We had such a fantastic week back in my hometown over Christmas. It was one of those trips that I knew was going to be special, and it was, in a way that I fear won’t be duplicated for quite some time. It helped that it was the first Christmas Jon and I had been in Ada since before we got married, which felt like forever ago! All of the stars seemed to align and everyone was able to get away from their responsibilities to spend the week together. Jon and I didn’t feel torn in a bunch of different directions, my brothers were all able to take time off from work to spend time there, and my Grandpa Pete flew home for his first Minnesota Christmas in 13 years! We made a lot of great memories and it will go down as one of my favorite Christmases ever.
My mom always does such an incredible job decorating her house for the holidays so I thought I’d share some photos of her skills that she decided not to pass down to me. : )
She’s amassed a pretty cool collection of decor over the years and I always look forward to seeing how she puts it all together. She doesn’t just decorate the main areas of the house either, she makes sure every bedroom has their own little holiday touches as well. She turns the house into a warm and inviting place that you never want to leave…and we barely did! Partly because of the freezing temperatures, but mostly because it’s so enjoyable to be there.
When she can’t buy the kind of centerpiece she wants, WORRY NOT! She’ll craft it out of ice, throw it on a pizza pan and turn it into a glowing work or art. What the hell. I am SO not good at this stuff. My brother Tyler has turned into a pretty skilled chef and he was kind enough to give my Mom and Dad a bit of a break from feeding everyone all week. He made us some delicious pasta Christmas Eve while we all waited in angst for Grandpa Pete to arrive in the tundra.
Just to prove how much more skilled my mother is at creative things, I made that hideous bloody ‘A’ in Grampa (spelled that way on purpose), after which she kindly fired me, and then finished the rest by herself. Even the pups were quietly and patiently awaiting his arrival. Livi was texting Jon, Chad and Greyson wondering why they were taking so long to deliver her favorite houseguest. Before we knew it, the headlights rolled in the driveway and out popped a frozen Grandpa. Forgive the terrible iPhone photos but I had to act quickly to capture the moment! Once he had arrived, everyone was home and all felt right in the world. To me, there is nothing better in the entire world than when the Kinkade house is filled with the commotion of food being prepared, people arriving, and drinks being shared. It’s the greatest. We carried on our tradition of opening one gift on Christmas Eve. Our entire lives it’s been new pajamas to wear to bed and on Christmas morning, but this year my mom went rogue and got us deliciously comfy blankets instead.
Genius. Walking around that house the rest of the week you could, at any given moment, find at least one of us curled up somewhere with those blankets. They were a hit.
Before too long, everyone shipped off to bed anxiously awaiting what came next…Christmas morning!! I have to say, Christmas is always better when there’s a little person involved. Livi makes it all even more fun.
Grandpa Pete has a history of dolling out questionable gifts, but he hit the nail on the head for Jon this year. ; ) Take a close look at that t-shirt and consider recent laws passed in Colorado. All the boys in their Vikings gear. At least they feel the pain of being Vikes fans as a family. So, I’d like to pause here and point out my Grandpa’s shirt. When going through these photos I realized that we MAY be a crazy cat family. They appear everywhere. I think we can see who’s to blame here… Typical picture taking shenanigans out of those two. I believe that move is to ward off the infamous ‘double chin photo’.
Later in the afternoon, once our extended family arrived, we all gathered to watch Grandpa Pete open his ‘big present’. It was a series of small hints leading him to a gift certificate which gifted him with his life long dream of driving a steam engine train. Do you drive a train? Captain a train? Direct a train? I don’t know. He gets to drive a train. In Nevada. We all cried. Well, all the girls did. He tried to be stoic and it was a very cool moment. This is basically what the week looked like. Everyone eating. Constant and relentless eating. It was blissful. : ) Greyson had to leave Christmas night for stupid work, so he wanted to get a few photos with Livi first. As usual, she didn’t want to smile. Thank goodness my mom was there for the assist. It worked!
We spent many nights in the family room playing any number of games. Once or twice we decided to brave the elements and head ‘up town’ to the Ada bars for some fun. Fun it was. Every minute. Sometimes we use things like blogs and social media to try and present our lives more perfect than they really are. I’m guilty, you’re guilty, we all are. Who wants to see the nitty gritty reality all the time? Nobody does. I have to be honest and say that this trip wasn’t perfect. But if this post makes it seem like it was, that’s because it was as close as it’s ever gotten. Looking back at this post makes me smile the whole way through, but at the same time gives me a tightness in my heart because I know how rare weeks like that can be.
I just feel damn lucky that I get to share my life with all these people…cat crazy as they are. I’m not sure Morely shares my sentiment. : )