Ghosts of Christmas Past

Last week, my friend Annie did a post in which she revisited the ghosts of Christmas past -- in card form. It was so fun to walk down memory lane with her.

And since there are no gorgeous, half-nekkid, singing men to post about today, I thought I'd take you on a walk down our family's memory lane. On seeing these old cards, I found myself full of emotion. Some of them made me laugh, and some made me cringe. But most of them simply made me smile, and I caught myself wiping a tear or two away, as I wistfully noticed just how big my babies have gotten lately.

First up is our Christmas card from 1999. In this picture, McKay was about 21 months old, and Chase was probably two months old. The Husband traveled out of town every week, Monday through Friday, for a year-and-a-half during this period of time. It was tough. It was definitely the first test of my independence as a wife and mother.

I must have fared rather well, as he is still traveling up a storm today, and I don't find it nearly as hard.

Please note that a child ABSOLUTELY had to be placed in front of my body, as I was not yet recovered from the pregnancy weight gain and looked like a bloated cream puff, held up by thighs the size of tree trunks.

I also had really bad hair. Kind of like right now.

The next card is from 2000. This photo was actually taken in Seattle, right before we moved to Boston. McKay was two, and Chase was not yet one. This angelic photo was just weeks before THE INCIDENT. Oh, if we only could travel back in time. What we'd tell ourselves, no?

And, at this time, I was still quite the porker, and couldn't risk long-distance friends and family seeing that.

Just in time for Christmas of 2001, I was five months pregnant with Hannah. That fact alone explains away the absence of a family picture. Do you sense a theme here? [Quit judging. You know you do it, too.]

This was also our way of announcing the impending arrival:

[Please note her due date. Her actual birthday is April 25th. Why couldn't my babies be born on-time? WHY? Was that simple request too much to ask? UGH.]

In 2002, I was finally part of the picture again. Not because I was trim and slim, but because it had been so many years, and I worried people would think I had run off with the mailman.

Which, I'll be honest, I considered at times. Having three kids in four years will do that to you.

Skipping ahead to 2005. Here, we sent our first "top ten list." I kept a journal handy and wrote down funny things the kids said throughout the year, and we had them printed on the inside of our card.

It's become a tradition we still do today. The funniness factor, I think, was maxed out two years ago, in 2006, when some of our top ten items were:

"Dad, if you get pulled over one more time, you're getting a van." (Chase)

"But I just can't find a man to fall in love with." (Hannah)
"The directions don't tell you a damn thing!" (McKay)
"Be a peacemaker or I will stab you." (Chase)
"You should never get mad at me because I am so pretty." (Hannah)

Yeah, we'll totally never top that. Best top ten list ever.

So stay tuned next week, internets, and I'll post our card from this year. I just mailed my last big stack today, and I don't want to ruin the surprise for anyone who hasn't gotten theirs.

Play along, won't you? Let's see some of your Christmas card ghosts.