oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree

All is quiet on the home front. Our family just got back from a trip to the northwest where we got to visit lots of family and friends, and while it wasn’t a vacation that involved a lot of relaxing, it was really great to see all the people we love and miss so much. I have some of the best memories as a kid of our family road trips. We used to spend hours in the car, with me being the youngest and inevitably annoying my brother and sister. Soon Waylon will fill that roll, but for now Reid played his part in tormenting his sister. Every couple days we packed up and headed to a new family members house to crash and the kids champed it. They slept on the floor, they slept on couches, they were forced to sleep with each other ( Hayden shed some tears over that one). We spent hours on a plane and in the car and had a lot of last minute change of plans. A couple flights were delayed and suitcases and backpacks were packed and unpacked over and over. Waylon and I even caught a cold during our travels. Through all this, the kids genuinely did amazing. There was very little complaints and each night we all laid our heavy heads down to rest, with our hearts overflowing. I wish that we could have spent more time with everyone, but this trip did make us realize that making memories like this are irreplaceable and hope to be able to make our jam packed Yochum family vacation an annual thing. I know you guys miss this circus when it’s not around. 🙂

Each year it seems like the holiday season becomes a little more mellow, perhaps because I just don’t have the time or energy to put into it. Once it’s over though, I realize the simple things are more enjoyable and just getting to spend time with the kids is what makes us the happiest. Going sledding and having hot chocolate, our annual cookie decorating with my sister in law while we watch both versions of the Grinch, wrapping presents and listening to a Christmas music playlist on repeat. We have traditions with friends each Christmas that keep getting crazier as we add more kids to our families. It really is the best.

Andy and the kids decorated the tree this year. I set up just a few things around the house, including our stockings and a cozy spot to read stories and open up presents at. Battery operated fairy lights are the bees knees. Anything to make my life easier gets an A+ in my book. Gifts were kept to a minimum too. The perk of a big family is that the kids get spoiled no matter how much we buy them. So they got a few small items from Andy and I and “Santa” is bringing them board games and books. We have lots of snow to play in and Hayden is now on Christmas break, which means I don’t have to make that trek down the hill to the bus stop for a while. Thank the stars!

Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday and a beautiful start to a new year!