Merry Christmas From Our Corner

This year, my little family enjoyed one of the most low key holidays we have ever had.

When I began dating Oatmeal, I learned that his family had already set up a schedule for the holidays.  One year his parents would host Thanksgiving at their home and everyone would come to them, but then at Christmas their children would go to their inlaws.  Then the next year it flip flops, and their kids would spend Thanksgiving at their inlaws but spent Christmas with them.  So it’s always been easy to decide where to go, and this year we spent Thanksgiving with the Griffins.

Even though this year was Christmas with inlaws, his parents still planned an early celebration on the 20th.  We all went to Sealy and enjoyed the usual pot luck, playing with kids, and exchanging gifts while sitting around the Christmas tree.  It was a lot of fun, especially now that Poppyseed is old enough to really have fun and participate.

The actual week of Christmas was very laid back.  Oatmeal got off a little bit early on Christmas Eve and we went to a candle light service at a church that we have visited a few times since we moved.  It was a really nice service, the kids were both really well behaved, and we all really enjoyed it!

Poppyseed was very serious about lighting her candle!

Poppyseed was very serious about lighting her candle!

Two handsome guys at the Christmas Eve service.

Two handsome guys at the Christmas Eve service.

We got home around 5pm and ate grilled ribeyes, green beans, and baked sweet potatoes for dinner.  Then I put Middle down for the night, and Oatmeal took Poppyseed to Sealy to feed and check all of the animals since his parents were out of town.  Before they left I managed to get a few cute pictures of my munchkins.

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I don’t think I did an exceptionally great job of getting Poppyseed excited about Christmas this year.  I could blame the move, the lack of sleep, or the fact that she isn’t in preschool anymore.   I just didn’t talk about it as much as I wish that I had.  Don’t get me wrong, we did talk about it being Jesus’ birthday almost every day.  We attended a party where there was a Santa, and she talked to him and we got some cute pictures.  We braved the crowd at Santa’s Wonderland in College Station a few days before we moved.  I even did a few Christmas themed crafts with her the week before.  I guess I just wish that I had made her a larger part of things like decorating the tree (I slapped it up after bedtime one night in between unpacking boxes) or read her more books about Christmas (I finally bought three books on Christmas Eve).  Don’t get me wrong, she did somewhat grasp the concept, but I do feel like had she been going to preschool or spent more time in my lap reading, she would have been a lot more excited.  But hey, there’s next year.

This was our Christmas corner - basically all of the decorations that we displayed this year are in this photo!  Most of them stayed packed.  Again, always next year!

This was our Christmas corner – basically all of the decorations that we displayed this year are in this photo! Most of them stayed packed. Again, always next year!

When Oatmeal and Poppyseed returned from Sealy it was already 7pm, so I read her some new books and down she went for the night!

I'm excited to have these books now.  I guess buying them on Christmas Eve is better than not at all.

I’m excited to have these books now. I guess buying them on Christmas Eve is better than not at all.

On Christmas morning I woke up and beelined to my Christmas present – the Nespresso machine.  Anyone who knows me in person can vouch that I am a caffeine addict.  For as long as I can remember I have had a cup of either coffee or espresso in the morning.  I actually switched from coffee to espresso when I got pregnant with Middle because I realized that espresso generally has much less caffeine than coffee.  (Who knew?)  What’s funny is that I only have one serving a day, and it really isn’t even 100mg of caffeine, so I can go a day without drinking it with no ill effects.  I think it’s just part of my routine and a comfort thing more than anything!

So, this was my gift!  I was so excited.  The black appliance brews espresso, and the silver mug froths milk. Since I’m 100% dairy free to see if that helps with Middle’s sleep, I can now make lattes with almond milk.  Yum.

I bought the Nespresso Inissia.  I LOVE it.

I bought the Nespresso Inissia. I LOVE it.

Poppyseed was already sitting at the tree asking, “Can I open presents now Daddy?  Mommy is it time to open presents now?”  We all sat down on the floor and watched her open all of her gifts, and Middle’s gifts, and most of her dad’s.  😉

I always have to laugh, because Oatmeal is really not a big gift giver or receiver.  He just never gets that into it, and each year it’s like pulling teeth to get him to give me a few ideas.  I just cannot bring myself to have a Christmas tree with no gifts underneath it for him!  This year I found a jacket, a shirt, a couple of books, and a few other odds and ends and wrapped them up.  He definitely began to squirm when he saw that he had that many presents, and as he sheepishly opened them he commented that he wished I hadn’t done that.

