Christmas – “Santa I know him!”

Indiana Christmas

I can’t believe Christmas is already over. So in a poor attempt to hold onto it for just a moment longer, I want to share a couple of my Christmas moments and a few of my favorite gifts. Christmas is likely much like yours, filled with laughter, chaos, jammed packed days and full evenings. Typically, mine involves snow, something I took for granted before moving to Texas. Everyone joked that I brought Texas weather home with me because Christmas day called only for a light coat.

This year, Ann Blair (closest thing to family in Dallas/friend from college/best friend’s sister/grand-little of Chi Omega/neighbor) and I drove to Nashville for the first night. We spent the evening at her sister’s house (my old Nashville roommate and partner-in-crime) dancing and singing on the kitchen bar and hanging out with Finn’s “dad”, Jimmy. Poor Jimmy had no idea he was in for the ultimate girls’ night. He was a trooper though and, let’s face it, he was primarily there to see Finn – completely let down when Finn didn’t react like those dogs who see their owners returning from war. He actually said that. I had almost forgotten what his humor was like. It was a great night. My heart hurt a little, realizing all over again how much I loved my life in Nashville. I spent the following day with Jimmy’s mom, someone who still remains very dear to my heart. That woman doesn’t have a selfish bone in her body.  She drove all the way to Nashville just to spend the afternoon with me and the dogs. I’m confident she went shopping as well.

Then it was off to Indiana to see my family! Aside from my sister and cousins, who are more like siblings to me, my entire extended family lives right where I grew up – Newburgh, Indiana. It never fails, when I see the “Welcome to Indiana” sign, my mind floods with 1,000 memories.

The past few Christmases I’ve stayed at my grandma’s home. I wouldn’t trade that new Christmas tradition for anything. I miss staying at my mom’s house, but with our ever-growing family, this makes the most sense. My grandma is my world, so having the opportunity to spend extra time with her for almost an entire week is special to me. Now that she is getting a little older, it’s nice to be there to help her around the house and whatnot.  Don’t let her fool you though, she won’t rest until the job is done. She’s been like that my entire life and she certainly passed it down to my mother. If you gave me $5.00 for every time I heard her say, “Just one more thing and then I’m going to sit down a minute.”, Christmas would have paid for itself, and that includes both gifts and the gas to drive from Texas.

The best part about staying with her, hands down, is first thing in the morning when I’m sitting at the kitchen table talking with her over coffee and the big breakfast she always makes. I’m not sure I could tell you what we talk about really. I think it’s less about the conversation and more about just having her there. Her presence is soothing to me. I guess it’s been that way since I was a kid. She’s my constant. It’s those mornings that I’ll never forget. At night, after everyone had left or I got back from doing whatever was on the evening agenda, we would both slide under her electric blanket, dogs cuddled up to her, and watch Hallmark Christmas movies. Only before I was about to doze off would I head down to my bedroom.

Another family tradition that we didn’t get to do much of this year, but I still love, is playing games with my family. After all the babies are asleep, we play for hours. Spencer being incredibly slow, mom ultra competitive and Jim too smart for his own good.  Jen and I are typically the first ones to burn out and resort to watching a movie while the other three play until far too late in the evening. My competitive nature comes from my mom 100%. My dad is the complete opposite. 🙂

Christmas morning at my mom’s never disappoints. For starters, she is the most amazing cook. There’s a chance I’m pre-diabetic after eating all her homemade sugar cookies. I went ahead and finished off the remaining batch she sent home with me so I could begin eating healthier by January 1. 🙂  She always goes above and beyond to make Christmas feel special. Every gift is from “Santa” and we all watch as each person opens his or her gifts, not rushing the morning. The family is full of grandkids now, so it’s fun watching them open gifts and “help” you open all of yours. Needless to say, she’s a very talented Santa.

