11 weeks


I’m still trying to catch up so here’s the update from our 11-week mark Christmas aftermath. Blake was scheduled to work on Christmas Eve, but was able to take off work for a few hours to come to dinner at my grandparents’ house.  We always do a big dinner, exchange presents, and the long-running tradition of the Christmas Play.

The Houck family Christmas Play started out with only 4 or 5 of us grandkids. Our parents dressed us up in sheets and pillowcases to look like Biblical characters, we rode in on homemade stick horses and baby Jesus (AKA: the youngest cousin) was laid in a laundry basket. One of the women read through the nativity while trying to snap pictures of us kids before we ripped our pillowcase costumes off or before the baby started screaming. Since then, our cast has grown to a large number of cousins and in-laws and we have accrued quite a costume collection. Over the years we’ve had different cousins stand in as Jesus and we’ve even had one instance of “Mary” hiding under the table before the play because she was afraid that a baby would come out of her stomach. Gifts from the wise men range from iPhones and microwaves, to framed photos taken off the walls of Nanny and Papa’s bedroom… we just grab whatever we can find on the way out of the “dressing room”.

Even as adults, we still get all dressed up and do the play every year. And next year Blake and I are claiming the role of Joseph and Mary since we’ll have a real baby Jesus again!


We also exchanged gifts in a cousins gift exchange and Baby Roberson got his/her first piece of clothing!


With both of my brothers in town and our new additions Whitney (my sister-in-law) and Blake also there, the whole Gwaltney clan was represented!



On Christmas morning, Blake worked a few extra hours at the station (in exchange for having taken off on Christmas Eve) so I stayed the night at my parents’ house and had Christmas morning with my parents, brothers, and sister-in-law. We ran down the stairs like we’ve done every year since we could walk, and were greeted with new stockings for Whitney and Blake and gifts from Santa! We also helped make Mom’s famous sticky buns, which we make every year to take over to Christmas brunch at my aunt’s house.

Blake was getting off work around the same time they were leaving for brunch so I picked up some Christmas donuts, hot cocoa, and candy canes and headed back home to greet Blake when he arrived. We had our own little Christmas morning at home, opening gifts from one another for a couple hours and enjoyed some time together during our very first Christmas as Robersons. There were no surprise oversized firefighter nutcrackers this year but I did score some adorable sweaters and cuter clothes than I could ever pick out for myself!

Later that afternoon, we did the multi-family Christmas thing but it always works out really well. We had lunch with Blake’s family and exchanged gifts over there, then had dinner at my parents’ house and opened our gifts from them as well. We also surprised my dad with the video of our Bohemian Rhapsody father-daughter karaoke from the wedding in addition to the video of his epic guitar solo at the reception… I’ll share that video soon!  If you didn’t see the Bohemian Rhapsody video, CLICK HERE and watch this amazing-ness that is my family! 🙂 Lastly, we surprised them with a wedding album I created on Mixbook over the last couple of months… they cried. Two points for the Robersons.

To wrap up our weekend, we brought my parents and my older brother Knate to Busch Gardens Christmastown for the first time and they LOVED IT! We saw every show and walked all over the whole park regardless of the cold weather. And we also decided we would make it a new tradition year after year. 🙂



Happy 11 weeks!


  1. Sweet, very sweet memories. Thanks for reminding us of all of the fun. I also love it that Blake worked Christmas morning for a man who wanted to be home with his children. What a beautiful exchange.

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