A Christmas Recap + Looking Ahead

1.02.2018


I was really impressed with and also confused by the bloggers who posted Christmas recaps the day after Christmas. I would say ain't nobody got time for that, but apparently lots of people have time for it, just not people who are me. 

I honestly can't remember feeling more inspired by the new year. I want to do and change and start all the things, and while I know that's all incredibly cliche to say, the truth is, I'm particularly ready for the fresh start of 2018.

I spent all of 2015 being pregnant and having a baby, and we also moved out of our apartment and bought our first home. I spent all of 2016 adjusting to being back at work, having R in daycare, and then I got pregnant with J in October. I spent all of 2017 being pregnant and having a baby. All incredible blessings and fun things! But while Jordan and I do hope to grow our family with another child or two, either biologically or through adoption and/or foster care (we are open to the idea!), I can say with certainty that unless God tells us otherwise, there will be no pregnancies or babies or new houses in 2018, and I'm a tad excited about it.

There is no way to know what this year holds for me, and if I'm honest part of that is scary, because there could be serious sadness and tragedy awaiting me. Jordan doesn't like me to talk about that kind of thing, but it's just a fact that we never know what the next day holds, for good or bad. However, dwelling on it obviously doesn't do me any good, and I'm truly excited for the coming year, where I hope to settle into a routine and continue seeking improvement in various areas of my life. I also want to keep in mind that true joy and contentment for me will only be found in Jesus, and I don't want to ever think that I can transform into a brand-new me all on my own.

That said, right now I have a LOT of things I want to do and focus on in 2018, and my mom gave me some good advice to write it all down and see where, when, and how I want to implement it all. There's just not enough time in the day to fit everything in, and I don't want to overwhelm myself with attempting too much too fast. I hope to write out a blog post detailing more specifics, and I need to put together my year in numbers recap post for 2017, but before we get too far into the new year, I wanted to share a few Christmas photos!
I am always thankful for my family, but the holidays make me particularly grateful that being around my family is a fun, mostly stress-free time. Of course we don't always get along, and we have arguments and disagreements, but in general we have fun together. Currently we have three Christmases: Jordan's family, my family, and our own family Christmas at home. R and J are the only grandchildren on either side of the family, so they are spoiled with love and gifts! (Although my sister-in-law is due with a baby in June, and I can't wait to be an aunt!)
We went over to the Bumgarner house on Christmas Eve and ate breakfast for dinner, opened gifts, and played a round of Apples to Apples. We stayed until after 10, but J passed out on the couch early. I swear he could sleep anywhere! Just not, apparently, through the night yet. Whyyyyyy. Also, rude.
We woke up on Christmas day and opened presents as a family. We got stocking stuffers for R and J, plus a few toys and puzzles. I found R a reusable sticker book for $5 at Half-Priced Books and bought it on a whim, and she loved it. J enjoyed his new teether and watching R run around.
Every Christmas Jordan and I have two traditions that we started when we got married. The first is to go to a local Christmas store and choose an ornament. We slowly walk through the entire store and together decide on one ornament to buy. We write the year somewhere on the ornament, and we have one for each year of our marriage so far! 

The second tradition is to buy each other stocking stuffers. We go to the store together, split up, and get 15 minutes and $20 to buy stocking gifts. We check out separately and then meet at the front! I love it because it makes buy each other gifts less stressful because we go at the same time and have a limited amount of money to spend. This year we went to Walgreens because I already needed to go and pick up some pictures I had printed for a part of a Christmas gift. Also it was two days before Christmas, and I was scared to go to Target and Walmart.
After opening gifts and stockings, we headed to Texas to see my family! We arrived around 2:30, just after my brother and SIL and just before my other brother and SIL. Within the span of 20 minutes, six people had arrived. Every year we draw names (my parents included) and buy one $25 gift for a gift exchange. After R and J went to bed, we all sat in a circle and passed out the presents we'd bought. I had my sister and got her a picnic blanket from Pottery Barn. My brother had me and got me a nice big double-walled water bottle. In the morning we ate breakfast and opened stockings and a gift from my parents. We also all always get my parents something else even if we had their name in the gift exchange.
Taking a funny group photo with a few Christmas gifts has become a fun tradition. You can see last year's photo here.

It was such a lovely Christmas season, and Jordan and I both had the next full week off work, which was amazing! We are adjusting to our regular work schedules this week, and I'm trying to get a jump on my new year goals. We've had lots of snuggles and family time lately, and it was a great way to send off 2017. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year as well!

20 comments:

  1. Here is my recommendation for you regarding 2018: write a letter to yourself imagining you are at the end of 2018 talking about all the things you accomplished. It sounds cheesy but it is really eye opening. I made a vision board and wrote out areas of my life and what I want to be in each area. For example, I put marriage and I wrote being more kind. Fitness, running another half marathon, etc. It really helps to have a visual and to see your goals in front of you.

