeks ago, and dad says "we do such a nice job". Code for: I dont want to. And we love it. Matt fell right into this tradition. We also had all of our gifts to wrap because of the whole border crossing thing.

Then we went to "Arthurs Christmas" with Pat Kinney... who insisted that we sit on the back row because it had a place for her walker. It was a good one- but mostly I just love Movie Mill popcorn <3 Then we went home and began the chopping for the fondue feast! It was greasy and delicious as ever. Another tradition Matt seemed to become accustom to very quickly. Then we walked (to get the grease out of our system.. ya right) to the church to watch the live nativity. So cold... so worth it. When we got home Nicole graced us with some Christmas songs... and then... her piano duets magically became a production. Matt sang, Nicole played, and I recited the story of Good King Wenceslas. We opened some presents- and all of a sudden found the entire family dressed in matching pajamas. O how it warmed my heart. And then the suggestion comes for a picture of Pops and Matt in their identical PJs in front of the Christmas tree. It is a classic... if I ever get a copy it will be posted on here. After some ridiculous pictures and lots of giggles Matt and I slipped out to our next Christmas celebration. 

 Its 9 pm and my eyes are burning- but there is no time to devote to sleep during such an occasion. 

 We get to Matts house, and Ben meets us at the door. He takes the bag of presents from Matts hand and says "Run to the back door and surprise everyone". Brilliant idea. We run around to the back- I am getting more gitty as the moments pass. We look in the back window and see Matts family busily preparing all sorts of Chinese treats. Ben is right in there... pretending he never saw us. Matt lightly knocks. nothing... a little harder... still nothing. Its windy and cold and this plan was not well thought out. So we walked in- but it was through the back door and not the front so it was still a bit of an adventure. Lots of hugs and happiness, and of course amazing smells coming from the kitchen. Melissa already has her camera out capturing every moment, which I love her for. As the newby I was Joshs head assistant of the pineapple sauce for the won tons. That stuff takes a lot of attention- and young Josh is a master! Before learning Matts Christmas eve tradition I honestly did now know Chinese food could be made in ones kitchen. But let me tell you thats where it belongs because it was SOOO delish. Even on my grease belly. 

 We sat in the living room and all talked for a while. We opened a few presents and everyone said what they were grateful for. (Matts parents had given us each the task of writing 100 things we are thankful for before Christmas eve- and we all got to share one). For some reason, still unknown, this gave my husband the giggles. I think its because he loves Christmas just as much as I do and he had been holding it in for months- it had to come out some how. We chatted late into the night- and I saw for the first time how Sanata does his thing. 

 Christmas morning came early. Very early. We needed to finish Christmas at my house by 10 so we could all make it to the assisted living sacrament where my parents have their calling. We were spoiled! It was a different thing to have 3 people on the couch while opening stalkings rather than just Nicole and I. But Mr. Lowry fit there quite nicely. I love the feeling of everyone there just sharing the love. After we finally make our way through the mountain of gifts...present opening at my house always ends in tears... because we open cards... and the love is just flowin. Matt said our Christmas has a lot more "feelings". And then we begin to devour a stack of pull-aparts. This year with extra carmely sauce. 

 To church we went... where some how Nicole and Matt became part of the program and were at the pulpit singing a duet without one moment of practice. For some reason this gave me the giggles and I couldnt watch.  

Back over to the west side Matt and I went. When we got there everyone was in the living room opening presents. And the happiness begins again! Melissa got Matt and I a Polaroid camera! How cool is that right? Again, this girl is the best present giver ever! Again- we were spoiled. And then Matts mom gets us all set up in front of the fluffiest waffles my eyes have ever seen. Yum. So I might have gained 10 pounds in a week... so what. We spent the afternoon lounging, watching home videos, and I got to see hubs as a young blonde tot- causing chaos. And I may have fallen asleep a bit- whats better than a good ol Christmas nap. I wake up... and its time to eat again.

All of my favorites. Funeral potatoes, ham, YUM. AFter dinner we decided that we would watch some of our family videos too. Grannys feisty trend setting ways are not a new thing. We spent the night watching and playing games and reminiscing... and of course eating.

Overall, a huge success. No wonder why I cry and act a fool when I cant be home with these people having this kind of fun right?! Ok... there is no reason for that. But I have the best 2 families in the world. Who love us and spoil us and who we have so much fun with. To stay in Utah I have to remind myself that if we lived there it wouldnt be Christmas party day in and day out.
Turns out the next day we were exhausted, we didnt step out of the house, and I didnt get dressed. 
Christmas hangover maybe?

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