December has been such a wonderful and joyous month this year! We have marked the days until Christmas by following a great advent reading from SheReadsTruth and found fun activities to get us in the mood. Our first adventure was going to see the lights at the zoo. Jon wore Eli in his backpack carrier and donned his bear suit for the chilly occasion. It was about the only time we had cold weather so we were quite excited.
Then when Jon was on Christmas break, we went to the bowling alley at the Bass Pro Shop (yes, I'm serious) with a few friends for some fun. Elias was unfortunately a bit overstimulated by all there was to see., poor guy. But for Jon and me, it felt so great to get out and do something fun and different and silly. It had been a while.
For the first time ever, Jon and I spent Christmas away from our parents' homes and had a quiet celebration on our own. When we lived in Virginia, traveling between our parents' houses was not a difficult task since they were only about 2 hours apart and traffic was minimal on Christmas day. Now that we live in Memphis, we had to choose between either 30+ hours of driving, or 4 flights plus 4 hours of driving in order to be home for the holidays. With Elias in tow, neither of those options felt very feasible. It was strange to be away, but it was by far the most relaxing Christmas either of us have had in a long, long time. Elias even slept through the night from 7:30pm until 7:30am! Glory!
Jon made a Strata for breakfast, which is a tradition in his family. Then we each opened our stockings. Eli even opened a few gifts on his own! He was more excited about ripping and eating the paper than actually seeing presents, of course. But it was so fun to watch him squeal and squawk in the midst of his new toys.
The day was filled with relaxing, enjoying the end of our advent reading, a long walk, and eating delicious food. Jon was a cooking machine and made quite the feast for dinner.
The day after Christmas, the weather went from unseasonably warm to just plain ridiculous. 80˚ in December?! We decided that if it feels like July weather at Christmas, then have a "July in Christmas" party. We broke out the hawaiian clothing, grilled brats, and sipped on margaritas. It was hilarious and such a blast, even if it did feel so out of place in the midst of the holidays.
The best thing about the past couple weeks has been that Jon is home with us. Normally, Jon is off to work before Elias even wakes up and only gets about an hour or 2 with him in the evenings. Winter break has absolutely spoiled us. I just LOVE watching these two together. It melts this mama's heart into puddles.
Now, we have a whole new year to look forward to. 2016 has been a huge year with so much change and excitement for us. We survived an ice storm, traveled a bunch (Richmond, Chicago, Louisville, San Francisco, Oxford) moved into our new house, and welcomed our son to the world. I'm excited to see what is in store for us next. Cheers to a new year and new adventures!