Sunday, January 4, 2015

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Sea World

We just got the kids tucked in bed. I gave them some melatonin tonight to help them fall asleep earlier because they've been sleeping till almost 8 some mornings the past two weeks. A 6:30 wake up is going to feel early tomorrow! It's pretty hard to believe that Christmas Break has come and gone. I overheard Jansen and Natalie talking about how a part of them is excited to go back to school and another part of them is dreading it. I think we can all understand that feeling. 

We had plans to have friends over for dinner on Christmas Eve, but Natalie had a fever so we had to cancel. Thankfully she wasn't miserable or anything. The kids each opened a present from me and Nate that night: a new book and new pajamas. 

Leah is listening for reindeer on the roof.

Natalie and Jansen got a call that night after they were in bed live from Santa's sleigh. He said he was on his way to Texas! We have been really lucky that our kids don't stay up too late on Christmas Eve, and they usually don't wake up too early Christmas morning.

There's a little Christmas morning magic going on here. Leah was still asleep for a lot of the present opening which was nice. Natalie had asked so sweetly and so many times for a puppy, but Santa wrote her a note and told her it wasn't quite time yet. Jansen also got a note from Santa telling him that they were unable to get the particular origami paper he asked for because he rarely has requests for it from children so they don't have it at the North Pole. He complimented Jansen on his talent on hard work because it's usually adults that need that type of paper for such complex folds.

This book is probably Jansen's most used Christmas present. He LOVES it.

This is one of the few times you try to really savor a mess because of the happiness that came with it.

Christmas Day was actually a very difficult one for me. There were a few reasons - some I will blog about later. I always miss family on Christmas, and the day sometimes drags because of that. I'm not usually one to get sad or compare myself to other people from Facebook or Instagram posts, but that day it was hard to see pictures of people with their families. There is truly not a person in the world who has more to be grateful for than me, but sometimes you just really want to be with all the people you love!

Members of the military and their families can go to Sea World for free once per year. We hadn't used our free passes yet, so we decided to go the day after Christmas before 2014 was over. It was a little chilly at first but soon turned into a beautiful day. 

As is often the case when we go to these types of places, the kids were as excited about getting popcorn as they were about seeing animals and going on rides. They love that stuff - especially Jansen.

I do not like roller coasters and I never have. Jansen hasn't really liked amusement park rides in the past, even the kiddie ones, so I assumed he was like me. Nate really wanted Jansen and Natalie to go on the ride Atlantis (seen behind them) with him, but I was kind of discouraging them. As a mom I really didn't want them to get on the ride and feel scared and stuck. Nate offered them $5 each if they went on it. It took a fair amount of convincing, but they agreed. They loved it! It definitely "scared" them, and it was so funny to listen to them describe how it made them feel. I am so glad they have a dad who will encourage them to do the hard things, the scary things, and the fun things. Here they are after the ride holding their $5. 

Since we live so close to Sea World (it's about a 15 minute drive), we will probably get season passes at some point. We think it will become a fun part of our San Antonio memories. I was jealous of the cold and snow that everyone was getting in December, but now that Christmas is over I am loving the sunshine and temperatures that allow us to be outside.


Annie said...

This is the first Christmas in 10 years that we had family close by. It was really great but also really busy. It added a crazy element to Christmas that I wasn't used to. I felt like I had to rush through everything to get to everywhere we needed to be. That being said, I remember feeling exactly the way you were talking about when I was away from family. Maybe I put too much pressure on myself to make it a perfect day. I think it's tricky.

Sarah said...

This was so great to read! You may know this already, but I thought I'd say it anyway (especially since we were unpleasantly surprised by it): Sea World is closed for part of the year, during the fall and winter, only open for a few sporadic days here and there during that time. Late spring and summer is when they are open all of the time, mostly because of the water park part of it. I just wanted to let you know so that you could take that into consideration while deciding on passes. We had passes our first year here and were kind of underwhelmed (we got kind of spoiled because of the Sea World in San Diego). This past year we got zoo passes and we're much happier. It's a little farther away, but passes are much more affordable, parking is free, and they are open all year. :D

Jessica Nye said...

Thank you for the inside scoop! I definitely need to weigh some things before we decide. I should look into the zoo though...especially since we get sea world free once per year anyway

Jessica Nye said...

So true Annie.

Kami said...

What a fun Christmas. Wish I was there on Christmas morning to see the kids open their presents. They look elated. That picture of little Leah is the sweetest thing. I could die. I can't believe Nate convinced the kids to go on that ride. That's awesome. I remember when we went to Six Flags and you wouldn't go on any of the rides with me. Too bad Nate wasn't there to bribe you with $5. Love you guys!

Angie Sullivan said...

Oh how I miss you during the holidays! And yes, enjoy that sunshine, because here in Utah the snow has turned into crusty, dirty, drifts. Bleh.

Angie Sullivan said...

Oh, and Shane is a paying dad at amusement parks too! He tries to get Evie on all the rides the rest of us go on, but she is pretty firm on her limitations! Way to go Jansen and Natalie!

Erin said...

So cute! I love your blogging style. I need to do better at taking photos and blog-journaling and having it all printed out in a book to keep forever. Btw, Atlantis is the ride I got stuck on with my kids, at the top of the ride just before the drop off, for fifteen minutes! I think they'll never go on that one again. Even I was really nervous/scared! Good for them for doing it!!!