Friday, January 10, 2014

one day a year where we can be kids all over again.

oh, goodness. i know what you're thinking. what another christmas post? we're almost to mid January! 

i know, i know. but after a couple weeks of being out of town and a week of blowing my nose and coughing, i fell a little bit behind on everything. either way some of these pictures are some of my favorite from my trip home, that i found myself laughing over some of the memories that came along with them.

and seriously, if some of these pictures don't bring a smile to your face, you must be the grinch himself with a heart three sizes too small. plus most of you are probably suffering from cabin fever or post-holiday depression that christmas pictures never hurt anybody.

driving into the my parents driveaway (it's a long one) is probably one of my favorite moments of the trip. you know that feeling of you being home just whooshes over you and you can almost smell mom's cooking through the car's vents as you drive up to the house? well, that's what i felt and my sister and i start maniacally giggling and squealing and trying to rip our seatbelts off so that we can all jump out of the car to give everybody (even the neighbors!) hugs galore. i love the look on my parents face as they got to hug baby lux for the first time since seeing her in august. and i double-love the look that she is giving the camera when Ashley got a hold of her for the first time.

over-whelmed much?

but for Ashley's sake, that was like a 5 second shot and then Lux was totally back to normally, giggling and grinning really big like everybody else. we just liked to give Auntie Ash a hard time about that puckered lip.

as soon as we made it home, it seemed like we were rushing out the door again. we crammed into my parents SUV (ssssshhhh! don't tell the cops!) and drove to the Christmas eve service at the church. it really was a beautiful service (but i won't lie - i started to get heart palpitations and holding my long hair super close to my face and away from all possible flames) and loved how we had a minute to really stop and think about the reason for the day. sometimes you need that, you know? i know i did. 

and part of the Gamboa traditions, we stopped by a couple neighborhoods to check out Christmas lights. i know most people complain about the obnoxious ones with a million santas and nativity scenes and techno lights with the loud, blasting techno music - but my family and i make it a goal to find those every year so that we can sit outside those people's houses and just soak in all the neon madness. 

but we didn't get too find too many this year because baby Lux decided it was time for us to go home. her lungs and screams were making it abundantly clear. i'd probably cry too if i was stuck in a car seat while every one around me was oooohing and aaaaahing over wooden cut outs and stringed lights that i couldn't see. 

the night continued with our yearly traditions: cranking up the Christmas tunes and playing Christmas movies in the other room (our yearly line-up Jingle All the Way, Elf, A Christmas Story, The Grinch (Jim Carrey version), and all the Home Alone moves - family rule: no one watches these movies except on December 24 and 25...and because of that, these movies really never get old on us. Dad hides them away in a secret vault so no one can touch them).

and with all the Christmas entertainment filling the house, some of us are in the kitchen prepping dishes for the Christmas eve feast. with all of us in the kitchen, it's a little chaotic but always fun - pushing each other with elbows and giggling over stupid things.

and then when we eat, we are normally starving at this point and we devour. we always make extra so that we can nibble on the leftovers on Christmas day. after everybody is stuffed, Dad brings out the Bible to read the Christmas story. this year he gave Kristine's Ryan the privilege and then Dad closed it off in prayer.

and then midnight strikes.

the table is cleared. everybody makes their way to the living room. somebody sets up the tripod (we have home videos for years and years - they really are so much fun to watch later on. we end up crying laughing every time). mom sets herself closest to the tree as she has always distributed everybody their gifts. and then the fun begins! with more of us home this year, it meant more presents to exchange so the living room was quick to be covered in wrapping paper and bows (the dogs, peyton and alexio loved this!) and it also us longer to open presents.

after presents and hugs and "THANK YOU'S" are exchanged, we clean up the living room and pull out the mattresses from the bedrooms. camp out! we also put in a Home Alone and some people "play" with their new toys while others watch the movie and drift off to sleep. the only lights left on are the Christmas tree's and i've always found it so magical and comforting.

so as you can imagine, from a night of partying all night long, we do a lot of this on Christmas day. the mattresses stay in the living room. lots of lounging and napping and living in our PJs all day. it's so nice to know that there is one day a year where we can all be kids again.

time stops.

we can reflect. we can be with family again. we can eat till we are stuffed silly. we can be kids again, giddy over the little things.

one day a year and it's one of the best days ever.

much love.
{happy friday, friend.}


  1. Love this post!! I definitely have some post holiday depression. I loved being home with my family for Christmas as well. So much fun :)

  2. Aww, your family looks like SO much fun! I loved looking through these photos - they made me so happy. Haha! xo

  3. What a great tradition! I remember when my sisters and I used to all sleep in the same bed in anticipation of what the morning light would bring. I miss those days!


  4. your family just has sooo much fun together, i LOVE it! i need to start traditions like this w/ my fam!!

  5. This is such a sweet family tradition. I love how you guys all camp out in the living room and watch Christmas movies. This is what the holiday is really all about.


aw, shucks! thanks for reading and leaving me some LOVE. you (yes, YOU!) seriously rock my face off.

please, leave me your email address if you have a question that you would like me to answer!