christmas in illinois

Like I said in my blog post last week (our little christmas), even though Aaron & I have decided our family won’t be traveling on Christmas, we decided to make an exception this year to bless Michelle. Her family (3 sisters, both parents, aunts, uncles and cousins) all live in Illinois, and she rarely gets to see them. So we put together a plan and got to travel up to visit for a couple days.

So FRIDAY night (12.23.16), the 6 of us (Rick, Michelle, Amberlyn, Aaron, Rylie & myself) all piled into a rental car (2016 Chevy Taho 😀 – talk about a nice car!) and left at 11pm. God answered my prayer and Rylie slept the entire night! The second we got in the car she fell asleep and she didn’t wake up until 7am when I woke her up to feed her. Now if only I could’ve gotten a good nights sleep… unfortunately, I do not get amazing sleep when in a car.

By 9am on SATURDAY (12.24.16), we made it to our first stop – Aunt Sherry’s house. Michelle’s mom was there too (Sherry is her sister) and “ran” to greet us and hold Rylie.

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We also visited Rick’s step-dad and spent the later part of the afternoon with them. We also got dinner with them at Denny’s, which reminded me of one of my favorite Christmas movies – The Santa Claus with Tim Allen. When we arrived, I eagerly looked around to see what kind of customer’s they had on Christmas Eve (would it be like the movie and be full of dads and their kids?). It was mostly older couples though.

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The Santa Clause movie inspired us to have Denny’s as our Christmas dinner

Once our belly’s were full from pancakes, we said our goodbyes and headed to our final destination for the day – Aunt Tammy’s (one of Michelle’s sisters) house.

Everyone went to their rooms but Aaron and I stayed up for a little bit to enjoy some time with our cute little Rylie on her first Christmas Eve.

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a big yawn on Christmas Eve

After a good night’s rest (or as good as you can get with a 6week old baby – but I can’t complain, she slept pretty good), we woke up Christmas morning to the smell of cinnamon rolls.

As they finished baking, Aaron started a tradition we plan on doing with our little family and he read the Christmas story from the Bible (Luke 2).

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We sang a couple worship songs to start the day off right, and then we dug into the cinnamon rolls.

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Everyone went their separate ways to get ready for the day, and I finally got to put Rylie in an outfit we’d been planning for weeks – her first Christmas outfit. 😀

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We left for Aunt Karen’s (Michelle’s oldest sister) house where we would meet the rest of her family and spend the day with them.

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Once we arrived and greeted the rest of the family, we prayed and dug into the food (which was delicious I might add). Rylie was immediately the star of the gathering and Michelle’s family loved meeting and holding her. Here’s a picture of Michelle’s dad, Papa Freddie, holding Rylie. This is his 5th great-grandchild.

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We played a couple Christmas games (dirty Santa and trying to open an insanely wrapped gift with ski gloves) and then we took some key photos with everyone before people had to get going.

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The Shaver Crew

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Tribe Shaver

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All the cousins (minus Tyler & Autumn)

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Tammy & Austin

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Grandma & Papa Freddie with all the grand-kids + great-grand-kids

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Grandma, Papa Freddie, Karen, Debbie, Tammy & Michelle

The tribe spent a few more hours hanging out with everyone, and we played the game “Watch Your Mouth” for the first time and it was hilarious – I laughed so hard I cried! 😛

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By the end of the night, Rylie was extremely fussy (we think she got overwhelmed with being passed around so much) and we were exhausted, so we took the hour drive back to Aunt Tammy’s and immediately fell asleep.

 

All in all, it was a pretty good Christmas. We’re back in Alabama now but we enjoyed our time in Illinois and we are so thankful we made the trip happen. Michelle said “thank you!” to us numerous times and it was fun to get to know her family more and let them meet Rylie.

 

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