christmas eve

This post could also be titled…”the day the flu hit the Macs”. Actually, Griffin started throwing up on Saturday night, but it didn’t last long so we were hoping it was just a reaction to his shots or some flukey thing. But Monday morning when we were packing up the car to go to my in-law’s house for Christmas Eve Joel started feeling yucky. As soon as we got there he decided to go back home and lay down…and then the puking began. I was so disappointed that we couldn’t be together on Christmas Eve…and even more sad for Joel that he had to miss his family’s Christmas. Such a bummer. But I decided that I needed to make the best of it and we ended having a wonderful day (except that we missed Joel a lot of course!).

Joel’s family always eats brunch together on Christmas Eve morning. My father-in-law reads the Christmas story and this year some of the cousins even helped him out.

They always have stocking gifts for the kids and adults. We are seriously spoiled every year.

This is Griffin’s “I’m excited about Christmas” face.:)

These three cousins had to hide while Papa and Bammy got out their gifts. I followed behind them to make sure they weren’t peeking and found them all like this.

The big surprise was a new bike for each of them. They were so excited.

Levi loves his new bike. He has been riding it all over the house because it has been so cold outside. Griffin is pretty sure that is is actually his bike…Levi is reassuring him over and over that it is his…and only his. We have a lot to learn about sharing this year.:)

We hung out all day, went to the Christmas Eve service at church, and then came back to my in-laws for dinner and presents. I didn’t get any family pictures because my hands were a little full without Joel there…and it wouldn’t have been a family picture anyway!

The cousins always get new jammies and put them on before present time. The littlest cousin was missing this year because he had to go to bed. It is fun to look back and see this group grow.

* 2008 *

* 2010 *

* 2011 *

* 2012 *

While looking back is so fun, I think looking back is sometimes one of the hardest things about the holidays for me. It is a reminder of someone who was in those cousin pictures who no longer is. Looking back floods my mind with thoughts of wondering what things would be like if Cora was still here and reminds me of the hole that is in these pictures…and constantly in my heart.

My in-laws helped me load up the car after a fun day with family and we went back home to check on daddy. I got everyone in bed and the house picked up and finally got into bed around midnight. Not too long after that is when the throw up began. First Levi, then me, and at one point three out of the four of us were throwing up at the same time. Nice. We didn’t get much sleep and it was definitely not the way I had hoped to spend our Christmas. I was tempted to be grumpy about the whole thing…I mean, Christmas day was pretty much ruined, right?! But as I lay in bed that morning and Levi rolled over and squeezed my hand, I was reminded of what a privilege it is to be his mama…to be up all night to give him comfort. It was definitely not glamorous or a picture perfect Christmas…but taking care of my sick baby, and being home with my sick family was a gift. I told Joel how thankful I was to be able to hold my boys on Christmas morning…sick and all…and he said he had a similar sense of thankfulness as he sat with them on the couch while I tried to catch up on my sleep. It wasn’t such a bad Christmas after all. We were together…and it was just the flu. Looking back also reminds me to be grateful for the little things.

So, we have postponed our little family Christmas and have one more big family Christmas to go. And then my Levi is turning three! Lots of partying to come.

Hope you all have had a wonderful and meaningful Christmas!

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  • December 27, 2012 - 3:07 am

    JJ Kilduff - We had one of those the week before Christmas. My daughter had a tummy bug and she ended up missing her first natvity play at school! While I was really disappointed, I too reminded myself that it wasn’t the end of the world and that I was really grateful that I had her and here brother – even when they are keeping me awake all night! Thinking of you and wishing you a Merry Christmas and New Year. God bless. Love JJ from England xReplyCancel

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  • December 27, 2012 - 3:07 am

    JJ Kilduff - We had one of those the week before Christmas. My daughter had a tummy bug and she ended up missing her first natvity play at school! While I was really disappointed, I too reminded myself that it wasn’t the end of the world and that I was really grateful that I had her and here brother – even when they are keeping me awake all night! Thinking of you and wishing you a Merry Christmas and New Year. God bless. Love JJ from England xReplyCancel

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  • December 27, 2012 - 4:14 am

    Michelle from Australia - Get well prayers coming your way. Dare I say coming your way by the bucket load? :) Sorry Jess. Couldn’t resist! M xReplyCancel

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  • December 27, 2012 - 8:11 am

    Amee - I’m so sorry to hear y’all where sick over the Holidays. I’m afraid I would have been grumpy about it but then probably would have had a change of heart like you. :)
    I hope y’all are all better now and have a Merry Christmas (what’s left of it!)ReplyCancel

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  • December 27, 2012 - 9:50 am

    faith - awww so sorry to hear about the sickies in your house! praying for healing for all of you’s guys! and love the pictures of the kiddos hiding on the bed! great photos all around. merry christmas!ReplyCancel

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  • December 27, 2012 - 3:09 pm

