Monday, March 18, 2013

Holly Jolly Christmas...

As I stated in a previous post, soon after the wedding, everyone started asking us about the holidays... even AT our wedding reception people were asking us what we had planned for Christmas... apparently it was going to be a big deal.

Lucky for us we have families that are awesome and understanding and accommodating and will to work with us on whatever worked best for US! I think that was important for me to remember through the process is that I couldn't please everyone and when it came down to it, I needed to protect my family first - meaning Aaron and I. I think the first thing we decided was that we wanted to spend Christmas morning just the two of us. We knew that when we had kids we would want to be a family during that time and so we firgured we would start this year and not risk the trouble of changing it later. So that was easy. What also made it a little easy was that my brother and sister-in-law decided that because they have 4 kids to haul around for the holidays that they would do one day with each family and not divide in the middle of the day. So they do Christmas Eve with my family and Aaron and I decided to do that too. So Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas Day with the Mertz'.

The sad part was my younger brother... it was a really difficult realization that I wouldn't see him on Christmas Day. My older brother got married almost 9 years ago and despite the first couple of years where he and Nicole divided the holidays in the middle of the day, we have spent most of our Christmas Days just Tyler and I with my parents. We would stay up late talking and hanging out just him and I. This would be the first year I wouldn't see Tyler on Christmas Day! Luckily my new in-laws had the wonderful idea of inviting Tyler along for a Christmas Day evening event! We decided we would go see a movie and Tyler would come with us! Super fun :)

So here are some pictures of the lovely Holiday!

First stop the Thompsons! We woke up and went over to my parents for gift opening, breakfast, and some park time! I mainly got pictures of the present opening, but it was a lovely day at the park too so in your mind's eye imagine the sun shining, boys playing basketball and the the little girls sliding down both park slides over and over again.

Mr Mertz & I

The girls opened their gifts first so they wouldn't have to be bored with our present opening. They got the mother load of gifts! A Barbie House from Uncle Tyler, PJs and baby dolls from my parents...

Emolyn got a chalk board from Uncle Aaron and I! And Elsie got a piggy-bank filled with money... she had asked specifically for "money dolla's"
The theme of gift giving this year was Charity! We decided last year after I bought my whole family charity based gifts that we would start a gift exchange this year and only give gifts that gave back as well! Some highlights:

- Shawn got my mom a ring with dried forget-me-nots in it (like a locket, but a ring). It was for an alzheimer's foundation! She cried and cried of course because he dad pass away from Alzheimer's a few years ago right before Christmas.
- Nicole got Tyler a Tshirt made out of recycled plastic bottles - seriously it sounds weird, but it is the most comfortable shirt ever! She also got him headphones that also went to giving hearing to people who are deaf from ear injuries!
- I gave Shawn a To Write Love on her Arms shirt... and Nicole ended up getting him the same one. haha

Jonah & Nathan are now not the only twins in the family!

Emolyn and Elsie quickly took to the chalkboard!
Tyler had to work on Christmas Eve, so he left at 12p. After Shawn and Nicole left with the kiddos to put them to bed at home, my parents, Aaron and I went over to see Tyler and take him dinner, then Aaron and I went home for the night!

Next morning was our first ever lil' Mertz family Christmas!!!! I was looking forward to sleeping in a bit, but my husband was an excited boy and woke me up early too excited to wait any longer to give me my presents! We sat in front of the Christmas tree and gave each other our first Christmas gifts as husband and wife!

We did good this year! Aaron got me the entire Harry Potter BlueRay set! He also got me PJs and tons of snacks in my stocking!! I got him a keurig and a watch along with a wallet and legos and other fun treats in his stocking!
After we finished gift opening, we got dressed and ready and headed over to his parents house :) Three sets of gifts! I like this married business on Christmas :)

Me, Aaron, Ashley, and Jess!

So many fun gifts - Manicure/Pedicure gift certificate, jewelry from Ashley from her trip to Ghana, Christmas decorations, and much much more! We spent the rest of the day hanging out at the house and then we headed over to Aaron's grandma's house with the Mertz extended family. Such a big family!!!

Tyler met us there to go to the Christmas Day late night movie! We were planning to see Les Miserables, but when we got to the theater it was already sold out :( Instead we decided to see the last Twilight movie - Breaking Dawn 2. Jess was gonna kill us for making him sit through it! haha! The rest of us loved it and by "loved it" I mean it was beyond awesome, but so fun to laugh through!

All in all a great Christmas!

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