I know, it’s Jan 1st and I still haven’t posted about our first Christmas with Cori. It’s been a bit crazy settling back into our normal routine after bring out of town – mainly because David has been working 30 hour shifts every 3 days since we’ve been back and I try not to blog on the days he is home. Oh, the joys of being a resident! :)
We go to Tampa every year for Christmas. Both our parents are down there which makes for lots of fun on holidays! Our typical Christmas tradition is Christmas Eve at my parents, Christmas morning at his parents, Christmas lunch at my parents, and Christmas dinner at his parents. It is A LOT of traveling back and forth, but the good thing is that our parents only live 5 minutes from one another, which makes it SO much easier!! It was a blast sharing Christmas with our little girl and we are looking forward to sharing it with 2 little girls next year! – Not to mention 2 cousins that will be in the mix next Christmas as well. Oh, it will be so much fun!!
We arrived in Tampa around 4:30 on Christmas Eve and went straight to my parents house to get ready for church. Whenever we are in Tampa we attend Van Dyke UMC, the church I grew up going to and where I worked one summer in college as a Youth Ministry Intern. It’s such an amazing church. It’s so welcoming and Pastor Matthew (who married us) is an amazing speaker who always delivers the message of God and relates it to your everyday life. I can totally feel the presence of God when I’m there and I feel inspired to live my life more for the Lord when I walk out.
After church we headed back to my parents house for Lasagna (my mom’s traditional Christmas Eve dinner) and a gathering of my mom’s side of the family. As a kid, we always opened all our presents with family on Christmas Eve and then woke up on Christmas morning to presents from Santa. This is completely different from how David’s family does Christmas. They pretty much do ALL presents on Christmas morning. I like splitting it up a little, but I think it’s mainly because my whole family has always been together every Christmas Eve and it’s fun to open up gifts from family members when they are there to watch you. … This year it was all about Cori Belle. We have pretty much stopped buying presents for the kids (meaning me, my brother, my sister, etc) and are focusing on the grandkids. In our case, Cori Belle is the only one at the moment. :) She sure made out! I think her favorite gift was from Mia (my mom) who got her a double stroller and baby doll that came with all the accessories – diaper bag, 3 changes of clothes, a bottle, a paci, blanket, and cell phone (because every mom NEEDS a cell phone!)
Here are some pics of her opening her gifts…
From Dee Dee (my grandma)…
Doesn’t this look like more fun?!?!
From Mia (my mom)…
If only you could see her face in this picture. She was SO excited!!
Then came the stroller and she immediately had to put the babies in the stroller to push it around!
CB also had a grand time playing with my cousin, Madison, who is 10. They played and played and played. It was so cute to watch them together!!
And a few other sweet ones…
We slept at my parents house, got up early, and headed to the Smith’s for Christmas morning. Here she is before we left my parents house – she made sure to get some time with her new baby doll and stroller before we left!
David’s mom was making breakfast when we arrived to the Smith house – pancakes, eggs, and bacon. After breakfast, we all sat down in the living room to open presents. Cori got lots of great gifts, but seemed to like the wrapping paper more than anything else! Ha!
Half way through opening presents she got a little sleepy. It was WAY past morning nap time. Next year we may have to do presents before breakfast. :) … These pictures of her and her daddy melt my heart. She is so snuggly when she gets sleepy!
Unfortunately, with all the excitement, she refused to nap. So, she played in some more paper – exhausted!!!
We did get a few sweet ones though…
After a good 3 hour nap, we got ready for Christmas lunch at my parents house. Since we had forgotten to take a family picture with my family on Christmas Eve, we made everyone get dressed up again for lunch.
Jason, my dad, my mom, Amber, Cori Belle, me, & Dave
Sweet family picture of OUR family!
Mia, Cori Belle, & Granddaddy
Cori, Amber, and my mom had a blast playing together that afternoon. Cori thought it would be fun to ride in her double stroller rather than push it. Ha!
After lunch, we headed back to the Smith’s for dinner. Thanksgiving and Christmas are always this way – eating 2 big meals on one day! Whew! I always feel like my tummy is going to explode, but it’s worth it to be able to spend time with everyone. It’s always tradition to have steaks for dinner on Christmas with the Smith’s. MMM! They were delicious! After dinner, it was time for the hot tub (except Missy and I could only put our feet in this year because of those growing babies in our bellies)!
It turned out to be a fabulous 1st Christmas for Cori. I know she won’t remember any of it, but we will, and we have such fond memories. I feel so blessed to have the family that I do. God has richly blessed us in so many ways and I am so very thankful! I hope each of you had a wonderful Christmas. Much love to you all!