Wednesday, August 12, 2020

December 2019 - Christmas in North Carolina

Christmas came early in our home because we were flying out to North Carolina for actual Christmas so we staged our family Christmas the weekend before. We were without Jacob though because he was meeting us in North Carolina. 

The Christmas jammies were a fail this year. 

We bought them at Walmart and 1/2 of the men ones had women's pajamas packaged in them instead of the men's pjs. I'm starting to think this tradition isn't working any more.  I don't think any of the kids wore these after this picture. 

Its funny that Maddie gets just as excited for her stocking as anyone else. 

"Christmas" morning unwrapping

Taylor Rose couldn't come with us to North Carolina so this was their opportunity to hang out together before we left. 

Once we got to North Carolina we checked into our Air B&B which was perfect! It was even decorated for Christmas. 

This came after a long flight with delays, no sleep, Ashley having anxiety about the turbulence and our bags getting lost. (It took until midnight to get them) we were finally here. 

We had some flight delays and poor Jacob ended up having to wait hours and hours for us before Joel and Virginia ended up just picking him up and bringing him to the house. 

This trip would be the first time that we would all be together as a family since Michelle's Wedding. The only person missing was Jared. 

Family games were a fun way to spend the first night together. 

The next day we spent the day shopping and trying to figure out the car situation for Janell's family. My dad fell and we thought he wouldn't be able to come for Christmas to the house. My mom was going to lend Janell the car but then decided she wanted to keep it to go out and see dad every day. 

During the day we all took turns visiting dad at the hospice facility he was in.  He sang us the Puff the Magic Dragon song and it was emotional realizing it would be the last time we would probably hear him sing it. The nurses even came in to hear him sing it and they loved it. 

Paisley was a cutest with my dad and snuggled him and kissed him during the whole trip and he loved every second of it. 

Christmas day came! It was fun to wake up and have Angela and Robert and Joel and Virginia's family there too. 

We didn't know how long dad would last so we planned a mid-day meal to be ready by the time the crew brought dad from his facility. It was a lot of driving to get my mom, pick up her car, driver 45 minutes to get my dad and drive 2 cars back to the rental house. Once he got there the stairs weren't the problem we worried that they would be for the strong men. The travel wheelchair even fit in the bathroom which is something we were worried about. 

We got pictures with dad and had a wonderful day with him. 

Luckily the person that we were renting the house from lived in the basement and he came up and was able to take a family picture of all of us. 

All the girls

The only 2 grandaughters...

All the grandkids (minus Jared)

Instead of the pressure of getting real presents we did a white elephant gift exchange...


We all pretty much ended up giving anything girly or for little kids to Paisley at the end of it so she got to go home with lots of things. 

The meal turned out good and dad seemed to enjoy it and ended up staying a lot longer than we thought he would.  He was able to eat a big meal, he relaxed in comfort on the couch, he got to laugh and enjoy the white elephant gift exchange and snuggle on the couch with Paisley. We got pictures and even had a family prayer. 

The kids all enjoyed spending time together and the house was plenty big enough for us. 

Christmas Day ended up being just what we all needed and it was a great day. 

After dad left some of us went on a walk through the neighborhood. It was pretty but it was weird because you could hear gunshots regularly as people were doing target practice or something. 

The next day Robert helped my dad fulfill his bucket list item of watching the last Star Wars movie. We even got to watch it in the theater that dad worked in.  In the end my mom was crying and crying. I asked her why and she said it was because it was sad that the movie was over. It made me emotional because I remember watching the first Star Wars movie with mom and dad in the back of the station wagon when I was supposed to be asleep (I popped my head over the seat and watched the whole thing anyway) and now I was watching the last one with them. 

We ended up going to lunch right next to the movie theater too. It ended up being another good day. Originally we didn't know if it would happen due to all the driving and orchestrating we would have to do but in the end we were glad we did it. Dad stayed awake the whole time and seemed to enjoy the movie too. 

That night we drove to a Christmas light display in town and spent our last night in the rental house. 

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