We're back home from having Christmas in Kentucky. It was a very hectic time, but, as always, it was worth it. It might not have been so hectic if we had those three days that were spent waiting in NC instead of relaxing in KY... Yeah, that big snowstorm that came through VA and WV kept us home three days longer than planned. Our route goes right through where snow made for some really bad snow conditions, especially through the WV Turnpike, which was closed the day we were supposed to be on the road. Some people were stranded for 26 hours... I'm glad we made the decision to be stranded at home and wait it out. So, instead of leaving on Saturday, me and the kiddos left the house Tuesday morning. Ryan had to stay back to work and fly in Wednesday evening. I was nervous about the long drive by myself because Aiden really is not a great car-rider, especially on those long trips. But someone must have been hearing my prayers because the trip went way better than expected. That little boy who never sleeps more than an hour on these trips (that can take over 12 hours....) slept for a full (exactly) THREE HOURS right in the middle of the drive. Wow. Camden and I kept things silent for fear of waking the little guy up. We managed to stop in WV to have lunch with Ryan's dad and then again in KY to drop some luggage off at my mom's before driving another couple hours to my dad's. We weren't sure if we would make it to his house or not (that's where we were supposed to stay during the time we were stuck at home), but we made such good time that we managed...Aiden started to get cranky shortly before arriving. We left the house at 7:30am and arrived at our final destination at 7:30pm. But we made it, at least!
During our five days of visiting (not including the two days of travel), we managed to be in five different cities and see all of our family and some of our friends (but not all we had hoped to see). I told you it was hectic! The boys got plenty of gifts, as did we. It seemed to be the year of books for me and Ryan. We both came home with a ton (that we had asked for, of course). Now...we just need to find the time to read them all!! ;) We also enjoyed seeing the grandparents open their gifts. Among other things, they all received copies of a photobook of Aiden's first year and some pottery item that the kids made for them (either with handprints or thumbprints included, of course). But mostly, it was just wonderful to be with everyone. It's also the only time I get to see my extended family, since we live so far away. While some might say they would just as well stay at home rather than be so rushed and drive so much (most places we visited were about two-hour drives), I wouldn't do it any other way. Family is too important, so we make the trip...and look forward to living closer and being able to relax a bit during the holidays one day. Driving all over Kentucky, I was also reminded of how beautiful that state is. I kept wanting to stop the car to take pictures... All of the fields with cows grazing, the horse farms, the sunsets we got to see, everything. Beautiful.
Here are our pictures from all the Christmas celebrations (and some other events that happened to take place in December). I didn't take as many as I normally do, and somehow I missed pictures of some of the people we saw (sorry about that!). You'll notice Camden is missing from quite a few. He WAS with us for Christmas, but everywhere we went...he quickly disappeared to play outside or in another room with other kids. Aiden's always stuck with us, so there is no shortage of pictures of him. It was a lot of fun with him this year, especially because he really figured out the whole gift-opening concept. Hopefully next time we travel, he'll also figure out that he doesn't need to wake up at 4am every morning...
Now...next year...we are definitely getting started earlier. I'm putting it on my calendar. We still have yet to get the boys' tree ornaments (!!!I feel so terrible!!!), a tradition we have where they each get an ornament every year, symbolizing something that was important from that year. We have one picked out finally for Aiden on etsy (it should not be so hard to find a star ornament...), and we had one to get for Camden, but Hallmark sold out long before we knew about it. Christmas totally snuck up on us this year! We barely got our family photo album ordered in time... Camden's Christmas pjs had to be shipped to Mammaw's house, so he didn't get them until we were there (just in time to wear them on Christmas Eve, at least). Cards barely made it out in time. And we were just behind on so much. Next year, right? Seriously, it's going on the calendar in August or something. Once I get around to getting the new calendar out and writing in it...
Ok, enough talk. Here are the pics.
I hope everyone else had a very, very Merry Christmas!!