A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Our Christmas

Hola, holiday peeps!
Today I'm going to share our Christmas day with you!

But first, here is a pic of my very first Christmas in 1982. I'm with my Grandma and Grandpa Michael, Cousin Jordan, and Brother Julian!

This is the first Christmas in a long time that my entire family- Mom, Dad, Julian, and Tyler were together. It was wonderful!

On Christmas morning I awoke bright and early to run 8 miles around my hood. I saw some walkers out and everyone I passed wished me a Merry Christmas!

Then Paul and I hopped in the car to go over the river and through the woods (for real!) to my parent's house in Millersburg.

I have spent every Christmas morning of my life at my parent's house. Paul and I always wear our pajamas. We eat a yummy breakfast that my mom's neighbor makes her every year. It is basically a fancy French toast casserole. We never eat too much for breakfast because our main meal is lunch at 11:30.

Normally, my parents decorate a dead Christmas tree but this year, all of the ones they had in their backyard were too brittle. So the tree they put up will also be their tree next year- it just won't have any needles on it! My parents are so hippy dippy!

After we finished breakfast, right on cue, Tyler's family showed up. It was Clark's first Christmas!

The girls had some fruit as a snack and then it was time to open presents!

Julian got Clark foam nunchucks. He likes to chew on them.

Uncle Julian!

I was tickled with my knee high alpaca socks!

Me and my hunny!

I got Tyler compression socks (since he's training for another big event) and sparkling grape juice. I think he liked the grape juice the best!

I got Clementine a Minnie Mouse doll. She is in love with Minnie!
My mom made her a Minnie hat and scarf.

Debby rocks her pink hair do!

One of my favorite gifts is a necklace my mom got me and Debby. It is a Knoebels Grove ticket pendant! If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know I LOVE KNOEBELS!

Debby and Tyler got Paul The Oregon Trail card game!

I got Ellie a cool book where you use stickers to make faces.

And now the most interesting gift of all... My brother made me a selfie stick with bamboo from my parent's yard.

Our favorite part of the selfie stick is that you can actually see the selfie stick in my picture!

He was so nice to make sure it was a gluten free selfie stick...

Since there were so many people and we like to go one at a time, it took awhile to open gifts. But at 11:30 on the dot, my Grandma and Pappy Taylor arrived for lunch. We had what we have every year for Christmas lunch- shrimp and Chinese food!

Then it was time to socialize and play with our presents!


Grandma Taylor and Clark

We picked up Grandma Michael after lunch so she could join the fun!
She is my dad's mom, can ya tell!?

Tyler taught us how to play The Oregon Trail.
I was skeptical at first, but it was actually a lot of fun!

Unfortunately, Grandma Michael and Tyler died from a snake bite and Paul died of Typhoid. But Amy, Debby, and I made it to Oregon!

 Grandpa plays with the electric train set with his granddaughters.

Before we knew it, it was 3:00! How did six hours go by so fast? I wanted to stay longer but it was time to head over to Paul's parent's house. Before we left my mom and dad's, we got a bunch of family pictures.

Merry Christmas from The Michael Family!
(Love Clark's face!)

Things were pretty chill at Paul's parent's house. His two brothers, two nephews, and niece were there. Everyone was relaxing and watching football or playing with their presents. Paul's nephews and niece LOVE hanging out with him. He is like a celebrity in their eyes!

Violet, Zay, Uncle Paul, and Eden

The big gift for the children was guitars! All three of them play and they are very good. Their dad (Paul's brother) and their Pops (Paul's dad) are AMAZING at the guitar. So I guess it's no surprise, since the kiddos are learning from the best!

Paul and I love to spoil our nieces and nephews. That's what aunts and uncles are for, right? (Especially ones who don't have kids of their own!) I was excited Violet liked her coloring books and gel pens. Swipey liked them too...

The kids were getting a little wound up so we went to the basement to play!

Thing got a little crazy when Aunt Megan got out the Snapchat...

Dinner was lasagna! What a great night with family!

And that was our busy Christmas! I actually lost my voice from talking for two days straight! It's interesting that I sing all day at school but never lose my voice from that. As it turns out, singing is easier on one's voice than talking. That makes sense!

