Our Christmases tend to have a theme. We’ve had firemen Christmases and we’ve had worker bee Christmases — and this year we had LEGOS.

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He doesn’t like it when I call them cute.

I’ve also noticed a theme after sorting through photos and looking back at past years — we have A LOT of fun at Christmas with our families. For the Hoods, it’s the only time of year we are all together. And for the Martins, it’s the only time of year we all agree to gather in San Antonio together — it’s HOT there in the summer, y’all.

We have a pretty special family, and I love that Colt is growing up with these memories. Over the course of 8 days and 1400 miles and 2 Christmases and 19 loved ones — we had quite a time!

[typography font=”Copse” size=”24″ size_format=”px” color=”#8c0510″]Christmas 2014 | Top 10 List[/typography]

  1. The Selfie Stick. No longer strictly for the cheesy tourist — now for the cheesy sister-in-law. (Thanks, Lynn!) She probably had no idea the string of group selfies that thing would inspire. I managed to convince my 82 year old in-laws to participate at one point, and we made an absolute SCENE in a San Antonio restaurant while celebrating Leo’s birthday. My technique needs work, admittedly, and I promise to practice before next year. *wink*
  2. Mall-walking. This year the day after Christmas was a weekday and we’ve learned our lesson over the years and got there early — so it wasn’t a thick crowd all morning. Laura, Leo, Jeff, and I spent the 26th people-watching and deal-seeking at the outlets in San Marcos. Always a good way to walk off too much cheeseball.
  3. Uncle Jerry. My mom’s brother Jerry joined us in San Antonio again — and we love having him! It’s mighty cold where he lives in Sioux Falls so I know he enjoys the warm break in Texas for a few days, and he has made it his personal mission to keep our little Buddy in Harley-Davidson gear — since he was a baby.  I always giggle a little imagining him walking into a Harley store and shopping for a kiddo!
  4. Grandparents. I didn’t grow up getting to see my grandparents nearly as often as Colt sees his. I love watching him have such a sweet friendship with them — it makes me smile big.
  5. Trigger. We first met Trigger a few years ago, and he and Colt have been good buddies. This year we chopped up some apples as a treat for Trigger and his friends, and had to chop them again when we got there — they’re little guys! Thanks for having us, Buddy and Reesa, we loved seeing you!
  6. Santa. He’s never worried Santa won’t be able to find him in San Antonio — or wherever we are. Santa brought Legos and became the best big guy ever — the Legos are an even bigger hit than we could have imagined. Colt carefully follows the instructions in the booklets, shows off his creation, then breaks it apart and builds something else — with no blueprint this time. Those are my favorite.
  7. Nonsense. Before we left Fayetteville, Colt and I spent a morning running errands and found ourselves at Party City. What we found — and HAD to have — made for some nonsensical fun during our trip, and some of my favorite family photos of all-time.
  8. Food and hospitality. We always feel like we eat for DAYS during the holidays. Food food and more food. But it’s a love language around here, and we are grateful to be so very loved. Thank you, family, for making sure we never run out of good cookin’.
  9. Game night. We got started late and didn’t have our traditional family game night with the Hoods in Arkadelphia, but Colt just wasn’t taking no for an answer. He dragged out a game we’ve played in years past and roped Paige and me into a rousing match of “Colt makes up the rules as he goes along — and doles out points at will”. I don’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. We should play that game more often.
  10. Technology. One member of the Hood family didn’t make it to Arkadelphia for the first time this year. Colt’s cousin Eric just started a new job in Washington D.C. and couldn’t get vacation so soon, so we FaceTimed with him at dinner. We missed him, but it was the next best thing to having him there. Yay for iPhone technology that’s acceptable at the dinner table!

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Merry Christmas from the Hoods!

Hoods in Arkadelphia
Hoods in Arkadelphia

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