Monthly Archives: December 2009

Christmas Morning

This was our first Christmas together and we wanted to be sure we got to exchange our gifts at our own place and establish some of our own Julius family traditions.

We started the morning with coffee for John – a must have for him in the morning, especially on a day when he COULD be sleeping in.  Once he had his cup o’ joe, we read the story of Christ’s birth from Luke 2 and the visit of the Magi from Matthew 2, to remind us of the reason we celebrate Christmas.

John reading the story of Christ's birth from Luke 2 (notice the coffee mug in the corner of the photo...John's only way of waking up in the morning)

The next tradition was opening our stockings…which weren’t actually IN stockings because the stuff wouldn’t fit, but that’s beside the point.  John got much needed socks and toiletries as well as his favorite candy – Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and M&M’s.  And of course, there was the orange in the bottom too!  My stocking also had some toiletries, a scarf John got me, and instead of an orange, I had a lemon (my dad, siblings and I have been eating lemons with seasoning salt since we were kids, so my mom gave up the oranges and starting putting lemons in our stockings).

Now it was time for the gifts.  Growing up (and still), my family distributes gifts to everyone and then we take turns opening our gifts.  It may take a lot longer, especially as our family has grown from 5 to 7, but it’s worth the extra time to be able to see everyone open all of their gifts.

So, I started first because I had more gifts than John did.  I got two CDs – Wow 2010 and the newest Rascal Flatts album, “The Lost Symbol,” Dan Brown’s new book, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on Blu-ray, even though we didn’t yet have a blu-ray player.

John got a new Bible – an NIV Life Application Study Bible – and Bible book tabs to help him locate the books of the Bible (I need to get him a copy of the song one of my AWANA leaders wrote, so he can learn it!).   We also opened the gifts we got from John’s grandma who lives in Pennsylvania – some cookbooks (they’re really unique – I love them!), measuring cups and spoons, Santa ornaments, Christmas dishes, and some candy.  Now I just need a bigger kitchen to cook and bake in!

Once we finished our Christmas together, it was time to get ready to head over to my parents for breakfast and gifts and his parents for dinner and gifts.  John ended up with his blu-ray player, a tool box, a drill bit set, and 2 pairs of pajama pants.  I got a black pea coat, a sweater and skirt, fuzzy socks, Up!, 2 pairs of pajamas, and we also got Wii Sports Resort with TWO motion-plus controller attachments.

John opening his blu-ray player

 

Excited for my pea coat

 

Even though we got a lot of really great gifts, the best part of the day was spending time with our families and celebrating our first married Christmas.

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Our First Christmas Tree

Our Christmas this year (our first Christmas married) started off a bit rocky. I had wanted a fake tree – much easier to deal with than a real tree – but the cost and storage prevented that from happening this year.

So, we ventured out to Home Depot on a week night a week before Christmas to find the “perfect” tree. Little did we know what a trying experience this would be for both of us. Neither of us have a truck or SUV or any other vehicle that would fit a 6′ tree in it, so we took my little Mitzsubishi Mirage, planning to have Home Depot put the netting around the tree so it would fit into the car.

After picking out our tree, which was actually pretty painless and smooth, we discovered that Home Depot was out of the netting and they had nothing at all to help us get this tree home in our little compact car. John and I were both frustrated and to put it nicely…I don’t think anyone in the parking lot thought we were newlyweds! :/

We finally got the tree home and set up, which was a huge relief, but we had to wait for the tree to settle before putting on the ornaments (plus we weren’t really in the mood to decorate that night, it was late, and we didn’t have an multi-colored tree lights).

We decided to decorate our tree the following Saturday after picking up some lights that were on sale at Target. We started with the lights and went through about 450 lights to get the tree looking event and well-lit.

After the lights, it was time for the tree topper. I was nervous that any ornaments we had put on the tree would potentially get broken when trying to put the topper on, so we put the topper on before any of the ornaments.

 

John putting on the tree topper

Our tree ready for ornaments

 

Next up were the ornaments. Since John put the topper on, I got to put the first ornament on the tree. We decided that we would make it a tradition that the first ornament on the tree would be a new one from that year. Even though we have several new ornaments this year, we chose our “First Christmas Together” wedding ornament to be the first.

Hanging the first ornament

We had a lot of fun decorating our tree with the multitude of ornaments I have collected over 28 Christmases. My parents bought us at least one ornament of our choice every year growing up, including an ornament for the Christmas before we were born! I have quite the collection and between my ornaments and the decorative glass balls we bought, we have a very full tree!

 

The completed tree

 

It was so exciting to have our Christmas decorations up as we prepared for our first Christmas together.

My 365 Photo Project

I have always loved photography and I’ve been told I’m pretty decent at it, but I’ve always struggled with photographing my everyday life…going out and shooting just because.  Most of my photography recently has been related to family activities and events.  I don’t shoot artistically or just because I can very often.

I heard of the 365 project a few months ago.  It sounded intriguing, though at the time, I was planning a wedding and starting a new job and trying to make a commitment to take a photo every day seemed unrealistic.

So, now that January 1 is around the corner and I’ve settled into married life and the routine of my job, I’m ready to take on the challenge of taking at least one photo every day.  I am hoping that this project will not only force me to really look at the beauty of my everyday surroundings and hone my photographic skills, but will also reignite my love of artistic photography again!

I welcome you to witness my journey this year…in both words and photos.

Look for my first post on January 1st at http://katiej365.wordpress.com!

My 365 Project

I have always loved photography and I’ve been told I’m pretty decent at it, but I’ve always struggled with photographing my everyday life…going out and shooting just because.  Most of my photography recently has been related to family activities and events.  I don’t shoot artistically or just because I can very often.

I heard of the 365 project a few months ago.  It sounded intriguing, though at the time, I was planning a wedding and starting a new job and trying to make a commitment to take a photo every day seemed unrealistic.

So, now that January 1 is around the corner and I’ve settled into married life and the routine of my job, I’m ready to take on the challenge of taking at least one photo every day.  I am hoping that this project will not only force me to really look at the beauty of my everyday surroundings and hone my photographic skills, but will also reignite my love of artistic photography again!

I welcome you to witness my journey this year…in both words and photos.

Look for my first post on January 1st!

Merry Christmas from the Julius Family!

(Click on the photo to enlarge and read)