Our first Christmas together as husband and wife is already over. It seemed to pass in the blink of an eye, and now we’re already more than halfway through the Christmas season. I’m currently sitting in my mother-in-law’s living room, while Andrew and his mom run errands, giving me some quiet time to get work done. With maternity leave so close, I need to take advantage of every moment I can to work. Normally, I take the week between Christmas and New Years off, but with maternity leave less than six weeks away, I have lesson plans to review, Youth Group meetings to plan, and prayer services to write. And so I find myself sitting at my laptop at every opportunity I can get, trying to fit in ten minutes of work between family activities and outings. By the time this post goes live on Monday, Andrew and I will already have returned to Maryland, and Christmas vacation will be officially over.
These past two weeks have definitely been long- and extremely travel-laden. After driving up to Jersey to spend Christmas Eve and morning with my family, we made the three-and-a-half hour drive (normally four-and-a-half) to Massachusetts to join Andrew’s family for Christmas dinner. Just two days after Christmas, Andrew and I drove out to Rhode Island and back to attend a friend’s wedding. Since it’s currently Monday, we’re still enjoying our time in Massachusetts, but we’ll be returning to New Jersey for a few days on Wednesday before finally making our final trip back to Maryland. At that point, we’ll be officially done with traveling for a while. We only have six more weeks to prepare for the arrival of Baby JT, and traveling has become increasingly difficult as my due date approaches.
Andrew and I are grateful that we were able to spend some time with both of our families over this Christmas break. Yes, it was hard leaving my family Christmas morning, knowing that there were still stromboli and cookies to be eaten, as well as good times to be had, but it was definitely worth it. I know that Andrew missed his family on Christmas Eve, but we both understand that sacrifices are necessary. We both know that when your family expands, time does not. Even though we now have two families to see, we still have to do it in the same amount of time, visiting them during the same amount of holidays.
Despite the difficulties that generally come with splitting holidays, Andrew and I will always remember our first Christmas together as husband and wife fondly. We will also remember it as the first Christmas in both our lives where we could have barbecued our Christmas dinner in shorts and tees. But warm weather aside, we will remember our first Christmas Eve together, attending the vigil Mass and laughing over lasagna and fish. We will remember our first Christmas morning, waking up beside each other and hearing my dog destroying her new toy downstairs (my parents’ idea of a wake-up call to the house). We will remember sitting in our pajamas, exchanging gifts on Christmas morning for the first time ever. We will remember the three-and-a-half hour drive to Massachusetts, singing Christmas carols the entire way. We will remember our first turkey Christmas dinner together, playing games between courses. We will remember returning home to exchange gifts with Andrew’s side of the family before dragging ourselves up to bed, exhausted but happy. And we will remember opening Christmas gifts for our son, just six weeks from joining us, knowing that next Christmas will be just as memorable as our first, but in an entirely different way.
Mary Help of Christians, pray for us!