Thursday, November 29, 2007

I'll be home for Christmas this year...

We just finished putting our Christmas Tree up and decorating the house with the colorful festiv decor. I even moved some of the furniture around - which to my great surprise actually ended up looking really good. I don't know what it was, but having felt sick most of my 1st trimester, I learned to associate our new home with being sick. It's totally amazing what changing your furniture around a bit can do to make things feel new and fresh! And boy am I glad that in another week I will be finally entering into trimester #2!! Goodbye nausea and hello energy!

Okay so I didn't change that much, but I moved the couches around. It looks new and fresh to me at least. lol.

So far, every other year Will and I switch from going to each other's familys' homes for the holidays. I always get incredibly excited when we get to go to Idaho to the Thomas's because, hello, they have a bajillion kids at their house. With 9 other siblings, Will's home is a great bundle of chaotic Christmas joy. From sleeping on the floor, staying up late playing boardgames, new pajamas, and everyone reminiscing about years past...I thoroughly enjoy our time there.

LOVE this picture! Christmas 2004 - The sisters I had never had: Me with Dalynn, Elizabeth, and Grace

And then when it is our turn to go home to my family's house (who only live an hour north of us), I usually let out a little sigh of sadness.

I didn't grow up with the big family that Will did - I have 3 brothers, and since one of them was adopted in later years I mostly grew up with just 2 brothers for the first part of my childhood. Two of my brothers now live in Utah and they have kids of their own - which makes travelling home for Christmas hard and expensive (not to mention they both have inlaws to visit too now). My other brother lives in Oregon and it's hard for him to travel home too - as he works a lot and goes to school as well.

Christmas 1997 - From left to right: Michael, Shaun, my Mom, Stephen, and I. (My dad is taking the pic).

So it usually ends up being just the four of us: Will, me, and my parents.

I crave to hear some sort of chaotic noise in the house, but it's usually the sound of my dad typing away on the computer, and my mom baking in the kitchen. No kids, no choas, no doors slamming with a pile of wet snowy shoes before you come in. Just the sound of 4 very mature adults (lol) spending time together. I usually tease my parents and beg to "rent a kid" for Christmas just so there can be some childlike wonder on Christmas morning.

But as I was putting the decorations on the tree the other day, I realized that the red bulbs were ones that my mom gave me. Most of the angel ornaments on the tree were from my Grandma. I still have my big huge red homemade stocking that says "JENNIFER" acrossed it even though my parents have since bought newer and nicer stockings for everyone. And as I pulled out the table top garland, I realized I had made it when I was single and tried to make it like my mom would - to remind me of being home at Christmas time. And for the past month I've been listening to A Narada Christmas, which is the CD that my parents always played on Christmas morning when they came to wake us up and find out what Santa brought (even though Will finds it very synthesized and 1980s sounding LOL).

I realized I missed and loved being at home for Christmas time - even if it is just my parents and Will and I.

Then I started pulling out pictures of Christmases past, and they brought me an incredible feeling of happiness and nastalgia. Oh how I wish our entire family could be together again for Christmas! Instead of the usual 6, we would now have... 12 (soon to be 13!). Our family has doubled over the years. But it must mean a lot to my parents that at least Will and I are able to make it home for Christmas - because that is what Christmas is really about: Family. No matter how big or small.

Christmas morning 1980 - my brother Michael and I and the expressions on our face after we've run down the stairs and entered the living room to see what Santa brought.

Christmas 1981 - I was four, Michael was 6. My, how my parents look like Austin Powers and Ferra Fawcett.

Christmas 1982. Mike, me, and our shaggy dog "Yogi". We had Christmas at Grandma's house this year. I think I was 5 years old. Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa's house was always fun because they always had snow and we always went snowmobiling! (By the way, I used to have a birthmark on my chin that was later removed by laser in the 9th grade, so no I didn't make a mess of my face after eating or something. It's just a birthmark).

Ah finally a new sibling! I still remember him when he was this little - that's Stephen, who was the cutest most articulate kid on earth.

Me sitting on Santa's lap at the ward Christmas party. I really did think he was Santa Claus too. Do you like my lederhosen? LOL I think my mom enjoyed dressing me up like Heidi.

Christmas 1984 - We went up into the Blue Moutains near my Grandparents' home and cut down a Christmas tree as well as a bunch of firewood, and played in the snow and drank hot cocoa. This was so much fun! From left to right: Stephen, my Dad, my Mom, my Aunt Leslie, my Grandpa Linsday, (bottom) Grandma Lindsay, Michael, Shaun, and me.