I am so thankful to be able to spend time with our families on Christmas. Presents are nice, but the PRESENCE of family is the best gift of all!
What was your favorite gift you gave or received?
Share a Christmas or Hanukkah tradition with me!
Do you spoil your nieces and nephews?


  1. It looks like you had such a great Christmas! Since Frank and I got together (it's been almost 8 years), we've been going to his parent's house for the holiday. I have little extended family, so they took me and my parents in for their holiday traditions. I got a really cute little jbl Bluetooth speaker that I love. That was probably my favorite gift.

    1. That is sweet that Frank's family took you guys in! Since Paul and I don't have children of our own, we figure it will be our nieces and nephews who are stuck with us around the holidays when we are older. Your speaker sounds cool! Paul got a speaker too that he can somehow take into the shower with him? I'm not sure how that works but he is psyched. His showers are now raves, he says.

  2. Looks like a fun Christmas! I am really impressed with that selfie stick! Very cool that its homemade.

  3. Busy days like that seems to go by so fast don't they? Your brother is so clever to make you the selfie stick! How did he hook it up that you can snap the picture?

    I think my favorite gift to give was the Lion Mane to my dad for Belle. That was hours of entertainment right there!

    1. Well, he needed a cord for that to actually work, but we didn't have one with us that was long enough because, well, the bamboo was pretty long! So we had to put the phone on timer mode. :)

      I forgot to mention on your blog how awesome that lion mane was! I agree, hours of entertainment!

  4. I was reading your post early this morning before I had my coffee and I saw this line "Unfortunately, Grandma Michael and Tyler died from a snake bite" and I was SHOCKED and so sad! I have never played Oregon Trail so I didn't realize this was part of the game. When I finally moved on to read "and Paul died of Typhoid. But Amy, Debby, and I made it to Oregon!" I got it! I literally read the line about the snack and immediately looked up at the picture thinking, "how sad, this is their last picture together. I'm glad they had a happy Christmas before it happened." I will not read blogs before drinking coffee ever again!

    It looks like you have such a happy, fun family! I love the gifts you give each other! That bamboo selfie stick is such a thoughtful gift for a blogger!!

    1. Oh my gosh if my Grandma and brother died you would not be reading about it here so flippantly! Did you not play Oregon Trail growing up? Or was it just a coffee issue? Lol. It could also be my dry sense of humor. :)

  5. I think your selfie stick is amazing! LOL. Your brother is awesome. I am glad you had such a fun filled weekend. You are right, family is the best part of the holidays!

  6. Christmas was low key for me. Our traditional meal is a standing rib roast with oven browned potatoes, dried corn, and Yorkshire pudding. Everything was awesome this year.

  7. It looks like you had a wonderful Christmas! I love that you guys had laundry baskets full of presents- that's so awesome. My favorite gift... probably money. Hello, race registrations!

    1. Woohoo! Glad you have some cash to run your races! :) Laundry baskets are the easiest way to carry everything. And I don't like my bows to get smashed. And then we can carry home whatever goodies we receive in the empty baskets! We hacked Christmas.

  8. Meg! I just love your family so much! I love how hippie dippy they are! I laughed out loud at the decorating the dead Christmas tree part and the fact that you can see the selfie stick in the pictures!!!! I want to snap you but Callum will grab my phone if he sees me using it as a video. I know my oldest son Jake would especially love your family. His grandparents on his dad's side are super rich and bought all the kids MacBooks and iPhones for Christmas and all he wanted was patchouli oil and a bag of veggie chips. He's very anti-consumerism.

    1. Oh man it sounds like Jake would fit right in with us! Example: My grandma does puzzles, so I wrapped up a couple that I already owned, put together, and enjoyed. I knew she would appreciate getting a second use out of something, and when she's done with the puzzles she will put them in the library for other's to do at her living facility. And the guitars the kids got? They were Paul's dad's guitars that he willed down to them! Another second use!

  9. I love running on Christmas morning because walkers/runners are especially nice and cheerful. I wish it would be cold here sometime in the future of Decembers because I haven't had a COLD Christmas run in ages.

    I love that your parents use a dead tree...that's seriously awesome!

    1. I am sure it being cold would make it seem so much more Christmas-y!