    I'm glad you had a good Christmas with your family.

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  2. I love your ornament tradition and can’t wait to hear about your 2018 goals! :)

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  3. I am over here still trying to think of goals and resolutions and words for the year, ha. You're ahead of me! Your Christmas sounds so so awesome. I'm glad you were able to enjoy all of the fun, even with 2 kids! I love your idea for stocking stuffers. I think I may do that next year. That might mean I get some, too ;)

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  4. I love the family photo WITH assorted Christmas presents included--that's a fun tradition! I always try to get some photos of presents, it really helps me remember what was given in what year, like the purse Angel gave me for our first Christmas that had a surprise gift of a rubber band ball inside. :P I can definitely understand being excited for a year with no planned huge life changes--that will certainly not be this year for us--ya need both kinds of years in life.

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  5. I love the ornament tradition you and Jordan have! It must be so fun to see all of them and show R & J in a few years once they're old enough to understand it. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas.

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  6. Oh yes, a year without pregnancy/moving/newborns will be so nice! I hope you have a fantastic year.

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  7. "I would say ain't nobody got time for that, but apparently lots of people have time for it, just not people who are me." actually laughing out loud at this right now. because whoa if that's not my motto. also, i totally hear you on the "quiet" year. two of siblings are having babies, two are getting married (one of those siblings is in both lists haha), and i told my parents that i would not have any large life events for them to worry about, God-willing. because boy, a rest year would be amazing. also also, isn't christmas with babies and toddlers so fun?? i am continuously surprised by how awesome it is!

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  8. I love reading about how people celebrate Christmas! The joy on your kids' faces with their toys is adorable! I hope 2018 is a GREAT year for you guys with peace and happiness and very very little sadness or tragedy.

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  9. Love all the family photos, especially that last one. Beleiving that 2018 is going to be a great year for you!!!

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  10. These Christmas pictures are all so cute! I think it's really cool that you guys buy an ornament each year. I want to do that eventually, but I am SO BAD about getting gifts for anyone, getting a family ornament just doesn't happen. Maybe next year, right?

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  11. What a wonderful Christmas you had! I was also impressed with those who had their recaps ready the day after. I didn't take my computer on vacation and it was nice!

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  12. R's face in the photo is saying, "I cannot believe I'm related to these people!"

    I LOVE your family's tradition of drawing names and I am begging my family to do this next year, though I don't think I'll have any takers. My mom still buys for us like we are 5 years old and Christmas is fun, yet there's just so much stuff. I want to eliminate the chaos of having to shop for everyone and spend hours wrapping and stressing over the perfect gifts. It's especially hard since we travel cross-country. Gift giving nearly breaks me out in hives and gift receiving even more so. Definitely not my love language! Rant over. I'm such a scrooge. How did you convince your family to do this? Did anyone put a fight?

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  13. It's inspiring to see you so inspired by the new year!!!! We're hoping to get pregnant again toward the end of the year (gotta keep the kiddos around 2-2.5 years apart) ;-) so I totally feel you on the always being pregnant or having a baby front!

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  14. Can't wait to hear your goals- I'm so inspired too!

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  15. ARIGATOU(Thank you so much!!)
    I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday and a prosperous new year!
    On Japanese New Year ‘s customs;
    Adults put money in a special envelope and give it to children.
    This is called “otoshidama” and many children look forward to it very much!
    Ryoma.

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  16. It sounds like you guys had a wonderful Christmas! I love the tradition you have of getting an ornament for ever year you are married. I wish we would have started that! I started Zoe's ornament collection, getting her one every year for Christmas like my mom did for me. The pictures of J with his stuffed animal are just precious! Happy New Year!

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  17. I'm with you on feeling inspired! I need to buy a new planner and write down ALL THE THINGS! Cheers to a new, fresh, exciting year!

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  18. Awesome holiday! I love that you guys draw names. I want to start doing that and my family is much smaller than yours. But geez it still gets expensive buying for everyone.

    Yay for feeling inspired to take on the new year and YES - please let 2018 be lower key!

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  19. I love the tradition of taking a family photo with a favorite gift you received. That's so fun! I'm so glad your babies had such a fun Christmas. And that photo of R in front of the tree... beautiful! She is getting so big!

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  20. My family is very minimalist when it comes to christmas because at this point it is just my brother, his wife, my parents, and I. None of us NEED or WANT for anything. Yes, my mom generally gets us one or two things to open and I try to get my parents at least one gift each BUT Christmases are NOTHING like they were when we were younger. Do you think that as your kids grow up that you will continue with stocking stuffers? Or do you keep to stocking stuffers because you celebrate and have such big christmases with the two sides of your families?

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