Photo booth after Christmas service at Crossroads Community Church. My mom, step-dad and sister's adorable kids Photo booth after Christmas service at Crossroads Community Church. My mom, step-dad and sister’s adorable kids My sister and best friend in the world when we were celebrating Christmas at my Dad's  My sister and best friend in the world when we were celebrating Christmas at my Dad’s The best dad in the world with the sweetest nephew :) The best dad in the world with the sweetest nephew 🙂 The new addition to the family.  Isaac August's first Christmas.  He's totally into the holiday...he tried to eat all the Christmas decor. I totally get it. The new addition to the family.  Isaac August’s first Christmas.  He’s totally into the holiday…he tried to eat all the Christmas decor. I totally get it.

It’s amazing to me how much my Christmas wish list has changed over the past few years. As an adult you ask for things you desperately want, but wouldn’t go out and buy because you’re too busy purchasing items you don’t need or going on trips. Last year I asked for all home stuff, this year wasn’t much different. Being a grown up is expensive!  I was completely spoiled, showered with gifts from my family, but below you will find a few of my favorite Christmas gifts from this year.

Mom surprised me with a new work bag. She also got me one from Free People, but this one takes the cake, or rather the 100 sugar cookies I ate over Christmas. Perfect navy bag for work or whatever else you may use it for. Mom surprised me with a new work bag. She also got me one from Free People, but this one takes the cake, or rather the 100 sugar cookies I ate over Christmas. Perfect navy bag for work or whatever else you may use it for. I love making tea in the evenings.  I wanted an old school tea pot, one that whistled. My grandma got me the perfect one. I love it. She got it from Bed Bath and Beyond. I love making tea in the evenings.  I wanted an old school tea pot, one that whistled. My grandma got me the perfect one. I love it. She got it from Bed Bath and Beyond. This isn't a fancy Bose sound box, but I picked it out because it has amazing sound quality and cost about 1/4 the price of the Bose. It's all I need to dance around the house. I'm in love with this already. This isn’t a fancy Bose sound box, but I picked it out because it has amazing sound quality and cost about 1/4 the price of the Bose. It’s all I need to dance around the house. I’m in love with this already. My sister always gets me awesome gifts, but of the ones she and her family gave me this year, this is the one I will cherish.  I sing this song to my niece and nephews, but always get the lyrics wrong. It's become a big joke, so this makes me chuckle every time I see it. My sister always gets me awesome gifts, but of the ones she and her family gave me this year, this is the one I will cherish.  I sing this song to my niece and nephews, but always get the lyrics wrong. It’s become a big joke, so this makes me chuckle every time I see it. Adidas Ultra Boost running shoes are the perfect shoe for me. They have a 10mm heel-to-toe drop. After being fitted for shoes due to shin, knee and IT band problems I found that was the fit for me. Brooks have some good stable shoes as well, but these are much better looking. They are pricey, but worth it.  Shout out to my gal Linds for helping with these ;) Adidas Ultra Boost running shoes are the perfect shoe for me. They have a 10mm heel-to-toe drop. After being fitted for shoes due to shin, knee and IT band problems I found that was the fit for me. Brooks have some good stable shoes as well, but these are much better looking. They are pricey, but worth it.  Shout out to my gal Linds for helping with these 😉 The most AMAZING compact carpet cleaner. I have two pups, and despite the fact I wipe their paws each time we come inside (OCD I know, my friends have told me), I still need to clean my rugs and bedroom.  This is the perfect fit - professional grade cleaning and compact enough to store in small place. You can find it on Amazon for $130.00. My mom, the other OCD family member got me this baby. The most AMAZING compact carpet cleaner. I have two pups, and despite the fact I wipe their paws each time we come inside (OCD I know, my friends have told me), I still need to clean my rugs and bedroom.  This is the perfect fit – professional grade cleaning and compact enough to store in small place. You can find it on Amazon for $130.00. My mom, the other OCD family member got me this baby.

So there you have it! Sure, I left 3/4 of my week out, because I would have been writing for days, but you got a small glimpse into my favorite holiday. I love love love Christmas!

Happy birthday Jesus,

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A 31 year old Nashville female who loves Jesus and looks at life for what it is; messy and beautiful. After writing for Christian magazines and nonprofit blogs, Balanced Chaos came to life when she realized the world needed a raw dose of reality.

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