    Karina - Very much like our Christmas! All three kids spent Christmas Eve throwing up, and we had to cancel dinner (there would have been ten of us at the table). Everyone came on Christmas Day instead and we just had twice as much food. I try to feel comforted at times like these, too – reminding myself that it is “only” the flu, and that we are all together, which is the main thing, with plenty to eat and plenty of presents under the tree. Enjoy your pajama time…even if it is punctuated by extra laundry!ReplyCancel

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  • December 27, 2012 - 7:25 pm

    Jody - Sorry to hear about your holiday. I was praying overtime that none of us would be sick this Christmas. My brother was home for the fist time in 15 months and will be deploying overseas just after New Year’s. Thankfully the worst we had was one with a bad cold. We just desperately needed some good memories to get us through the next 9+ months.ReplyCancel

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  • December 27, 2012 - 11:51 pm

    meg duerksen - that is horrible! good for you for keeping a good attitude! it had to be tough.
    i doubt i would’ve been able to pull that off.ReplyCancel

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  • December 28, 2012 - 4:33 pm

    Sarah @ This Farm family's Life - Love the pictures! I don’t love that you had to battle the flu bug during Christmas! We had it the week before Christmas this year for a change. Normally we are sick at Christmas! I hope everyone is feeling better!ReplyCancel

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  • December 31, 2012 - 10:37 am

    Diane taylor - Hi Jess..oh my i am so sorry to hear about the flu bug invading your house on Christmas. I know exactly what you mean! I traveled 400 miles on Christmas eve to be with my family on Christmas Day (first time in 20 years this has happened but my husband felt strongly that we needed to grieve our first Christmas without Jonsthan together). Made it to my parents house with ease….and then at 11:30am on Christmas day i fractured my left ankle getting out of the car after church…i slipped on snow covered grass and my foot ended up facing out in the wrong direction….it was frightening and i knew it was badly broken. I had to have emergengy surgery ti fix it. Not my plan but it was just an accident. I sobbed and sobbed about ruining this planned day. I am home and looking at several weeks off my feet. My husband calls me the bionic woman with what they had to do to fix me up.

    I wish us all peace in 2013. I am so ready to say good bye to 2012.

    Hope you are all feeling better.

    Xxoo DianeReplyCancel

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  • December 31, 2012 - 4:59 pm

    Heather S. - Feeling your pain, Jess. At our house, all four of us woke up on Saturday with fevers and a cold. By Monday night 2 out of the 4 were vomitting. Then we had a little reprieve (while still coughing and blowing noses), and by Thursday night I was sick with the tummy bug all through Friday. It was miserable. I keep saying it was our best worst Christmas. It was the best because we were all together (husband off for the 2nd time in 10 years) and we were resting and hanging out a lot, not rushing around from place to place. But, the worst because, well, we were SICK! Praise God, though, like you said, it was JUST the flu. :) And we were together through it…and that makes it better. :) ReplyCancel

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  • December 31, 2012 - 5:13 pm

    Mary Ann - I hope your family is feeling better today so you can ring in the new year with a bang!! The pictures from Christmas’s past are so cute. I can’t begin to imagine the hole it leaves in your heart knowing your Cora is missing in the newer pictures. She is surely aware of her mama and misses you too. The love never, ever ends. I hope it brings you peace and comfort knowing that Cora is aware of you and will never forget you, just like you won’t ever forget about her. I too am so grateful for my family, my son and his cute wife, and mostly for my grandson who brought joy and love back into my life just when I needed it the most. Thank you (again) for sharing a bit of your life with us bloggers. Your words of wisdom and the love you have in your heart warms my heart with every one of your posts. May the Lord continue to bless and nuture you and yours and bring peace and joy to your lives always. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!ReplyCancel

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  • January 1, 2013 - 11:57 pm

    Alyssa - I just stumbled across your blog via Pinterest and I’m so so happy to have found you. You and your ADORABLE boys are a breath of fresh (godly) air in the big, vast, blogging universe. I’m looking forward to following along with your little family. :) ReplyCancel

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  • January 2, 2013 - 10:17 am

    Stefanie - Oh no! I’m so sorry you were all sick for Christmas! I’m glad you and the boys got to enjoy Christmas Ever first!ReplyCancel

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  • January 2, 2013 - 9:07 pm

    Kelly - It seems like “everyone” was sick over this Christmas. I know the flu hit our family. I was the only one who didn’t get it. Thankful for my ob who has kept on me about getting a flu shot. Hope you guys are all doing well now. KellyReplyCancel

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  • January 3, 2013 - 8:18 pm

    Katie - Our whole family was sick on Halloween this year, terribly with the flu. It was so horrible it was funny. And in a really weird way relaxing because there was nothing we could do but lay in bed…all 6 of us!! Just wanted you to know I could relate.ReplyCancel

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