02 January 2009

Favorite Christmas moments

To put it simply, we have really enjoyed being home for the holidays. Jeff and I both feel extremely close to our families, and each other's families, and we have loved the quality time we've had with everyone. I keep having to remind myself every time we've had to leave them that this is not goodbye for a year; it is usually just for a few days. I have tended to panic the first few times we've had to say goodbye not knowing when we'd see them again. It's starting to feel more normal to have regular face-to-face contact with them, and we're really enjoying it.

Christmas is a magical time for us, and this year did not disappoint. Here are several of our favorite moments from our holiday week. Some with pictures, some without.

1. Watching Jack and Jane with all their grandparents. (I regret not getting many of them together, but this is a good one of Christmas morning when my kids slept until I woke them at 8:45am. It was awesome.)

2. A fun Christmas Eve at the Hillmans with talents, food, matching pajamas, and lots of good visiting.

3. Jack, Jane, and Ellie's impromptu Nativity presentation produced entirely by them.

4. Jack and Jane meeting their new foster cousins.

5. The way my mom makes her house glow. How does she do that?

6. Being with my sisters. I have the most wonderful sisters.

7. Having Grandma and Grandpa Ottley and Grandma Rich be with us at my parent's house. Grandma and Grandpa have been married for 60-something years, and Grandma Rich will be 98 in April! Are they darling or what?

8. My sister-in-law actually liking the gift I was so excited to give her.

9. Singing Christmas Carols in the car with our kids on Christmas Eve. (and realizing we don't know as many words as we thought we did!)

10. Playing chimes at the Rich's and watching Jack come in just one second too late every time. He was not giving up, and I was loving it!

11. Realizing that even without seeing each other for nine months, it feels like no time has passed at all.

12. Actually going out with my husband (and no kids) to celebrate eight wonderful years of marriage. How does he just keep getting better?

13. Jane still having a special bond with her uncle Jason. And it's not just because he looks just like her daddy. Yes, that's Jason, not Jeff.

14. Jane eating fresh fallen snow for breakfast. She just can't get enough of it!

15. Jeff and Jack both feeling my baby kick. What a great moment!

16. Fiddling with my sisters and dad, and reconfirming how much I need to practice (and clip my nails!)

17. My favorite gift, that wasn't actually intended as a Christmas gift, was this fantastic picnic tin that my Grandparents brought to every fiddle contest they attended (I don't know if they missed one) for years and years. I love that thing and can't wait to use it with my own family. Silly, I know, but anything that reminds me of those fantastic childhood memories and my amazing grandparents is definitely going to take the prize!

18. Spending a day with Jason and Heidi at their home and Jack FINALLY getting to try out his new sled. And watching Jane and Ellie enjoying each other like we've always hoped they would! That was a fun day.

19. Jeff getting all his favorite traditional holiday foods he's been anticipating all month.

20. Jane and Christian still having a special connection. I can't find anything that makes my kids' happier than their cousins. What a blessing!

21. Knowing my kids don't have to go through more goodbyes with their cousins who now all live within an hour of our home. What a blessing to all be in the same state! Who could have guessed?

These are just the Rich cousins! From the left: Clark, Faith, Grant, Grandma, Mia, Grandpa, Christian, Jane, Abbie, Jack, John, and more on the way! Honestly, how did we ever say goodbye before?

With such a wonderful family, what more could we ask for?

Happy Holidays from the Hillmans.


Sarah said...

Mindy, my goodness. I've just spent a very long time reading your blog. We just moved to Beijing 2 months ago and after my meltdown this week my mom said, you should look up MIndy's blog. Her mom said they just got home from 2 years in Thailand. It was so fun to read through the adventures that you've had and it's given me a better perspective. We need to just enjoy every minute while we can. (hope this doesn't creep you out too much). Thanks for the spoonful of sugar!

Amy said...

Whenever I peek in on your blog, I'm a little bit envious of your traveling adventures, but I there is a lot to be said for living close to family, isn't there. I love seeing the pictures of your kids with all of their cousins. Jane looks so much like you, and Vanessa and Joanna's girls look a lot like them. It's like revisiting my childhood. Welcome back to Utah!

napa-dipu said...

Hello Mindy,
I'm Napa, read your blog and smile all the time. I know at here miss your family too much but we happy with you too for Christmas at home, Jack,Jane and many kids they are very so cute, I like everything about your picturs put at blog , Thanks so much for give me see and make me happiness all the time when open your blog , Please say to Jane " I miss she too much " Hell Jane" My SWEETLY BABY" , " MY ANGLE "

Laneea said...

What a wonderful Christmas. I am so glas that you are back in Utah. Can't wait to see you again.