A Christmas Surprise

  • Christmas 2015

I’ll be the first to admit that we didn’t get to where we are today without help. The truth is, Michael and I owe SO much of what we have and what we have accomplished to our parents. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to graduate without massive student loans… without them we wouldn’t have grown up in Christian homes with examples of Godly marriages…with them, I wouldn’t have started a business at age twenty. This Christmas, I stood up in Michael’s parent’s living room in front of all four of our parents sitting on the couch and tried to thank them for all of these things.

It didn’t go well because as soon as I started to try to explain why we’re so thankful for them, the tears started. However, right when I started to get teary and the words failed to come out… my GranGran said (yelled) to Nanny… “I THINK THEY’RE EXPECTING!”. Well, since we’re NOT EXPECTING… that made this surprise that we had for our parents just a tad less exciting! ha! In true GranGran fashion, he giggled afterward and had no idea how loud he was speaking.

So then I tried again. In a nutshell, I thanked our parents for sacrificing so much for us and enabling us to grow and pursue these crazy dreams of ours. Our parents have sacrificed so much for us and when I started listing out some of the things we’re thankful for, it became so obvious that we will never be able to repay them for all they have done. So, since we can never repay them…. we can at least take them on a trip.

Michael and I have been saving and planning this for a while now. We had a crazy idea that we wanted to take our parents on a trip together and this year we decided to make it happen. So, on Christmas Eve, we sat them down and we told them……


Daddy just shook his head, Michael’s mom said “Nooo…..Hawaii?!”, my momma cried and Michael’s dad said “Alright!!!” and put on his cheap teal sunglasses we had just given him. We’ve kept this secret since the summer and we’re so excited that the cat is out of the bag!!! We’ve built up a ton of Delta miles and Hilton Honors points for this and we can’t wait to take a once-in-a-lifetime trip with our parents this spring!!

And in other exciting news…. my sister and her husband Joe are getting a PUPPY!!!! Michael and I got a MAILBOX (you know you’re getting old when you get a new mailbox for Christmas and are excited about it!) and my Nanny and GranGran got a recording of my brother Corey and I singing How Great Thou Art… GranGran cried. It was a beautiful Christmas. I’m thankful for time with the people we love most and I’m also thankful that the secret is out and we can finally start planning our trip!!! Happy Thursday friends! Enjoy this peek into our Christmas in the country!

So first, we gave them all gifts to open that told them what kind of climate they were heading to! Sunglasses, a beach towel, and sunscreen…..

Then, we had them open another gift… and they started to put together where they were going! I love these faces!!

You’re going to HAWAII!!!!!

And then momma started crying! :) It’s going to be her first time! And she LOVES waterfalls!!! If any of you know where the big waterfalls are on Hawaii Island and Oahu, let us know! :) Brenda James needs to see them!!!

Gran Gran and little Molly girl!

Michael’s Grandma!

Bokeh getting his stocking from his grandma!

We were really surprised that these two were able to come. We thought that last year was going to be the last year that they felt well enough to make the trip but they did it again this year!

Michael’s even cute with his glasses on:)

Auntie Em made Bokeh Boy his own sign to put over his food and water bowl!!!

YAYYY for a new mailbox!!! That we’re praying we’ll get to use one day soon! … Long story. :)

Gran Gran tearing up listening to his song. :)

Joe and Emy got their puppy crate!!!! And I think it’s obvious… but their puppy will be MUCH bigger than ours! :) And there’s Sarah! Michael’s older sister! Rocking her penguin PJ’s from my mom! Momma buys ALL of us PJs and it’s one of my favorite traditions… when they fit. :)

Christmas at Michael’s parents! Yay for new undershirts!!! haha

“Where’s my present?!”

Bokeh literally sat like this and watched Michael open his presents! He’s weirdly human!

Christmas naps are the best! :)


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xoxo, Katelyn
12 Comments Personal
  1. Alicia reply

    How awesome is that surprise!! What a blessing to be able to enjoy such an adventure with your loving and deserving parents!

  2. Melissa Farmer reply

    LOVE your dad’s facial expression in the last two surprise gift photos – he’s so adorable! What a great gift !

  3. ashley reply

    Awww yay! This is so fun! :)

  4. Sarah Anne Hayes reply

    Aww! What a sweet and fun surprise! And that picture of Bokeh watching Michael open his presents is hilarious and so cute!

  5. Kristina W. reply

    Awwww!!!! That is so wonderful that you’re all going to Hawaii! Bokeh is adorable watching Michael like that, haha!

  6. Matt Selby reply

    Great shots! Love the dogs expression! :)

  7. Kelsey McLain reply

    Get the “Hawaii Revealed” guidebooks – they are the best for figuring out where to go! All the waterfalls are in there, too! Have an awesome time! What a great gift, and such a blessing!!

  8. Ashley reply

    I need a dog like that!!! How cute!!! And how fun :) I hope you have a great time!! I almost teared up just reading this post!

  9. Rici reply

    oh loved seeing all this joy & pjs. ;)

  10. Rebekah Carter reply

    Ahh, so many wonderful emotions captured here! My favorites are the ones of your grandparents.

  11. Courtney reply

    I have an aunt that lives on the Big Island (Hawaii), and have been fortunate to visit a few times. In fact, I’m planning a trip sometime this year too! Waterfalls on the Big Island to check out, Akaka Falls and Rainbow Falls, both more on the Hilo side of the island. Definitely hit up a few Kona coffee farms… plantations…? Big Daddy is a favorite! If you’re beer fans, go to Konan Brewery. Do the tour then enjoy a meal. Big Island Brewhaus in Waimea is smaller and good too! Beach 69 (69 mile marker) is a favorite spot too. Soooooooo much to do, but also remember to relax. On a beach. With a little umbrella’ed drink. ;)

  12. Shelley Hohe reply

    If you only knew how much your post encouraged me! Being a parent, home-schooling teenage twins, helping my husbands business while also trying to have a successful photography business over the last 8 years has been such a struggle, especially when I compare my business to other photographers who are so much more successful than me. I always beat myself up and question myself. Your post and what your parents did in both your lives made me realize that being a parent is so much more than my business will ever be. Made me realize that my kids can have what you have if I just stop, step back and breath life into them, like your parents did for the both of you. I know God has me right where He wants me and this might not be my season to be a busy or successful photographer. Who knows maybe my time will come when our kids go off to college, but for now I must be content and remember that my legacy lives on through my children and not my business. Thank you so much for sharing your post Katelyn. You have one amazing family!!!

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