Christmas 1987 - Another Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa's in Pendleton, Oregon. My parents made us dress up and they took all of these pictures of us. Michael had the flu so he was barfing all day (notice the pale face and tired smile). Stephen just wanted to play with his Transformers (he's probably hiding one behind his back). I wanted to get out of this ruffly shirt, and I think Shaun was just happy to be there.

Christmas 1988 - Yep that's me with the cheesy grin and the crimped hair (I got a crimper for Christmas). Notice all the snowflakes on the window too - I made those. lol. I went a little overboard I know. I really wanted it to snow that year!!

All the handsome boys: Christmas 1997. Michael had just gotten home from his mission and was at BYU, Shaun was a highschooler, and if Stephen saw this picture he would refer to himself as a "nerd" with his glasses and combed back hair. And then there's my handsome dad. ;)

This is the same Christmas (1997). I was home from Ricks for Winter Break and was thoroughly excited that we actually had snow that year! So of course we had to take our sled out and go down the driveway a few times.

Christmas 1998 - I had graduated from Ricks College and moved back home. I was totally ga-ga over a guy that year and had a very "important" dance to go to. My dad took me downtown Seattle to Jessica McClintock (the store in the mall that had all the pretty dresses) and bought me this dress for the "Christmas Ball". He called it my Cinderalla Dress. And the dress worked too. I got the guy and we dated for a whole two weeks! lol. (He was my first kiss).

Enter Will. :) 2003! Yay! This was our 2nd date actually. He invited me to come down to Portland to be his date for his single's ward's Christmas Dance. I really hate this picture - because it was taken after we had danced and gotten all sweaty. But I do think Will looks incredibly handsome though.

A few weeks later, Christmas dinner 2003 - I believe this is the last Christmas we had where I wasn't the only sibling that came home. Stephen had just gotten home from his mission and was getting ready to leave for Winter semester at BYU.

Okay so Will and I refer to these pictures as our "Engagement Photos", only because at the time we were "just friends" and yet my dad insisted on taking these Christmas pictures of us. He even had to tell Will to "Put your arm around her! Get comfy!". Which was odd for my dad - he must have really liked Will for him to say that. Talk about awkward! LOL Look how stiff Will is!! Hahaha this picture makes me laugh.

And then here is our "Family Photo". Will actually took all of our family photos. Haha. I actually was really sick that day so when I see these pictures I just see how pale I was and really not wanting to get my picture taken. Will was so cute and nice - he came to visit my family and I on his way back from skiing at Whistler. He brought me some Canadian chocolate. Yum.

Christmas 2004 - We actually went to the Thomas's this year, but my parents happened to be in Salt Lake, so a few days after Christmas we drove down to Utah and we got to spend some time with my family too! Will and I were engaged at this time, and my brother Stephen had just gotten engaged to Ileana. From left to right: Emmy (Mike's wife), Mike, Alexander (Mike's son), my Dad, my Mom, Elena (Mike's daughter). And then along the bottem is me, Will, Ileana, and Stephen.

This was my parents' house last Christmas (we weren't there). Wow they really got piled on with the snow! I think it's beautiful! Check out my dad below measuring the snow.

Dad playing in the snow

And so here we are, Christmas 2007 and I'm excited to be home for Christmas this year! It might just the four of us, but hey we've got a bun in the oven and mom told me that we're having the missionaries over for Christmas dinner. That will be fun. So maybe a housefull afterall.

Mom and Dad, here we come!


ld@davfam said...

Loved your post Jenni! What a lot of fun Christmas memories. Can't wait to see pictures of you, Will & the baby next Christmas!

Kate said...

What a fun post! I love the holiday decorations and all the fun 80's pics! ;)

NelsonFam said...

It is good to hear that you actually like spending Christmas at the Thomas' - I mean no bed and tons of noise. But it sure is fun.

What cute pictures. I loved this blog.

Brian & Veronica said...

Jenni, I have always loved your christmas tree, it was our "hot spot" in our apartment when you set it up. Remember those good ole days of listening to music, watching the tree and the candles flickering in the dark? Oh yes, sipping wassle and hot chocolate. I'll never forget. Thanks for creating such great, great memories for me. Love your apartment, and yes, I do know how you feel about moving things around in order to have a fresh feeling, wish our place were big enough to do that, there only seems to be one way our stuff can fit. :) hahaha
Love you, V