This year, Jonah took notice of every Christmas tree and wreath everywhere we went, which just added to my holiday joy! He would shake all over and reach out to (very gently) touch the tree or an ornament that had caught his eye. I was curious about whether he would try to pull ornaments off, but this cautious boy did not even approach the tree unless we were with him!
This was at a light show in Kentucky- have you ever seen a cuter profile in your life???
Back to our trip... since both of our family's live far away (mine in KY and Jay's in Georgia) we flip-flop holidays every year (Thanksgiving this year in GA, Christmas in KY, and vice versa next year). We made the 8.5 hour trip up and back without ONE PEEP from Jonah. He was just so good! And that's without a DVD player or anything... we were so proud of him!
My family is best described in three words: big (in number, not it body size- ha ha!), fun, and LOUD. Jay still gets overwhelmed even after six years of marriage. For major holidays, the house is full of people all the time, and it seemed like even more people were around this year because they haven't gotten to spend all that much time with Jonah. All of Jonah's 7 cousins were there to entertain him, and aunts and uncles got some love in, too. I was just so thankful for all of us to be together again! The only person we were missing was my brother-in-law Gavin, who is deployed right now. We miss him terribly!
All the cousins!
Sister-in-law Jenn, brother Boogie, me, Jay, Mom, Dad, sister Shannon, and little bro Tripp
Our awkward (on purpose) sibling photo- love it.
We celebrated at my parents' house on Christmas Eve and had Christmas at my grandmother's house (G.G.) on Christmas Day with ALL the extended family. My all-time favorite tradition is our sing-along (yes, really) after the meal and presents are finished. We gather in the other living room and my music teacher and OCD mother passes out her stapled song sheet packets that she put together in 1981 (or so), sits down at the piano, and we start requesting our favorites. Being a pretty musical family, there's a lot of harmony and a lot of showing off! "Twelve Days of Christmas" is always a favorite because everyone chooses a verse to sing (this year, my niece Gabby and I shared "3 French Hens"), with the attention hogs (including me) wanting the verses toward the beginning since they repeat over and over, and the more gun-shy folks wanting the later verses (a little wimpy if you ask me- ha ha!). I was thrilled that Jonah just got to be a part of a time that has always been so special to me.
Singing our Christmas favorites (top pic); With my brother Tripp (above)
Aunt Kelli, G.G. and Aunt Debbie- ready with their song sheets!
This year I had the privilege of singing on Christmas morning with my brother Tripp at my parents' church. Jay graciously agreed to sing a song too (I'll have to post that video soon!). It was such a special time for me... the two of us grew up performing together all the time, but it's been a long time since! Tripp makes his living as an actor and has always been so amazingly talented- I'm nowhere near his caliber and honored to share the stage! It was such an unexpected blessing to worship our Savior with him. Here's a little peek if you're interested (sorry it's from so far back!):http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-aPLnGm_OY
All in all, this was a Christmas to remember! God is good ALL the time, and I am blessed to be His child. Now, for a final picture of some Christmas joy: