Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ringing in a New Year

Our final day of 2011 was spent wonderfully.  We slept in late, took our time getting ready, ate a very late lunch of sushi with my mom, and then as night descended the real party began.  Chris' Mom had a  house full of grand kids and earlier that day we had let her know that we would keep the kids entertained for the evening.  First up on the agenda was saying goodbye to 2011 in style.  Before we had left Alabama we had stocked up on fireworks.... BIG ones... the kind that give off a big BOOM and light up the sky in beautiful colored fountains.  And although the tips of our noses all the way down to our toes were burning from the cold we all had so much fun.  So much fun in fact, that at one point all the kids spontaneously started singing the National Anthem.  I guess fireworks will do that to you. 

After the firework show we all headed back for the next fun activity.  We played BINGO!....... lots and lots of BINGO.  

And then the time came to officially bid farewell to 2011.  Linda provided all the kids with a "noise maker" and poured the sparkling cider and then the countdown began.

After all the little ones were snug in their beds and fast asleep, Chris, Bo, Braden, and I decided to play one last game......  Monopoly.  We started playing around 1:00am and didn't end the game until about 4:30am.  The long day and late hour made us all pretty delirious, which made the game hilarious!

My favorite moment:  When Braden paid Bo rent by handing him a wad of one dollar bills and while he's handing it over he tells Bo that Bo owes him a $1.  I cried I was laughing so hard. 

Chris' favorite moment:  When he somehow talked Bo into paying him to take Bo's properties.  Classic.

This is our first picture taken in 2012.  Just a couple seconds after midnight.

2011 was quite the bumpy ride for Chris and I.  It had a lot of downs and it really wasn't until around the end that we finally found ourselves making the climb back up.  But lessons were learned and for that we are the better.  I can't say we will miss 2011 but it is one that we will most definitely remember. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Christmas Roundup

We were crazy enough to make the 30 hour drive home again this Christmas.  I always have it in my head that the trip is going to be long and drawn out, which it totally could be, but when you have company as great as I do the trip is easy peasy and actually fun.  It is 30 hours of just me and the Mr. and almost zero interruptions.  The hours can go by fast when they are filled with laughing, reminiscing, day dreaming, junk food eating, reading, playing games, and whatever else we can think of that is limited to the inside of a car.  Take a road trip, we highly recommend them.

Our Christmas vacation was exactly what would be expected, it was filled with the 3 F's.... Family, Fun, and Food.  With our entire family in one town, it blesses us with the opportunity to have not just one Christmas but five Christmas'.  That's right folks..... 5.  I get exhausted just typing that number.  Needless to say our Christmas day is jam packed from the moment we rise to the time our heads hit the pillow at night. 

Christmas #1:

Since we celebrated this one early with my brother it really technically shouldn't count.  But I'm totally gonna be a rebel and count it.  I'm so bad.

Christmas #2:

After church and then a brief intermission at Chris' Mom's house we headed off to my Grandparents house.  Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas for me if I didn't go to my Grandpa and Grandma's.  They were suppose to be out of town, but with some unexpected surgeries they were sadly forced to stay home.  But being the total troopers they are and with the assistance of my aunt and Mom, they still managed to have a whole Christmas dinner and gift exchange.  Even though only a small portion of my family was able to attend we had a blast.  

 Twinkee is seriously the best present opener ever.  A true pro.


One minute he's throwing me sexy model looks at the dessert table

and then the next minute I find him crashed on the couch.  Aren't they both so cute when they're all tuckered out?  I sure think so.

Christmas #3:

After Chris' power snooze, we found ourselves at Christmas #3.  Chris feels about his Grandma's in much the same way I feel about my Grandparents.  No holiday would be complete without seeing her and all the family who gather there.

We usually arrive just in time for the leftovers to be brought out and while munching on delicious shrimp salad, rolls, dips, homemade caramels, and whatever else may have found its way to the center of the table, we tell stories from the year and once again find laughter from stories of the past.

After everyone has their stomachs stuffed to full capacity once again, the table is cleared and a game of some sort is played.  This year we played dealer choice poker.  I had no idea there were so many poker variations, it was so much fun and I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

Christmas #4:

Christmas night we found ourselves back at my Mom's to have an intimate little family get together with just the five of us.  It was a very strange thing not having my brother and his family there and although they were dearly missed we made the most of the situation and ended up having a great time.  I mean, how could you not?........  It's Christmas!

Christmas #5:

We had our final Christmas celebration with Chris' family on the 26th.  It was a day filled with so much fun.  We got to go sledding with the nieces and nephews, ate a yummy "Christmas" dinner, had a white elephant gift exchange, and just relaxed and enjoyed being with family.  Unfortunately, I left my camera in the car and when I brought it in to use, the lens was fogged up and I was too nervous to wipe it off in fear that I would scratch it.  So no pictures, I guess you will just have to take my word that it was a very memorable day.