Traveling for Christmas, why we do it.

The past week we have seen a lot of family while we have traveled around, not everyone, but a lot of our family. In reflecting on the past week, I am so grateful to have grown up and married into a wonderful family. Traveling is not easy, it is not restful, lots of packing, lots of laundry and trying to keep two kids on a schedule is a major task, but it is worth it. The past week we have had time with our loved ones over meals, opening presents and helping with our kids, the memories are worth the tiredness I feel, especially while writing this post.

I grew up traveling for the holidays with my family, this was normal to me, I loved being around my family and didn’t think it was abnormal at all. Once I got married, the questions started, “when are you going to wake up in your own house on Christmas morning”? I then felt odd, why did we travel, why didn’t I get to wake up in my own bed, was I creating an odd tradition for my kids and taking them away from their home? I am a huge home-body, so this question resonated to my core. But the answer is Yes, we are creating traditions and Yes, we are taking our family from our home and will continue to do so as long as we are able to. We have been blessed with family members of multiple generations and want to share our memories with them for as long as possible. The shear joy of my kids waking up to see what Santa has left for them was not changed because we were in my grandparents home, but I do believe is better to be surrounded by our dear family to create and cherish these wonderful memories as a family.

Each family makes their own traditions, when my husband and I were first married, we both have large families and traditions we both didn’t want to miss, but the first Christmas, we spent more time on the road trying to get from one place to another, which was very stressful and dind’t make us feel connected to anyone and were not happy when it was all over. We decided from that point, we would rotate Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday’s with our families, Thanksgiving with my family, Christmas with my husbands family and then we flip the next year. My sister and her husband do the same so we have coordinated being with each other on the same holidays. This works for us and yes it still has it’s challenges, but we feel we are able to spend quality time with each family and don’t feel pulled between events. This is intentional for us to continue to create memories with our families, while surrounding our kids with the wonderful family we have.

Don’t think this is easy, the packing, laundry, late nights, car rides with cranky kids, it is exhausting, but even as I write this post it is all worth it for us. We have been on multiple trips to see family for a solid week, most of the time our two dogs were with us, so 6 of us on the road. To see how excited our kids were to see everyone and to have the memories of this Christmas with our family, it is priceless. I hope you had time to enjoy friends and family this holiday season, and have been able to create wonderful memories with them.

Happy New Years Eve, and Cheers to 2018, it has been a wonderful year.

XOXO

-Amy

Here are some of our highlights in visiting family – my cup runneth over as I look through all these pictures.

Santa picture 2018 – major success with two happy kids!

Cousins – built in friends for life! My sister’s two kids and our two kids, they have a blast together!


How to pack Santa gifts??? This is something that is not learned in college, major fail on my education, but I prepped and wrapped all the Santa gifts ahead of time and put in a plastic tub for safe keeping. My parents always managed to pull this off seamlessly, so I hope we are able to continue the tradition.

Sneak peek at Santa gifts – we wrap each kid’s presents in a different wrapping paper, a tradition my mom started. This helps the little ones from opening their presents, until they can read! Pink Minnie was for Harper and Blue Mickey was for Thomas. I do like to leave a few items unwrapped, but the majority of presents are wrapped.


Santa is ready, now for the kids to open!!


Opening presents Christmas morning Harper, Thomas Jr. and Thomas Sr., goodness I wish I was as ready as these kids to get up.


Thank goodness for beautiful weather, we were able to get the kids outside a lot, to get the excitement and sugar out of them!


My mini me – Thomas Jr. and myself outside on my families farm. This view never gets old, the clouds on Christmas were amazing! I have worn cowboy boots since I was in college, this is the original pair I still love to wear, super comfortable and easy to clean up. Those cowboys know what they are doing! Thomas Jr. got his first pair of cowboy boots for Christmas this year, and I could not resist a twinning picture.
My boys, minus my husband. Fig, not wanting to take a picture and play fetch, while Thomas Jr. hides. Photo credit goes to Harper for taking the picture!


More outside time, this view never gets old! No animals or kids were harmed in the stick fight.
Big Cousin Emma, reading to the little’s, this is what it is all about! Goodness these are the memories that make me sentimental and make it all worth the tired eyes and piles of laundry.


Most of the family, we were missing a few, but this was the Christmas 2018 lunch crew. 4 generations in one picture, priceless memories.
Santa brought SKATES!!! We were home for a day between our trips and the kids could not wait to break out their new skates.
Cousins waiting to open gifts! These two were born one day apart and have the sweetest bond. So grateful to spend as much time with each other, as we don’t live in the same city.
Cheers for meat balls!!! Spoiler alert, Laney (dog) gets some meat balls from the kids.
Cousins, cousins and more cousins. This is a small selection of cousins, my husbands family is very large and we have lots of kids. We are not together often as a large group, but were this summer and it was so much fun to see all the kids in one place. Best described as ants on Twinkies, just as fast and as sweet!
My little Jedi, Star Wars was a common theme with our kids this year! We are loving all things from the light side!
Me too, we laugh constantly, Thomas Jr. says “Me Too” about everything his sister does. Being the youngest in my family, I know what this is all about, trying to keep up with the older sibling it is a hard job, but Thomas Jr. does it well! The force is strong with this one! 🙂
Celebrated my mother in laws 60th birthday! Love having another reason to have more sugar over the holidays! This cake was to die for, if you are in Greensboro, NC you must check out Maxie B’s.
New Years Day – early count down with sparkling grape juice. The kids loved it and I cracked up that my broth in law served it to the kids in shot glasses! Cheers to noon!
Cousins and more cousins! Had lunch with my dads brothers and their family today, this has become an annual tradition on New Years and is such a fun way to celebrate another year! Please note, Thomas Jr. peaking on the top step. Way past nap time, and a full week of Christmas celebration and travel will make you a bit nutty!




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