Tag Archives: Christmas Eve

60Plus Opener

November 3, 2019 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

A Special Time of Year

The holidays! I find myself thinking of holidays past when my family was all here, and the children were young. I think about the stages of life.

In the beginning Christmas Eve was reserved for our family only—Raymond, R.L., Todd, Brad, Tyler, and me.

Then the boys married and their beautiful wives shared the festivities with us. Soon there were grandbabies, who became teenagers, then adults—and suddenly the Christmas Eve celebration of just our immediate family became 19 people.

When our family was young we celebrated Christmas Day at our home with some extended family members, including Ray’s sister Anna Marie, brother-in-law Ves, and their family of five, with the cousins enjoying Christmas together.

This was followed by an event the Sunday after Christmas when we got together with my side of the family, the Cases—my parents, sisters Jacque and Barbara, and their families. We alternated between our house and the house of Jacque and her husband, Bill.

There was always a lot of activity, fitting in family celebrations, entertainment with friends, and employee parties. What busy and happy times!

Next, my sons and their wives hosted beautiful celebrations for our now-large family. How nice to be a guest! I look forward to spending time with my family that can be here and sharing holiday cheer with friends.

Christmas will now be different without Tyler and Raymond. And some of the grandchildren are married and have additional families they will spend time with. There are no great-grandchildren this year, but I anticipate that will be the next experience to look forward to in this journey of life.

Enjoy your family and friends, hold them close, and have a wonderful holiday season.

This letter first appeared in the November/December 2019 edition of 60PLUS in Omaha MagazineTo receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Contributing editor 60Plus Gwen Lemke

Contributing editor 60Plus Gwen Lemke

The Rudmans

July 17, 2015 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

This article appears in July 2015 Her Family.

Kelli Rudman is no stranger to families with multiples. Her dad has a twin brother and she has a twin sister, so it is safe to say it’s a concept she is more than familiar with.  But when she discovered she was pregnant with triplets, that familiarity was no match for the shock both Rudman and her husband, Nick, felt.

“We were completely surprised, shocked, and overwhelmed initially. We were kind of scared out of our minds. It took a good four to five weeks for the news to set in. There were many nights of not sleeping and lots of worries about complications and possibly having to go on bed rest,” says Rudman.


That shock soon turned into excitement, and as families do, the Rudmans started preparing. First on the list was sharing the news with their daughter, Millie. Now, Millie, being only 1 at the time may have hindered full comprehension of what was actually going on, but the excitement continued all the same. Particularly when Kelli and Nick found out all three triplets were boys, a set of identical and one fraternal.

“We got excited thinking about how unique it would be,” Kelli explains. “When we found out it would be three boys we thought that was especially great since we already had a girl. We dreamed they would be the best of friends.”

The preparations continued and next on their list were some pretty important items.

“We bought a mini van and a La-Z-Boy recliner in the same week. Those are two things we never thought we would own,” Kelly says.


Once transportation and relaxation were taken care of, Kelli and Nick began the task of finding quality childcare and secured two exceptional nannies, which made the idea of returning to work less intimidating.

Kelli works as an ENT physician for Boys Town and Nick is an attorney with Baird Holm. They were both fairly new to their jobs when they found out about the triplets. The family had just moved to Omaha from Milwaukee where Kelli completed her residency. Kelli is an Omaha native and was happy to move closer to family.

Family would play an important role once the triplets made their arrival. That day came last December 1, five days earlier than the doctors had planned. Kelli was 35 weeks pregnant and had worked full time up until the last few weeks. The Rudmans welcomed Max Nicholas, Jackson Ronald, and Hutchinson Kent, and were beyond thrilled that each boy was born in good health.

“They didn’t have any problems. They just had to grow and learn to drink from a bottle on their own. They were in the NICU for just three weeks and got to come home within days of each other. Jack wasn’t supposed to come home until after Christmas, but we got a call on Christmas Eve saying he was ready. We rushed up there and surprised my family by having all three boys home when they walked in our house. My mom and dad started to cry. It was the best Christmas present ever.”


The entire family has adjusted very well, even Millie, who loves helping her brothers when they lose their pacifiers.

“It’s been really great. We have just accepted that for the first year we will have people around all the time to help. Since I am a twin, I am more excited for the triplets because you realize how close you are with your twin sibling. I am so excited for them to have that bond.”