We've just returned from a wonderful/exciting/beautiful/fun/exhausting 10 days in Pennsylvania for Christmas (with additional trips to NJ and NY). Jon and I love our families and we were really looking forward to sharing this special time with the new little guy. It turns out that Jack is a fairly excellent traveler. He slept nearly the entire trip which is typically around 7-8, but now takes at least 9 with our sweet, hungry little cargo.
Jack dressed for cold PA winters!
I love to book the calendar when we're home visiting, but I'm learning over and over again that having a baby changes things whether you want it to or not. So we arrived around midnight the Friday before Christmas, not long after a big snowstorm that left the whole area in a layer of white! We then left the next morning for New Jersey and celebrations with my mother-in-laws side of the family. We were back again that night and in church for Jack's dedication and spent that evening at a dinner for old Tillman-family friends - the Douglass's. My friend Megan just had a baby a few weeks after me, so Jack and Edie were able to get some quality cuddle time in over the holidays.
On Monday night Jack spent the evening with Marmie and Poppa while we all went out for Jon's birthday. On Tuesday I took Jack in to meet my mom's students and fellow teachers, and we also stopped by my dad's office to meet his co-workers. Then that night we were off for pizza and bowling. We spent Christmas Eve at the Tillman's where Jack got to experience the craziness of 4 little boys opening presents and then we were off again to my family's house for our annual opening of one present on Christmas Eve. The Wineberg's made history the next day when our Christmas didn't officially start until sometime after 10am!! It wasn't Jack's fault though, he was up and ready to go early that morning! I've finally reached the point in my life where even Christmas morning is fair game for sleeping in ... at least we still have a few more years before Jack is bouncing on our bed ready to open presents as early as possible!
Jon has a hard time keeping up with the pace of a Wineberg family Christmas, I know the secret - caffeine!
We spent that evening at my Grandma's house for ham dinner and a few more presents, and then Jack got to meet my high-school friend Jori before she jetted off on a trip to Spain! The next day we drove up to New York so Jack could finally meet his great-grandparents. Jon ended up getting sick on the way there and we had to do two emergency pull-offs! Then I got sick a few hours later after we reached their house. I was able to still enjoy the standing rib roast, at least for the first round. :) Jon recovered fairly quickly, I was still feeling queasy the next morning but Jack had a booked schedule shaking hands and kissing ladies. He got to hang out with my old friend Jill and meet up with my friends Erin and Melody. That night we played games at his Aunt Rachel and Uncle Matt's house, and he finally got to meet Jenn and Nate in the flesh (the couple that visited in August that we're still trying to convince to have a baby). All I can say is that if adorable little Jack and Edie aren't compelling enough on their own, I don't know what is! The next day was church, which Jack managed to sleep through entirely, despite sitting close to the vibrating speakers, then lunch at Nonnie and Poppie's and finally a stop to visit Jon's friends from high school (in this couple's case I think Jack may have convinced them to fetch him a friend for next year.) The next day Jon meticulously packed the car and managed to fit all of our Christmas goodies in and still leave room for the baby (much to Marmie's disappointment). And we were off on another 9 hour trip back home. And that was Christmas!
Nonnie dressing Jack up for Christmas.
Suffice it to say, things were a little hectic. I'm so proud of my little boy for being such a trooper amidst all the fun, games, noise, hands, long car drives, strange beds and crazy feeding schedule. He still gave us his signature smile during every diaper change, even when they took place in less-than-desirable rest stops and suspicious looking restrooms. We're happy to be home and able to spread out in our cozy little love nest, with Jack back to sound naps in his crib but we definitely miss all of our friends and family back home. No matter how long we're in town, there's just never enough time to accomplish everything we hoped. But in the end it's the unplanned, untimed moments of just being together that are the most special. Jack is such a blessing and a joy in our lives, we love to share him with everyone else. But on the same note it's so hard to leave and take him away from those who love him almost as much as we do. And while the drive has only gotten longer and more difficult, we're already looking forward to another trip back to the great state of Pennsylvania!