Christmas Day 2016

Christmas morning arrived early here. Oliver was up a lot of the night, and The Husband spent the evening into the early morning hours putting together the activity table his dad built and the train we got for the kids.
This is the first Christmas that Jack really understood what was going on, and the delight in his eyes was precious when their daddy walked them into the room. 

He went straight for the flashlights (he loves those things), but once he realized the train was for him (and her), he was all about the train. He spent all morning playing with it. 

We do the 4 gifts "rule" for each kiddo. We weren't quite prepared for Olli, haha, so he only got something to read and a pair of gloves to grow into. 
Something they want. 
Something they need. 
Something they wear. 
Something they read. 
The train is obviously not a true "need," but I figure there's not much a 3-year-old and a 2-year-old need. So this year, they "needed" a train, and their Pop-pop made a table to go with it :)
For breakfast, I warmed up some pumpkin bread a friend of my mom's sent over. It was so yummy! A few apples and some cream cheese added to our plates hit the spot. 
They played with their new toys all morning, and then while I fixed lunch, they got to see what Nana and Grandpa had given them. There was much excitement, and they played on it for almost an hour. I foresee many, many afternoons of backyard entertainment ahead of us. 
My parents and my sister and her family came over this afternoon, and we all had time together remembering Ryan and what he meant to us. 
We played outside and opened gifts and ate a yummy dinner prepared mostly by my mom. Thanks, Mom!! 


We struggled with emotions and loved on this guy. 

We took the requisite kiddo pictures. 
We took family photos. I won't say it wasn't difficult watching my sister's family take theirs. It was.  But they are still a family. And, Ryan will always be their son. 
This Christmas was not the wondrous event we all hoped it would be. But there was still joy to be had. Watching my children discover Christmas this morning brought a smile to my face that hasn't made an appearance at all this week. I'm grateful for that. 

We took our family photo, and I smiled. It wasn't my brightest or my biggest, but it was genuine. I smiled because I knew Ryan would want me to. I smiled because he would have hated posing for those photos. I smiled because he was a super kid with a heart of gold who hated social gatherings and who would cringe at all this attention directed towards him. He was one of a kind, and he was ours 💙

May God grant each of us a night of peaceful sleep, sweet dreams, and the hope of a new morning. 

Merry Christmas, from our family to yours. 
May 2017 be filled with much hope and much joy. 


  1. Precious pictures and loving sentiments. My heart is very full. I'm so glad Jack and Ella are enjoying the trampoline and hope this will allow them to be able to get rid of some of their energy when the weather permits. Love you.


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