For our first Christmas together, Andrew and I traveled to Oregon for a much needed holiday vacation and time with family. We left on a flight December 21st crossing our fingers that we would make it before the snow storm that was predicted to hit. I wasn't too worried, since our flight was earlier in the AM and figured we would beat the weather conditions. Unfortunately, I was highly mistaken. We ended up getting diverted to Boise and stuck there for 3 days... enjoying the first few days of our vacation testing out beds and complimentary toiletries in multiple hotels, getting sore buns in the luxurious seating accomodations all over the Boise Airport and last but not least- relishing in the fine dining of fast food joints in most all of the concourses. Boy, was it an "adventure" as Pops Armitage referred to our journey home. After considering our few options, we ended up flying to Seattle which wasn't much better than Portland and my gracious Uncle Kevin picked us up, opened his home to us and then drove us to Portland. It was such a relief to see a familiar face. The drive was rocky and a bit dangerous, but in the end- we made it. Oh, and the best part was that our luggage was MIA. No one could tell us where it was or when we would be reunited with our belongings, and more importantly- our CLEAN UNDERWEAR!
We finally got to Sherwood and in the comfort of what had once been my childhood home was
transformed into the North Pole. As most of you know, this is an annual tradition that proves my Mothers' motto: "Anything worth doing, is worth over-doing." This has been the story of my life, as my mom never does the bare minimum. Over the years she has accumulated 18 trees in our home, at least one in every room- with appropriate themes of course. For example, the kitchen has a cooking tree, the family history room has a "family" tree with everyone's photos on it, the spare bathroom has a girly theme, the "Pooh" room (not to be confused with the bathroom) has a Winnie the Pooh Christmas theme and our room was the Snowman room- filled with more Snowman decor than anything you can imagine. The banisters are always beautifed to the max, with poinsettias lining each stair. One room is dedicated to her collection of nativity sets, some traditional, others modern and even foreign interpretations. Of course the most memorable portion of the house is the collection of Santa's. She has thousands covering Christmas trees, window sills, end tables, and as much furniture as possible. Each Santa has it's own story or coming about in the collection and Kyler's favorites were the interactive Santa's. Ya know, the ones where you can "push/press here." The kids always manage to turn as many of them on as possible, creating a choir of chaos.
On Christmas Eve we started a tradition of exchanging a set of pajamas for each other. It was fun to have new jammies! I want to do it for our family in all the years to come.
My favorite part of the holiday was having our own little Christmas in the morning before everyone joined together for the activities for the day. On We had stockings for each other and a few gifts. We set a spending cap on presents this year as we don't have much but I was sneaky and planned for the best Christmas surprise ever! As most of you read in a previous posting, Andrew has been wanting a Compound Bow for the last few months. He has not let one day go by without mentioning his NEED for this toy. I made it very clear that we could not afford it and that he could set a little aside every month to eventually save up for one. Little did he know, I purchased one the same day that he tested one out for the first time. I had it sent to my parents' house and had been hoping to surprise him ever since. Boy, was he surprised! He had no clue! It was the best moment ever. He has thanked me every day since Christmas for his bow. It was like watching Ralphie open his Red Rider BB gun on The Christmas Story. I will never forget the look on his face!
Overall, it was a wonderful holiday and a successful for Christmas together.