Getting the five of us Tynan sibling together is a rarity. We’ve all scattered; Laura in Norway, Bruce in Salt Lake City, Ben in North Dakota, and me in Alberta. Only mom and Leilani remain in Washington state. But every other year, we all gather at moms for Christmas fun and craziness!
This year was extra special because we have a new addition to the family, Liam! The first baby of the next generation. And not only is he adorable, he is the most happy and well behaved baby which made him even more fun to play with at Christmas.
The 10 hour road trip to my moms in Tri-Cities, Washington started off great! I decided to try a new route and headed south along Glacier National park and then west. There was absolutely no one on the roads and I spotted six moose in the first two hours of my trip.
This fun changed however when I hit I90 and started west towards the mountains. The predicted snow came in and it was a wet snow making it slippery and dangerous. My 10 hour drive turned to 13 and I spent five hours white knuckle driving at about 40 miles per hour in some bad road conditions. I think I’ll be flying from here on out!
But it was all worth it when I was greeted by little Liam at the door!
The next day was Christmas Eve but we weren’t planning anything until Laura and Nick arrived from Seattle. Mom and I hot BodyCombat at Golds Gym. I love that working out has become our holiday tradition. Every year I am inspired as my mom kicks my butt and makes me look bad in all these high intensity cardio classes!
After working out, we all did our favourite family past time, went to a restaurant for lunch followed by a walk by the Columbia River.
My family has always done all our celebrating on Christmas Eve so it was weird to wait until Christmas Day. On Christmas Day we picked up Laura and Nick to get the Christmas party started.
Every year my mom puts together a program of our festivities and Nick professionally designs it. We always start off with some awful singing or hymns. No one in my family can carry a tune so this portion of the program can give you a headache. Ha ha!
After the singing Bruce read the bible story and it was time for the family talent show! Yes, you heard that right. About three years ago my mom decided to add a talent show portion to our Christmas’s. We are a family of goofs and all jumped at the chance to perform.
The highlight of the evening was Leilani’s inspirational speech “Somehow I Manage…” where she gave tips for success. It was amazing!
We all do Secret Santa gifts and I was very happy with mine because it was a “destress” package from Leilani. She bought me 10 hot yoga classes at my studio, a new yoga towel and mat bag, anxiety relief essential oils, and calm teas. Just what I needed after this last semester!
I was very excited to give Ben his themes Secret Santa gift because he didn’t give any ideas. I knew how much he loved Karate Kid as a child and how he always thought Johnny was better and tougher. So I went with that! I bought him a DVD of all three Karate Kid movies and a Cobra Kai gui. With his blonde hair, he totally looked the part!
The highlight of the night was opening all of Liam’s presents! Lauren said to just bring him one since he was too little to remember anything but everyone came with more than one. Leilani had 6 or 7! The pile of presents this little guy had was insane!
We also like to do a white elephant gift game which is always fun and I wound up taking my own gift, a desktop water fountain which will be perfect for creating a relaxing space at home.
We also drove around and looked at Christmas lights after Liam went to bed. I really wanted us all in the same car so I rode in the trunk of my SUV and was so car sick I couldn’t even enjoy the lights.
On Monday, Liam woke up with a cold and had been up the whole night before unable to breath through his nose and drink a bottle. We all rallied and took turns comforting him and holding him. I learned how to squirt saline solution up a babies nose and catch all the snot as it gushes out.
Because he was so sick, mom and I skipped the gym to help and we all relaxed and hung out that day. Ben took Bruce and I out shooting to try out his Russian World War 2 rifle complete with bayonet!
On Tuesday, it was everyones last full day (and Liam was feeling better) so we planned to get in some family pictures. First, mom and I headed to Gold’s again where she made me look bad in Body Attack!
That afternoon we headed out for family pictures. Nick and I found a great location by the Pasco cable bridge on Google and we all got dressed up and headed out. The only problem was that it was the wrong time of day and the lighting wasn’t right for a picture.
We killed time at Red Robin (they have gluten free buns- yeah) and went back during the Golden Hour. And while the lighting was great, the wind had picked up so bad that our hair was all over the place.
Just to cover our butts, we went home and took family photos up against a blank wall.
To end the festivities Bruce and Ben had another birthright challenge. See, the boys have this thing where they like to compete for the family “birth right.” They had a TYNAN belt buckle made and they pass it back and forth to the winner of various challenges.
A couple years ago they were in Canada for a family wedding and I had the great idea to have them do a swimming race for the birth right which was funny because neither of them swim. This year they asked me to come up with something and I said a tennis match because neither plays tennis. The boys took it one step further by saying to do it at night by the light of car headlights.
After Liam went to sleep, we all headed out to the tennis courts for the match. It was so cold and windy that everyone but me watched from the car. I had to ref so I wrapped myself in a blanket and made the calls. In the end, Ben won 11-5 and kept his family birthright. Bruce is already thinking of another challenge.
It was the perfect family Christmas and just what I needed to decompress and recharge. We’re headed to Seattle for New Years which should be fun!