The holidays are a special time of year for several reasons, but to me, the best part is coming together as a family.

Shelley, Matt, Mom, David, Santa, Chelsea, Me, Craig

[Yes, Santa is holding a beer can. We’re a classy family.]

This year we were able to travel out to Denver to spend Christmas with my family. Somehow this family from Michigan has pretty much all migrated west, and now my mom and both of my brothers call Colorado home. This isn’t too much of a problem for Craig and me since we love it out there.

We had a wonderful time and enjoyed nice weather, plenty of food and drink, games, gifts, and lots of laughs. I practically knit an entire scarf, we spent time at each house in the family (Christmas Eve dinner at David and Chelsea’s, Christmas breakfast at Matt and Shelley’s, and Christmas dinner at my mom’s), and we got to check out the house David and Chelsea are hoping to purchase. We also toured a bit of Boulder and visited a brewery (hence Santa’s beer can ornament). It was a fun visit.

One thing that I found especially nice this year was the way other family members were incorporated into the events. My dad and stepmom were in town on Wednesday afternoon and evening on their way to spend Christmas in Steamboat Springs with one of Judy’s daughters and her family (and Judy’s ex-husband and his wife – why yes, we are one big happy family!). On Wednesday night, Craig’s cousin Joe joined us for dinner. He recently moved to Denver and was leaving for Christmas in Oklahoma the next day. On Christmas Eve, Shelley’s parents arrived from Atlanta. This was our first time meeting Shelley’s parents (she and Matt were engaged this fall) and it was great to get to know them over the next few days. And Chelsea’s aunt and uncle, who live in the Denver area, joined us all for Christmas dinner, which Craig prepared.

Craig and I had a couple of moments of sadness, remembering his mom and the Christmas we spent with her last year. We are so grateful that we made the decision to change our travel plans and spend the holiday with her, since it was our last opportunity before she passed away.

I admit to having some struggles this holiday season, as I have the past few years, with our ongoing family-building struggles and The Wait. However, for the most part, I was able to enjoy the Christmas holiday with my wonderful family. Next Christmas could be tricky, timing-wise, but I’m really hoping we spend it with our new little one in our arms!

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25 Responses to family

  1. Julie says:

    Merry belated Christmas you guys. If Santa can’t throw one back who can? I am hopeful that your arms are full next time.xoxo

  2. sue says:

    i am so, so hopeful that your little one will be home with you for christmas next year! i get chills just thinking about it! your family deserves that blessing. 🙂

  3. Kelly says:

    It must have been so nice to be in Denver with so much family! I had to laugh when you said you were one big happy family because my dad used that term over the holiday when I asked him to come over and hang out at my mom’s house (ie, his ex-wife), but he declined and said “Kelly you have to remember we’re not one big happy family.” Sad 😦 I wish we had your situation ….

    PS – Kelly, you look fabulous. 🙂

    • Kelly says:

      We are very lucky in that all of the parents get along and we’re able to all spend time together. It makes life so much easier (and, in my opinion, better).

      And thank you!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Sounds like you had such a lovely holiday! The holidays are always so bittersweet, aren’t they? Having fun with the wonderful family you have, and missing terribly those who aren’t with you.

  5. Jennifer says:

    It sounds wonderful. Hmmm Maybe you should relocate to Denver. ? You like it there, Denver is a great city, and you have all your family. If all of my family lived somewhere I really liked, I would live there. Hoping you get your referral, so she is home next Christmas.

  6. Christine says:

    This sounds like a wonderful time!!! And like Sue, I really hope you have your babe in arms next year as well! Exciting!

  7. Doug says:

    Merry Christmas! Here’s hoping you have the joy of a new family addition this time next year. Looking forward to following your journey in 2011.

  8. Jenny says:

    Sounds like you truly had a great Christmas! I know the empty arms feeling that THE WAIT brings. Praying that yours are FULL FULL FULL next Christmas!

    Funny about the beer can! My dad used to tell me Santa liked beer and cookies not milk and cookies so I’d leave a can out instead of milk 😉

  9. Bridget says:

    Next time you’re in Denver- look me up! We’re only 40 min. away- and that is where my sister, brother, and parents are….hence where WE are nearly every week!
    🙂 Oh, and don’t come looking for me for inspiration at the end….I’m pretty sure I’ve made it blatantly clear how horrifically neurotic and scary sad I’ve been….if not, take it from me, I’ve been horrifically neurotic and scary sad. Hopefully you won’t have to wait this long. No one should…. Here’s to hoping BOTH of our Christmases are a wee bit more merry and bright next year!

  10. kwatkinsinfl says:

    The holidays definitely make The Wait harder, but sounds like you overcame it by surrounding yourself with family. Here’s to a fabulous 2011, filled with referrals and travel for all!
    P.S. Our kids leave out cookies and beer for Santa. He needs a break from all the milk, I think.

  11. Krista says:

    Wishing you all a wonderful 2011!

  12. colleen says:

    how wonderful that you got to travel and spend the holidays with all of your family. i too hope that this time next year you are celebrating with your little one in your arms!

  13. Jen says:

    Merry Christmas!!! 2011 is going to be a big year for you!!!

  14. Jen says:

    Oh and great family photo!

  15. Erin says:

    Great picture. Next Christmas picture will have another certain person to add 😉 😉 😉 I cant WAIT.

  16. Robin says:

    Great post, Kelly. It sounds like you have a great family. 🙂 🙂

    I think next year’s visit might indeed be tricky, but it will be wonderful with your little one in your arm’s. I am so excited for you this next year!!! Happy new year!

    P.s. I love how it snows on your blog!

  17. Emily B. says:

    Merry Belated Christmas!! I also love spending time with family over the holidays. And the beer can Santa made me laugh outloud. That is SO my family too. I am surprised “Santa” didn’t request that growing up as Jenny’s dad did. That made me laugh outloud! I share your hope Kelly!! PLEASE PLEASE let your arms be full next year.

  18. First of all, you are looking GOOD girl! Second, Merry Xmas. And third, next year I hope to see a little one snuggled in a baby carrier on you! Oh wait, there is a fourth – DENVER rules! (we can both move there and leave the east coast behind)

  19. Zoe says:

    I hope this is your last Christmas without a babe in arms and so glad you had a great time in Denver with family!

  20. You have a beautiful family, and I second Michelle’s comment– you look fab! I’d love to visit Colorado some time, and definitely would love to check out Denver. How lucky that so much of your family live there, and you get to visit lots.

  21. Angela says:

    I love big blended families. I have a feeling you’ll have your little baby for next Christmas as well. Hang in there mommy!

  22. Angela says:

    P.S. You do look good girl!

  23. Kala says:

    I’m so gla you were able to enjoy the holiday. I’m praying that 2011 will be a great year for you!

  24. kris says:

    I’m glad to hear you were able to enjoy the holiday this year with your family. I pray your baby is in your arms next Christmas! You all have waited long enough!

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