But the best was yet to come…

I’ve known Oatmeal for 6 Christmases now, and every single year he will mention that he really wants a new saddle.  He’s grown up with horses and ridden his entire life, so for him, this saddle would be a very big deal.  It would get a lot of use and last a lifetime.  The saddle he has now is great and has been with him for a long time, but it occasionally has some tears and rips that he repairs with his leather kit.

Well, each year for 6 years he has talked himself out of buying a saddle.  He always says, “No, nevermind, I don’t want one this year.  Maybe next year.”  I’ve always gotten the feeling that he didn’t want to spend that much money on himself, or that he felt like he should get one more year of use out of his current saddle.  I have always wished that I could just go buy it for him by myself, but as you can imagine a man’s saddle is a very unique and personal choice. I’d never be able to do it without him.

Regardless, I decided that this was the year to make something happen.  I talked to his dad and a few friends of mine and decided to twist his arm.  One afternoon I put both kids in the car after their nap and sped about 60 miles northwest to Brenham.  There is a store there called South Texas Tack with a large assortment of saddles.  It’s easily Oatmeal’s favorite store.  I bought a gift card with enough money to buy a saddle and stuffed it into the bottom of his stocking.

So, after we watched Poppyseed open all of the gifts and dig into her own stocking, I had her take Oatmeal’s stocking to him.  He looked at me with a little bit of surprise but also a bit of annoyance that he was still being showered with gifts, ha!  When he put his arm into the stocking and pulled out the gift cards, his expression was priceless.  In typical Oatmeal fashion, he wasn’t over the top excited or anything.  He just said something sort of like, “Wow honey, thanks…” and looked a little confused.  I went on and on about how I had run my plan past his dad, made the two hour round trip without him knowing, etc.  Finally I realized he just wasn’t going to do a cartwheel of excitement the way I would have liked and dropped it.  It was a few days later before it hit me that he had been worried about expenses.  Little did he know that I’d been stashing cash away in my business checking account that he never checks.  I found out that he had assumed I had pulled the money from our joint checking account, and for all he knew we would have to eat beans and rice for the next month!

So, he was a lot more excited when he realized we were still going to be able to eat and pay our mortgage next month.  Ohhhhh Oatmeal.  You make it hard to spoil you, my dear.

So after the gifts were opened and gift wrap was cleaned up and thrown away, we began making phone calls to our family members.  It seemed that everyone was having a great day playing with their kids and celebrating Jesus’ birthday!   I heard Oatmeal talking to someone about which gifts Poppyseed loved.  He mentioned that she already loved her doctor kit and her tea set, but then he said something I’ll never forget because it is just SO true.  He said, “Yeah, Poppyseed got lots of toys, but Baby Middle is still her favorite toy of all.”

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Yep. Truer words have never been spoken. She loves her little brother like crazy.

We spent the rest of the day relaxing, took a family nap, and ate a great supper.  Oatmeal and Poppyseed went back to Sealy to check on the animals again.  And then the next morning we packed up and went to see my mom in Alexandria.

My mom loved having both of her grandkids in her lap at the same time.

My mom loved having both of her grandkids in her lap at the same time.

Poppyseed showed off her Aqua Doodle (this wasn't even a Christmas gift - go figure) and impressed Grammy with lots of circles and smiley faces.

Poppyseed showed off her Aqua Doodle (this wasn’t even a Christmas gift – go figure) and impressed Grammy with lots of circles and smiley faces.

The 26th was also Oatmeal’s 31st birthday, and God love him, he just doesn’t get all that into birthdays either.  I didn’t buy him a gift since the saddle sort of doubled as a Christmas and birthday gift this year.  I did feel sort of bad that he spent his entire birthday driving his family to Louisiana with a screaming 4 month old and stressed out wife next to him, but I hope to make it up to him!

Overall it was worth the trip to see my mom, and we were back at home 36 hours later.  It’s absolutely worth the 8 hours in the car and hotel expense to see her spending time with my tots.  I know that if she could, she would welcome us with open arms into a warm and inviting home and spoil us at Christmas time just like when we were kids.  My mom always did the most amazing job of making Christmas wonderful – from decorating together, baking special treats, reading Christmas books, and buying us the most coveted gifts.  So honestly, I just can’t imagine letting the holiday pass without seeing her.

Well, that’s all I have time for today, because we have some great friends headed to spend New Year’s Eve with us!   I just wanted to wish everyone Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I had one other Christmas treat - Megan came to visit yesterday.  We went and ate some fajitas and then got a coffee and jellybeans at Whole Foods.  Yes, this picture was taken at a grocery store.  What of it?

I had one other Christmas treat – Megan came to visit yesterday. We went and ate some fajitas and then got a coffee and jellybeans at Whole Foods. Yes, this picture was taken at a grocery store. What of it?

 

 

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