Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas!

I can't believe Christmas has already come and gone! On the Saturday night before Christmas my dad called me and said: "Hey, come on over real quick.  I want you to see something we got for Christmas."  Considering it was so late I figured he wouldn't call unless it was important so we drove over there and opened the front door and these boys ran and jumped into our arms!



Christmas could have never come and I would have been as happy as if it had!  For those of you that aren't aware, my oldest brother and his wife and kids live in Minnesota.  We don't get to see them nearly often enough and haven't spent Christmas with them in 4 years so you can imagine how excited we all were when they surprised everyone and showed up at my parents' house on Saturday!  Because of missions and family living out of state, it was the first time since 2006 that my entire immediate family was together for Christmas and and it was fantastic!

We spent Christmas Eve with Logan's family this year and had a great time.  There was quite the crowd at his parents' house so it was a lot of fun catching up with everyone.  We had a White Elephant gift exchange which is always hilarious and exchanged gifts with Logan's siblings.  The younger kids got to open a few presents which, in my opinion, makes Christmas so much fun.  I love watching the kids get so excited as they open everything.  After our Christmas Eve festivities wrapped up we headed home to prepare for Santa to come!

Christmas morning rolled around and we were up pretty early to get ready for the day.  We opened stockings and presents from each other which is always so much fun even though there's only two of us.  I feel like we're creating our own traditions that we'll have one day with our kids.  As always, Logan spoiled me and I think (hope!) he enjoyed what I got him as well.  



We opened our door to throw away some garbage and found a gift waiting for us.  I read the card and was so excited to see that it was from one of the amazing SCID moms that I've become friends with.  I couldn't believe the time and effort she put forth to make this for us.  Look how amazing!

They look exactly like the boxing gloves that we hung over Eli's crib!
This wonderful lady lost a baby of her own this year to SCID and continues to serve others before herself.  I feel so blessed to know her.

Our first stop of the day was to the cemetery to visit our little man.  I expected it to be crowded or at least to see other people but there was no one in sight which was actually nice.  We spent a few minutes talking to him and wishing him a merry Christmas while enjoying the peaceful feeling that was there.  I was never a fan of cemeteries before all of this but now it's one of my favorite places to be.  We felt such a special spirit and know Eli was there with us.



My family always does a Christmas brunch so we headed for my parents' house first.  To say their house was wild is a definite understatement.  The cousins get so excited to see each other since it only happens a couple times a year and they get a bit crazy.  We had a great afternoon eating and hanging out and loved being all together!


Logan's family does Christmas dinner so we headed for their house later that evening and enjoyed yummy food and played games with his fam.  Thanks to our amazing families we had a wonderful Christmas and couldn't have asked for anything more!  

Logan and I were both able to take the day after Christmas off which hasn't happened since we've been married so we decided to go skiing for the first time this year.  We had a ton of fun but I haven't been in a couple years since I was pregnant last year so I could barely walk the next morning.  I clearly don't work out enough!




I typically leave my Christmas things up until around New Years but we got home from skiing and I had a sudden urge to take it all down so that's what I did!  It didn't take too long and a couple hours later we had our house back to normal and everything put away so it was definitely worth it.  

We had a wonderful holiday and are so grateful to everyone for all of the love we received.  It could have been much tougher than it was so we are very thankful to everyone for all of the support!  We hope everyone has a safe and happy new year!

**SIDE NOTE**
Before Eli was in the hospital I had never donated blood consistently but because he needed nearly daily blood transfusions I became very grateful that the blood was readily available whenever he needed it.  After we got home from the hospital I promised myself I would donate as often as possible and have been able to do so a few times now.  I always feel so happy after I leave knowing my small donation could potentially make a big difference for someone.  If you ever have the opportunity to donate, please take advantage of it!

There's something so rewarding about doing this!
















Sunday, December 8, 2013

Festival of Trees

What a week!  I fantasized about the Festival of Trees since the moment I knew Eli was going to have a tree and it turned out better than I could have wished for.  There aren't words to explain my feelings of this event or how I felt when I saw Eli's tree for the first time but this picture does a pretty good job:



I was quite emotional and know Eli was there with us.  This is definitely a moment I will never forget.

Everything about Eli's tree and everything around it is absolutely perfect.  Although the fantastic ladies who put this all together never met him, they captured Eli better than even I could have.  I'm sure he was helping them along the way :) For those of you that weren't able to make it to the festival, here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure.








Logan and I have gone to the Festival of Trees every year for awhile but this year was different so I made sure to be there every night.  It was so fun to be there each night with different friends and family.  

Wonderful Co-Workers
Fantastic High School Friends
The Lovely Cynthia

Because of these wonderful people, Eli's tree gets to go home with me and Logan!


Thank you, thank you, mom and dad for this Christmas surprise!  Logan and I are so grateful Eli's tree will stay in our family.  Maybe one year we'll let you put it up in your house... ;)

I loved going to the festival each night to see Eli's tree but it was definitely a welcomed sight to see it delivered today!  Its home will be my dad's office this year before being moved to mine and Logan's casa for next year.



If it weren't for these two incredible ladies, none of this would have been possible.  Dana and Melanie, all of it was perfect and we are so grateful you provided our family with this wonderful experience. You will forever have a special place in our hearts.  

I sure love these ladies!
In other exciting news...Eli's headstone was finally installed!  There was quite a bit of drama trying to get it so we couldn't be more relieved to have it figured out.  The cemetery told us they would continue installing headstones until the snow came so we were nervous it might not happen.  It ended up getting put in on Monday and the snow came on Tuesday.  What a blessing!

We are so happy with how it turned out!  It was definitely worth the wait!