This year was a blessed year, having Jake back with me. (I'm going to be selfish and just say 'me' here.) I never felt alone, like an outcast, or charity case. It was awesome. I will never take holidays with Jake for granted again.
I'll never take any day with my husband for granted again.
It was a great holiday.
Christmas eve consisted of me finishing wrapping presents while Jake did a last minute present run. School has been so crazy for him, on top of working 2nd and 3rd shift, that he wasn't able to get everything he wanted to for people, including me. He came home a little frustrated, but quickly bought the last item he was searching for on Amazon and it should be here in a few days... I still have no idea what it is.
We went to our church's early Christmas Eve service and enjoyed the time worshiping together with Jake's side of the family.
From there we went to MIL's house to have our family Christmas.
It was fun watching the little boys tear into their presents. I think all of the big kids were done with their presents and we just watched them. They were so funny, playing with what the other opened, when they had one of their own.
After we were all done with tree gifts, we had our first White Elephant exchange.
It was awesome.
There wasn't as much stealing as we all expected, but I think it's because no-one had done it before. Jake was one of the first to open and he got a wine ariator and a sock monkey wine cover. He doesn't really drink wine, so he wasn't too thrilled about his gift. (I love the sock monkey!... and I'm a wine drinker, So I don't mind it.)
I ended up with a 'White Trash Picnic Set'. The picture explains it all!
I love it!
Christmas Day, Jake and I decided against choosing between the boy's Christmas Mornings and decided to sleep in. Well, Asher and I were up... Jake just kept telling me '5 more minutes'. (He doesn't adjust quickly to a 'normal' day, after working 2nds and 3rds.)
We got up and got to my parent's house around noon for presents with my side of the family.
(Growing up, my mom worked Christmas morning at the hospital and we always postponed presents until later in the day... So it was nothing new for anyone... Plus it gives people time to do their own private Christmases)
The mayhem started and paper flew everywhere. My side of the family did a Secret Santa exchange and we all spoiled, and were spoiled by our SS. It was fun. Paisley pooped out when she still had about 15 gifts left to open... She got to Tinkerbell dolls and called it a day, taking off shoes and putting them back on... Not interested in a single other thing.
She went down for a nap not long after.
We then ate dinner, played, napped and ate 2nds.
Pictures from that Christmas were all taken on my sister's SLR.
Jake and I took a breather from all the craziness and went to visit his grandma, who broke her back about a week ago.
Then we went back to my parents house to watch Pitch Perfect with SIS and B-Rad. Everyone else was too tired to stay up.
Then Jake and I went home and crashed.
It was pretty great.
Again I can't explain what a joy ti is to have my husband back home. Every holiday we come to, I have the same reaction. Last year was such a crap-shoot for me. Every big holiday, I spent knowing that Twin, while not there for 'the holiday season', was on his way home after not even 4 over seas... And Jake missing everything and everyone for the whole year.
It made the holidays especially hard.
But that is all over now.
Now, we only have a few months until we are done with the National Guard for good...
And we don't mind... Not one bit.