It was a full and happy holiday season this year for the Montes. We spent our first Christmas in our new house doing all the things we’d done in years past: we decorated the front of the house with lights (including our front yard tree–which took an extra long string of lights but looked extra bright and awesome too), we made decorations to hang up and put up our collection of decorations from years past. We went in search of a Christmas tree and arrived a week or so after the rush to find a gorgeous tree that no one else had taken. Annabelle named her Mary-licious. Love that name girlfriend. What else? We sang carols with our neighbors from Oak Spring Way. We decorated ginger bread houses and read stories about Jesus’s birth in the manger. We went Christmas shopping and made donations. And we all sat down one night to put together our Christmas cards. There was a lot going on, and that was okay. For some reason, we all seem to do pretty well when there’s a lot going on.
Right before Christmas, after Annabelle’s birthday, Grandma came into town to help us with you and your brother on the night we went to your dad’s work holiday party. I loved getting to get all dressed up for a night out with your dad. We ate delicious food, visited with friends, and danced the night away. I look forward to that every year.
Then as soon as we returned from the party, we loaded up the car to drive to Connecticut to visit with Nana, Papa Joe, Charlie, Bianca, and Uncle Charlie, and of course Grandma. We celebrated a beautiful Christmas Eve with Grandma and ate shrimp and pasta, which is and was your dad’s family’s traditional dinner for the night before Christmas. Then we drove home to Derby, where I grew up so that we could meet up with Nana for midnight mass. Unfortunately, we were all a little tired for church so instead we went to bed, and I went to church with Nana in the morning.
On Christmas morning, you two opened your presents from Nana and Papa Joe and then we played, rested, and ate another delicious meal that Papa Joe had prepared. That night, Papa Joe’s children and his granddaughter Brooklyn came over for more visiting and festivities. The next morning though, we said goodbye and headed back towards Virginia. On the way home, we stopped in Pennsylvania to visit my grandmother, my aunts and uncles and my cousins too. So many people to see during the holidays. Wonderful and tiring for us all too.
The following morning we woke up to celebrate Christmas and open the presents that Santa had brought us. It was so much fun watching you both open your presents; Annabelle, you received more clothes for McKenna, your American Girl Doll, than you personally own. That doll is well dressed. Levi, you now have enough trains to host more than 30 kids for a playdate with each kid having their own train to play with. My goodness, you both are so lucky!
Later that day, your mom realized that she was feeling pretty terrible. I rested and hoped that I’d feel better the next. Unfortunately, I found out that I had the flu and had to rest and recover for a total of 5 long days. When it was all over though, I felt much better and resolved to make better use of all my time, especially when feeling healthy. In fact, I decided to make a New Years’ resolution not to postpone playing with you two or going to do fun activities with you in place of working because I’d done that to make it through my busy season this fall and then what happened but I got sick during your entire vacation! So I am promising both of you to make family time for the family and to keep work time during work hours. And if I don’t do as promised then I will do something silly like dance to Gangnam Style in front of all of your friends (and her friends too) at your birthday party. Oh wait, she already did that. Doh!
But getting back to Christmas. It was a pretty terrific Christmas, despite all the driving and flu. We’ve been having a blast playing together with all the new toys. My favorites are the new games and the red scooter that kids and adults can glide on around the house. And your dad’s? The train tracks of course!