This year's Christmas has been in the planning for a couple of years now. As I have mentioned before, our family has had numerous celebrations this year - anniversaries, special birthdays (all birthdays are special but I'm talking about the decade changing ones!), graduations, new babies, etc. So we decided a couple of years ago to take a family trip and originally we were going to Italy. But somebody forgot to tell the girls not to have babies until after the trip. Well, actually somebody did tell them not to have babies until after the trip - and thankfully they didn't listen.
So then we decided that perhaps a Mexican cruise would be nice. But then we learned that babies have to be at least 6 months old before they can go on a ship. Okay - nevermind.
We finally chose to go to Florida - as the one common denominator we all agreed on was that we wanted to go somewhere warm. So on December 27th - our kids, grandkids, mothers-in-law, and us are boarding a plane for Florida. We have rented a house for a week that has a pool and is only 2 blocks from the beach. We are stoked. Becky assures me that we will fit right in with all the other tourists wearing flip-flops and shorts while the natives are wearing their coats and handwarmers.
One of the stipulations was that if we take this trip there will be no Christmas present buying this year. All our money is going to the trip. I don't know how it is going to feel on Christmas morning to wake up and not have a single present to open, but I'm sure enjoying it right now. I cannot believe the stress it has taken off this holiday. Nothing to buy. Nothing to wrap. Nothing to exchange. It is wonderful!
Instead our gift is a week of being together, playing games, fishing, laughing, reminiscing, eating, and visiting the Mouse of course. Inevitably there will be some arguing and some stress. But that's okay - it comes with the territory of big families. With all the changes going on in our family, knowing that in just a few short weeks Michelle and Brad and Tyler will be leaving for three years, I plan on doing what Mary did - and just ponder all these things in my heart.
And because I can't seem to post anything these days without pictures of my sweet babies - I hope you don't mind indulging me!
I made these little Candy Cane hats for the babies. I envisioned them more like a stocking hat and not this Dr. Suess kind of look. Oh well.
This is the little sweater and hat I made sweet Ava from the Itty Bitty Nursery book. I want to make one in every size so she will always have one to wear - it's so snuggly!
Our sweet boy and girl. They are such blessings to our hearts.