Christmas Traditions

This was not my first Christmas away from home, but it was my first Christmas without my family. Back in 2008, I spent Christmas in England with my Dad’s family. Although I wasn’t with my parents and my siblings, being with my Dad’s family was really special.

This year, Neal and I stayed in Washington, DC until Christmas Day as we had tickets to the Redskins game and then had plans to go up to Cleveland to meet up with his family. Knowing how much I love Christmas with my family, my Mom surprised me and sent Neal’s and my stockings from Texas for us to have on Christmas morning. I actually started to cry when I saw them in the package.

Although I love Christmas trees, Neal and I decided not to get a tree this year… so we had a Christmas table.

Another family tradition is to open a Christmas Eve gift each year, which always happens to be…..

Pajamas!!  I love this tradition and want to continue it with my own family.  I just love opening a gift the night before Christmas, getting pajamas and then wearing them to bed.  It’s also awesome having Neal join in on our family traditions.

As my family couldn’t be together this year, my brother Paul decided a video chat on tinychat was the way to start off Christmas morning.

I absolutely loved chatting with my whole family that morning and surprising my parents.  They were so excited, especially my Daddy.  Before we knew it, it was time to sign off and hit the road, but I was so grateful to have that time with my family.

Our time in Cleveland has been nice, a balance of time with Neal’s family and time with Neal.  Yesterday, Neal and I ventured into Lakewood, OH before spending the afternoon with family.  First stop, haircut for Neal.  Neal had never gotten his hair cut in a salon, but the lady did a great job and made him a believer!

Next stop, The Root Cafe for some breakfast!!!

Neal and I shared the “working man’s burrito” and a side of hash browns.  The burrito was filled with sweet potatoes, pinto beans, eggs, enchilada sauce, onions, and a little cheese.  It was awesome!!  A vanilla latte made it the perfect meal for me.

The rest of the day was spent cuddling with baby Annabelle!

She LOVES her uncles.  Neal is the quiet one who calms her and Seth is the fun uncle who makes her laugh.  It was awesome watching them with her.  It made me so excited to see Neal with our own kids, when the time comes.

Today, Neal and I are heading back to Washington, DC but not before stopping by the Professional Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH.  Neal is really looking forward to visiting the hall of fame and seeing the uniform of one of his favorite Iowa players (subject of his third book).

We are also stopping by the outlet mall on our way through Hagerstown, MD.  Here’s where I’m hoping to stop and what I’m hoping to find….

  • Nike:  running gear (shoes and a few tops)
  • Eddie Bauer:  tank tops
  • Gap: something fun for the winter!

If I can make it there on time, I’d also LOVE to get a spin workout in.  Today I got this tweet and was SOLD…

I really, really hope we back it back to DC in time but if not, it’s a 9:30AM Cycle-Strength & Stretch class for me Thursday morning.

Happy Hump Day!


  1. Katy says

    We do the pj tradition too – only Santa leaves them on our bed while we are at church Christmas Eve so we get them when we return. :)

    Looks like you had a fun Christmas with your family skype session and visiting Neal’s family. Hope you make it back for your spin class tonight – it sounds like a great workout! Love the Hagerstown outlets! Do you drive past Frostburg to/from Ohio?? If so, that’s where I went to college!!

  2. Lauryn says

    That is SO funny! We do pajamas too-its been my moms tradition with us forever and we always get a new ornament. Ah I love traditions! So glad you got in on some family love this year! Oh and I got my crystal light yesterday THANK YOU SO MUCH! I am going to try the lemonade today!!! Good luck at the outlets, i LOVE them!

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