First Christmas

Thank you ALL for your kind words, emails, texts, tweets, etc in regards to Jared's grandpa. I know he and the rest of his family really appreciate it-- you can never have too many people praying for ya.

I mentioned yesterday that despite the circumstances, the family went ahead with our annual $5 gift exchange on Sunday afternoon. Everyone wanted to be together anyway, and it was a nice distraction if nothing else. I honestly felt strange even taking pictures, because we all kept thinking about how their Grandpa wasn't there.... but we also know he would have wanted everyone to still celebrate this time of year.

During the gift exchange

Jared ended up with this shirt, lol!

And I forgot to take a picture of mine- but after trades and steals, I ended up with my own gift! A Christmas storage container filled with candy-- can't complain!

Pretty sure the dessert table was bigger than the dinner table.

The aftermath of my twice-baked potato casserole. I got the recipe here, if you're interested.

Cousin Tara and her niece Macy. Macy became a big sister the very next day!

The beautiful cousin Calena.

Kayla & I

Does your family do a gift exchange? Is it a 'funny' exchange with just $5 to spend, or more like a grab bag where you buy for specific people?

There is nothing you can do in a tough situation but be with people you love. Please continue to keep the family in your prayers this week as arrangements are made & final goodbyes are said.


  1. love that you guys still celebrated and all got to be together. That is the BEST comfort in times like this. My heart goes out to Jared, you and your entire family!

    p.s. that shirt, priceless!

  2. I can't imagine how hard this must be, but I know y'all will make it through! Looks like you had a good time with family though, and I think it was great y'all still were able to celebrate together :)

  3. I think it's great you guys still celebrated! And Holy dessert table, oh my!!

  4. Gosh, gotta love the 19 snaps we shot to get to THAT one of us, hahha I could use some work. I just love you. Glad we got to all still get together dear. :)

  5. Love that you guys do that every year! And I am thinking about you and your family!

  6. I love this!! :) That shirt is AMAZING! So glad that you guys celebrated, even though you were sad!

  7. I am SO sorry to hear about your guys' loss :( If anything, it's a reminder to live every day like it could be your last. You never know when our time will come, but at least we can have peace knowing where we will end up. Praying for you guys!!!

  8. Its so awesome that you still all got together. Being with family is what will be the most help during this time. Sending you hugs!

  9. So sorry for your loss :( What a great way to celebrate his life in a way you guys know he would want! Nothing like being with family :)

  10. So sorry for your loss but glad you got to spend time together as a family. I love the idea of a $5 fun exchange.

  11. I love Jared's shirt! We've never done a gift exchange like that on either side of the family. My family now does the white elephant exchange but I haven't been home for Christmas in 10 years now.

  12. okay I'm so glad you found my blog and stopped by to comment!
    I LOVE gift exchanges.. My friends are having a ladies get together Christmas party this year and I'm SOO excited for the gift exchange!!

    Excited to be your newest follower!

  13. I'm sorry about Jared's grandpa, but I'm glad you all still got together to celebrate. We draw names and do more of a "Secret Santa" in our families.

  14. Still thinking of you and sending so much love your way! I wanted to text you this weekend when I saw your facebook post, but didn't want to be annoying considering all you were both going through. But know my prayers were with you and Jared this weekend! <3

    On a lighter note- we do a gift exchange too! We do it secret santa style with my mom's side of the family and all get stockings full of funny things for one member of the family. This year Dom got my 92 year old grandmother hahahaha I know it will be hilarious!

  15. keeping your spirits high are a wonderful way to pay tribute and remember such an important member of your family. i've been thinking of you!


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