Let me start by saying, for the last 3 years both Mr. Hess and I have spent the day working, so we usually celebrate the day with Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. This year, we had some of our friends join us at I was so glad they did. I always love our services, but I look forward to this one each year because there are literally about 5,000 lights (candles) lit as the congregation sings Silent Night to celebrate the birth of Jesus. So cool! This year, I had to get it on video…
After service, Mr. Hess and I headed over to my sister’s house for the annual family Christmas Eve gift exchange. My family and Court’s family have been celebrating together every Christmas Eve since I could remember! This year was special to me, because it was the last year before I am married, as well as the last year before Court becomes a mom! She and her husband surprised us all by announcing her little girl’s name to us – what a great Christmas present!
|Girls pic – the women of Court and I’s families (and my nephew Colby!)|
When we got home from my sister’s, we got on Skype to call Mr. Hess’s mom. We’ve done this for 2 years now, and it’s such a great way for him to feel like he can be home with his family as well. We sat and chatted with his mom and step-dad and opened all of the presents they sent down! When she asked what we wanted this year for Christmas, we really didn’t have much on our list. “Things for the wedding mostly” is what seems to come out of both of our mouths. Well, I’m sure we can use some of this at the wedding, and I was so excited to get so much “H” stuff. I absolutely LOVE “H” stuff! 🙂
|All of our Christmas presents with “H” initials! Seemed to be a trend…|
Waking up this morning, both Mr. Hess and I knew this Christmas would be more about Jesus than the presents – and that really is how it should be. We are saving for a wedding (which is the real reason we agreed not to buy each other gifts this year), but it was so nice to not stress about presents and focus on enjoying our time with each other. Here we are ready to work Christmas Day!
|Ready to spread some Christmas Cheer – especially in those hats!!!|
When we finished at work, we headed back over to my sister’s house to have soup and just lay low and spend some time together. My parents had stayed the night and everyone is going up to Jacksonville tomorrow to have a traditional Christmas dinner and spend time with my mom’s side of the family. Unfortunately I won’t be able to join because I am working, so I’m glad that I at least got to see my family today. Mr. Hess and I both have some pretty crazy schedules – definitely not the classic 9-5 weekday jobs for sure, so we have to enjoy the Holiday seasons with the time we have off. Can’t complain about making some extra money though…. 😉
With presents or no presents, having to miss out on our big family Christmas celebration, and even working majority of the day, this has still been a great Christmas for me! I tend to be a bit grumpy sometimes about how hectic life can be with working 2 jobs and planning a wedding, but I had a bit of a reality check this week when I got in a car accident. Even if it’s just for an hour, I am always happy to hang out with my family and try not to take even a small amount of time with them for granted. I forget how hard it must be sometimes on Mr. Hess that his entire family lives in the mid-west. He and I were talking on the way home about how nice it would be to fly up north one year to spend Christmas with his side of the family. Because of work, we have never done that. Keep your fingers crossed that that happens sooner than later!
|My mom reading a Christmas story to my nephew…so cute.|
|Mr. Hess boxing my bro-in-law…maybe it’s because he’s wearing a Laker’s shirt?!|
I won’t bore you with any more Christmas pictures, but I will say I am SO thankful for the following thing on this special day:
- Mr. Hess – he has felt sick as a dog all day, but did his job and came with me to see my family two days in a row. I am so blessed to have him in my life, and I can’t wait for next Christmas when I can call him my husband.
- My family – even though we don’t get to spend as much time as I would like to together, it’s comforting to know that doesn’t matter. I have been blessed with a great group of mentors, supporters and friends I call family.
- My health – like I mentioned earlier, I got a reality check this week by getting into a pretty traumatic car accident. I complain sometimes about getting older, but in reality I am very thankful for what my body allows me to do.
- My job(s) – I tend to complain at times how hard it is to work 2 jobs, but when it comes down to it I’m lucky to even just have 1. And right now, I love my 2 jobs – I realize this is not something everyone can say I’m pretty lucky to have found something I love as a career.
- My friends – I have 9 beautiful bridesmaids all happy to stand by my side for the big day. Other than those group of girls, I am always pleasantly surprised to find out around the Holidays what my friendship means to others and I feel blessed to have everyone in different parts of my life.
- This blog – has not only help kept me organized, but has allowed me to share my stories and experiences with my loved ones. I originally started it to keep Mr. Hess’s family in the loop with the planning process, but it really has turned into something I look forward to doing.
- Jesus Christ – without him, Christmas Day wouldn’t even exist! We should take more than one day out of the year to recognize the sacrifice He mad for us. With that said, it is at least comforting to know there IS at least one day out of the year I know people will recognize His life for us and His story.
|Had to sneak this last one in there…|