We are fortunate that most of our family lives close by, but that also means a busy holiday season!
Our first family Christmas was with my dad’s side. My grandmother, aunt, uncle, and cousins came to visit one Saturday. We call my Aunt Cindy “Santa” because she is such a good gift giver! My brother gets a gun every year, and I have gotten everything from an iPad to a camera! She is always so thoughtful. In fact, the chair in Ryder’s monthly pictures was from Cindy last Christmas (before Ryder was even born). She also finally tracked down a carousel horse for my mom, which she had been wanting for years.
Cindy did not disappoint this year! She got myself and my sister in law some gorgeous custom made bracelets! I think Chad’s gift really takes the cake, though. Chad has been getting his old Jeep restored for a while now, and Cindy tracked down the patches to go with it. She found all the pieces for this Jacket and had it made just for him. He was really excited. To continue the Jeep theme, she got Ryder a little ride on Jeep that had some blocks inside. He loves it. She also got him a toy chest that matches his chair. It took Chad a few days to put it together, but Ryder loves it too! He goes right to it every morning after we change him. Cousin, W.E., also got Ryder a little ball popper toy that he really enjoys! W.E. is so sweet to think of us. We had such a good time hanging out all day.
The next day we had dinner in Levelland with Chad’s family. His Aunt Carolyn gave Ryder a little ride on plane from Planes the movie. This one was cool because it can be made into a rocker and has rails on it too. Ryder enjoyed playing with it while we played games that night.
A couple of days later we had Christmas with my mom’s side of the family. I was kind of disappointed that not everyone made it. I missed Christmas with them last year because I was in the hospital right after Ryder was born. My Uncle Greg, cousins’ Byron, Kevin, Jazmin, and Kelsay all couldn’t make it. Hopefully we will see them soon, though. The guy’s did a Chinese gift exchange and pretty much everyone left with the gift they came with. My dad was excited to get his since it was a fishing pole, and he wants to take Ryder fishing. The girls had drawn names, and I loved my gift of make up from Jazmin! My grandparents just gave everyone cash for Christmas, even Ryder. He still had fun, though, just playing with his Uncle Johnny and tearing up paper!
For Christmas Eve we cooked dinner for my parents and went to our church’s service. It was really nice. Ryder did pretty well once we gave him a bottle! He finally fell asleep. The pastor was pretty funny, though, making references to other kids crying in the audience and saying how loud it must have been in that stable with all of those animals! Growing up my parents always let my brother and I open one gift on Christmas Eve, usually our gifts to each other. I thought maybe we could do the same so I helped Ryder open a Christmas book from us, and we attempted to read it to him. The Charlie books by Ree Drummond are really cute! After we got Ryder off to bed, Chad and I exchanged our gifts so that we could focus on Ryder Christmas morning. I actually took a gamble on one of his gifts and hit it out of the park. Ladies take note. The Ryobi phone works from Home Depot are really cool. They are tools that you plug into your smart phone. Chad loves that they are practical and also a fun techy toy. He gave me perfume and Adobe Photoshop! Hopefully I can start editing my pictures again. I used to have it on my old laptop, and always used it!
Santa came and left Ryder the cutest tricycle and helmet! We had to wake Ryder up Christmas morning, so he didn’t really know what to think. He LOVES the tricycle now, though, and sits by it until Chad gives him rides around the house. I am so excited that it can grow with him. Ryder had some puffs, a hammer, and a book in his stocking. I didn’t realize that Ryder only had 3 gifts from us to open, but I am kind of glad we kept it low key since he had plenty of other gifts from the other Christmases! We gave him a shirt, a train, a little rolling lion, and more books.
After we all got dressed and ready we headed to my parent’s house. My brother and sister-in-law were already there waiting on us of course! My parents gave Ryder a really cute ride on Elephant that also bounces. In case you’ve lost count, that’s 4 ride on toys so far. He got some more books and a fun ball pit from his aunt and uncle. I got lots of jewelry from my parents and Chad got an air compressor. They have always been so generous with us, and I love that they treat everyone fairly including spouses. My dad is kind of like Cindy in that way, he loves to buy gifts but doesn’t like to receive. We followed his wishes this year and just gave him an Alamo gift card!
After a quick turn around at my parent’s house, we headed off to Chad’s aunt’s house. We had lunch with his dad’s side of the family. Ryder enjoyed the sweet potatoes. We did a big gift exchange for the guys and girls, then I tried to get Ryder to go down for a nap. It was a long day for a little boy!
We ended Christmas day with Chad’s parents coming over to our house to exchange gifts. Ryder got a really cute Fisher Price Noah’s Ark! He also got a tennis racket, and some shorts from them. Chad and I both received gift cards for new clothes!
After all of those Christmases, it looked like we robbed a toy store!
Of course the next few days were busy with birthday celebrations, but I did want to include our New Year’s Eve pictures. My best friend has been in town from Arizona, and we had planned to meet up with them, but alas we were iced in. After a couple of days cooped up in the house, Chad took us out for pizza at a place right around the corner. We also drove around looking for something sweet afterwards! Ryder took a good nap while we drove around, so he was still going at midnight! We rang in the new year just our little family, and it was perfect! Last year we were in the NICU, what a difference a year makes.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year!