Friday, January 9, 2015

An Arkansas Christmas {2014}

Before the memories get too fuzzy in my mind, I want to talk about spending Christmas in Arkansas.
We had a very eventful drive down to start.
What usually takes us 12 hours took 17 hours due to the interstate being closed from snow.
We had to find alternate means and roads to get South and was very thankful for my Dad who helped us along the way with weather reports and alternative routes.
I nursed at many gas stations and we sat stalled in a hole-in-the-wall pump station where the interstate had derailed everyone.
It was freezing and snowing and the roads were a mess.
Thankfully, we made it,
 and the kids were totally unaware of how dangerous the situation could have been.
On a positive note:
Hollin's first Christmas was magical in that she met all of her extended family
- and my Dad- for the first time!
Let's get started with all these pictures, shall we? 
 : )
Hollin meeting her great grandmother, Joyce, for the first time.

The boys enjoying the yard of my childhood home with Papa, my Dad

My Mom, Gigi, playing with Harbor and Henry

My Mom and I

My parents with my children
Harbor 6 years, Henry 23 months, and Hollin 4 months old

David and I with the kids

We had several days of presents.
My kids are the only little kids in the Williams side of the family {my Mom's side} so they have been generously blessed with gifts!
We felt so overwhelmed by the kindness of family!

My mom sewed and monogrammed a camera strap for my Canon

and had a ring with all three of my kids' names made.
So special!

Four generations of ladies!
My Granny, her daughter {my Mom}, her daughter {me} and my daughter, Hollin!
This picture was a first!

Our kids made a simple footprint picture and I framed it in a burlap frame.
We kept one for ourselves and gave one as a gift to the grandparents.

My boys spent hours playing with new toys.

And lounging on the couch.

Harbor's great grandmother played a board game with him.

And we received really unique gifts from extended family and friends!

My mom's sister, Cathy, and her family dropped by.

They all met Hollin for the first time.

My mom with her sister, Cathy, and mother, Joyce.

Henry was quite the entertainer during the trip!

David and his three babies.
I adore this picture.

My mom and I took Henry and Hollin with us on a shopping trip.
We hit up Old Navy among other places and had a great time.

We even tried out our kicks.
We both used to cheer in high school.

Henry was busted for unrolling TWO entire rolls of toilet paper.
{Henry, if you're reading this as a grown man, please know that we all laughed and chided you, but not too harshly.  Papa suggested we try to salvage it all, but Gigi just trashed it. Ha!}

I baked rolls from scratch- 
and even lugged my huge Kitchen Aid mixer all the way from Colorado to Arkansas to make it happen.

Rachel and her fiance, David, came over for Christmas lunch and met Hollin.

They took Harbor on a one-on-one date to ride go carts.
It was a much needed trip for my big boy!

We celebrated our annual candle lighting memorial for those who have passed away.
We light a candle in their memory while music plays in the background.
We even listen to the same song every year.
It tends to be a very emotional time.
And then we pray.

My Harbor is finally old enough to start having firm memories of the tradition.
I love it.

My mom captured this unplanned moment during our prayer time of my two boys copying me- and watching, also!
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see!
So powerful to this mama.

Everyone else praying.

We opened gifts

and played Dirty Santa with brown bags full of goodies!

Rachel is getting married in March and it is a total family affair:
Harbor is the ring bearer, I'm the Matron of Honor, and David an usher.

Both Rachel and I chose guys named "David."
We like to joke that only the best guys are named David, of course.
: )

We watch lots of football during the holidays.

But we take even more pictures.

Love these people!
I am definitely the black sheep of the family who uprooted and moved away.
And that is hard sometimes, but it makes coming home all the sweeter.

My mom colored and cut my hair.
: )
Such a perk!

Lots of naps were taken
{Henry didn't take any naps the entire week, however.}

He was too busy exploring our family farm.

And climbing on Papa's hay bales.

He watches Harbor's every move these days.

I made cinnamon rolls from scratch and brought them to my Aunt Cathy's house one morning.

And since my parents live just up the road from the famous Duggar family of TLC's 
"19 Kids and Counting" show, we stopped in their driveway for a picture.

It is fun to grow up so close to such a famous family.
Before I moved away, we would see them all around town.
Such nice people, really and truly!
Jim Bob and Michelle have always been so kind when we meet them out and about.

The TLC trucks weren't out filming,
 but they did appear to be having a small get together of some kind.

These brothers are starting to play more and more together.
I was worried that their four year age gap might prevent that,
but they are really bonding a lot lately.

I loved seeing my family interact with my three children.
Isn't that what coming home for the holidays is about?
Special times!

It was a wonderful Christmas.
It ended all too quickly, however, and we packed up and headed home to Colorado.
We also spent Christmas Eve with David's family, but I took all the pictures on my phone and not my big camera.  They put on a live nativity and Hollin was baby Jesus this year, while Harbor acted as shepherd.  It was so, SO sweet.

Next year, she'll be too big and busy to be Jesus.
These are the days to remember.
Hope you had a festive Christmas with your loved ones, too!
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1 comment:

  1. Love your posts! Harbor looks just like his daddy! Such a great big brother!