Home Sweet Hoyleton: Christmas

Last year Christmas was a blur. We moved on December 6th. There are 4 family birthdays in December and Nate's schedule was busy right away. Also, I was pregnant. This meant we were also getting set up with my doctor and getting Zoe set up with hers. Needless to say, Christmas was a bit lack luster last year. There was very little decorating since our decor would have been set up on cardboard moving boxes. This year was much different. This year we got to experience what Christmas in Hoyleton is. Let me tell you, it is fantastic.

It gets cold in Hoyleton. It wasn't cold all month but it has been cold for the time it counts. In McAllen, it wouldn't usually get below 80 on Christmas. Let me tell you, it didn't feel like Christmas at 80 degrees. Now on top of the cold, we had a white Christmas!!!! I haven't seen snow on Christmas for years. I LOVE looking at snow. Do I want to drive in it? Not really. Do I want to play it in? Nope. I do however like to look at it and think about white Christmases of my childhood. It is beautiful. There is just something about snow on Christmas that I think most people love. Some people don't like it and I understand but let's be real folks, you secretly like it.

Ready for the cold...

White Christmas!

Hoyleton is a festive town. There are lights on people's homes (including our own). The churches are decorated on the insides. My favorite decorations are the lamppost decorations. You know they are lights in the shape of something festive? We have a penguin, star, Christmas tree and a couple of others. They remind me of driving to my grandparents house when I was growing up. Coincidentally they didn't live to far from here, only about 45 minutes. Every time I see those lights I think that it's actually Christmas and it gives me that warm fuzzy feeling.

The Parsonage - Our House

Trinity Hoyleton

Obligatory Pastor Family Christmas Church Photo 

The night time streets of Hoyleton

People in Hoyleton like to show their love through cooking. Let me tell you, I feel very well loved this year. We had SO MANY COOKIES. Am I complaining about this? Absolutely not. I put a couple of cookies we received on a plate for Santa and was like, does he really need three of those delicious cookies? I think I'll take one back. We not only received baked goods, but many wonderful gifts from members. We will be eating like kings for a while. Good thing I saved my maternity pants, because even if I don't use them for another baby, I might need them for the Christmas food baby that is growing in my belly.

Yes, Santa's milk was in a wine glass. It was the only festive glass I had.

It has become a tradition in Hoyleton that the pastor grills hambergers on the last day of school. Nate loved it so much on the last day of school in May that he thought it would be fun and hilarious to grill burgers in the cold on the last day of school before break. He was not only grilling, but festive.

Flippin some Wollenbergers

Festive Family

Doing our best collage girl hand on the hip pose in our matchy light up Christmas sweatshirts.

Decorating our home has been tricky business since we've been married. Our first year of marriage I decorated like crazy. It was our first Christmas and we lived in a house on vicarage. We had plenty of space for decorations and a tree. We also had a live wreath on our door that led to the "Bird in the House Incident of 2010". If you would like to read more about that you can click here: http://www.ablessedmess.net/2010/12/thanksgiving-decorations-potlucks.html. Nate decorated our house that year with lights too. We moved back to St. Louis for our final year of seminary and that began the long stretch of years where we lived in apartments not big enough for full size trees or many decorations. We did have a full tree the year before Zoe was born, but we had the tree in a side room so it wasn't our in the open for us to see. This is the first year ever where we have had kids and a full tree. There is just something about a mountain of gifts for your little ones underneath the tree. Not to mention, her easel was a giant wrapped gift which looked awesome there and Zoe's reaction was fantastic. "THIS IS THE BIGGEST PRESENT EVER!" The kids opened gifts and were happy and it was amazing.

Easel, so big.

Tree is ready.

She wanted a picture with the gifts.

My favorite picture of our tree this year.

Zoe was in her first Christmas program this year. I can't believe it. I love it so much that she goes to a school that has a Christmas program and that she loves singing Away in a Manger with all of her friends. Plus it is so cute. Thankfully I didn't get all weepy while she was singing but I did take a lot of pictures and video.

We spent time with family and friends. We had tons of laughs. We revisted the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus. We sang Christmas songs and hymns and had a blast. Christmas in Hoyleton was fantastic. Stay tuned for more Hoyleton posts.

Oh man, how did these pictures of the cutest baby boy get in here?

Oh mom...

Big noggin baby

These two

That. Bow. Tie.

That's all for now. God is good.


  1. So happy for you! By the way, it is nasty cold in Mission, Texas now....37 and misty rain.

  2. Adorable as always!! :) I am so glad you enjoyed your 2nd Christmas in your new home! Happy 2018!

  3. Beautiful thank you for sharing. Miss you alll