Monday, January 14, 2013

Christmas Vacation

Our Christmas Eve was spent doing some unnecessary last minute shopping.  We had everything covered but we just couldn't resist the last minute crowds at the local Fred Myers.  No Christmas would be complete right?  Funniest thing about these last minute trips is you run into so many people you know.  It's like a mini Christmas reunion.  Anyway, after that we just spent time lounging with family and then spent Christmas Eve dinner at my Grandparents.  Then it was time for looking at Christmas lights.  Again fewer and fewer houses are participating.  It is so sad.  But this year, I found a Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt on the web so it gave us a mission that we were determined to complete.  After a final viewing of "Christmas Vacation" we snuggled down into our hotel bed and anxiously awaited for Christmas morning to arrive so we could see all the goodies that Santa brought us.

And finally, the day we have all been waiting for, Christmas day, arrived!  Oh man, it was sweet!  Our stockings and gifts to each other were sweetly arranged on the couch of our hotel room.  The bright red and green packaging was just like candy to the eyes.  It was all perfect.
Chris told me this is his favorite picture of the day.  I was so completely excited when I peeled back the paper and underneath it was the box of my new Polaroid camera.  I had no clue.  He did such a good job picking out the gift for me.  My face says it all.  Pure happiness.
Sadly, I am awful at taking pictures.  But here's my man showing off what Santa brought him.  Gun accessories!  His big present was waiting for him at my Mom's.

After our little gift exchange we made our way from place to place for all the other Christmas festivities that awaited us.  We had Christmas omelets at Chris' parents- provided to us by Chef Jim,
Christmas lunch at my Grandparents, games and left over snacking at Chris' Grandmas, a gift exchange and game time at my Mom's house, and then we rounded out the night with another gift exchange at Chris' parent's house.  

The day was flawless.  

And just because we happen to think she is the cutest dog in all of existence, here is Twinkee enjoying one of her most favorite of activities... unwrapping presents!:
 And for all that cuteness, I'll simply say:  You're welcome.

Salt Lake City Trip

Before we left Alabama, Chris and I decided to plan a little side trip to Salt Lake City so that we could enjoy the amazing shopping and most importantly bask in the beauty of Temple Square.  When we had made the decision to go we had opened the invite to our families to join us.  My Mom and Stepdad were more than game and Chris' Mom also planned on going. 

So we made the 30 hour drive to Idaho, and the very next day after we arrived we jumped right back in the car to make the 2.5 hour drive to Salt Lake City.  We were accompanied by my Mom, Stepdad, CC, Ty, Tay, and Peyton.  Sadly, there was a death in Chris' Moms family so she stayed behind to be with family.  

In keeping with tradition, Chris booked us all rooms at the Hilton in downtown SLC.  It's our favorite since it is walking distance to everything.  We shopped during the day at the new City Creek Mall (which was amazing), had a delicious dinner at Olive Garden since it was right next door to the hotel, walked the Temple grounds once our bellies were stuffed, and then once back in the hotel Chris and the kids swam to their hearts content in the hotel pool.

The next day, after breakfast, we once again found ourselves in the shopping mood, and enjoyed the many stores that the Gateway has.  Our favorite store by far was Blickenstaff's.  Chris, me, and all the kids spent so much time in there playing with some pretty awesome toys.  

The trip went way too fast, but it did the one thing Chris and I hoped it would.  It gave us that warm fuzzy Christmas feeling.  We were just days away from the big day now and we couldn't wait.  Sometimes I think we are worse than kids.

A Kickoff To Christmas

The month of December has become a month of pure straight "Christmasing" for Chris and I.  During this month we have found ourselves immersed in all things Christmas.  It's great, but boy it can be exhausting.  Since we have to account for our trip home to Idaho every year we really cut our time short on accomplishing all the traditions that we have set for ourselves in our home.  Between Christmas tree decorating, shopping for presents, then wrapping all said presents, to baking all sorts of Christmas goodies, and watching all of our Holiday favorites, we still had a company Christmas party to host, and this year we decided to add a little extra stress to our lives by also hosting a Christmas party for all our friends before we all headed our separate ways for the Holidays.  

Things can quickly turn stressful and at times we may question why we put ourselves through that kind of pressure, but then after all is said and done we quickly realize why we do it.... because it is just so worth it.  

I don't have many pictures of our "Kickoff to Christmas" but here are the few I have:
 Our Company Party was pretty much the same as last year with just a few small tweaks.  One of which was the simple decorations.  But what you can't really see is the snowflakes that we had hanging from the ceiling.  It was a really subtle thing but it was so pretty.
Here I am getting the popcorn garland made up for the tree.

Burrup Family Christmas Tree 2012

I know that is a lot of pictures of our Christmas tree, but I think it is one of the prettiest things ever and quite frankly it just makes me happy. 

An Unexpected Visitor

My relationship with my father has always been either strained or nonexistent.  But then last May, I felt inspiration to just throw all past issues to the side and demand from my father an opportunity to turn over a new leaf and if we both tried hard enough maybe, just maybe, a healthy relationship might just develop.  Well, a few phone calls and texts were exchanged over the course of a few months and then, shockingly, the weekend after Thanksgiving he had arranged for a 2 day visit to see my brother and me here in Alabama.  So my Uncle, whom I hadn't seen since I was in my early teen years, and my dad, whom I hadn't seen in 4 years made the short trek from Texas (he was there visiting family for the Holiday) to Alabama.  The visit went a lot more smooth than I had anticipated.  And because things weren't as awkward as one might think it would be, we all actually had a pretty good, relaxed time.  His time here was short, but we managed to have quite a bit of fun.  We explored the USS Alabama Battleship (he loves that kind of stuff so he was totally in his element), ate at some delicious restaurants, and watched multiple 3D movies at my house.

Again, his time here was short but I know it helped with keeping our goal of moving forward.  

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving at the Burrup house was once again a success.  With the help of family and friends our dinner menu consisted of all the traditional but always delicious foods that are normally associated with with the big day.  I was responsible for the turkey, homemade stuffings (I cooked not one but two different variations, both of which were superb and have me craving them to this day), sweet potato casserole, and the apple pie.  As I had mentioned before, I was extremely nervous about cooking our 22lb. bird, I mean really what is worse then overcooked dry turkey?  But with nothing but some light seasoning on top and continuous basting during the cooking process our bird was moist and utterly mouthwatering. I may have given myself a pat on the back.  

This is the picture Chris texted to family of the little birdie his wifey cooked.  He was a proud man.

And to top it off even more, during dinner our friend Jake asked, "Who made the sweet potato casserole?"  I have to admit I was a little hesitant to confess that it was me, you know, just in case the next words out of his mouth were negative.  But I raised my hand and said, "I made it."  Next thing you know, Jake is standing up giving me a round of applause for a job well done.  Haha!  I just about died from laughter.  

These next pictures all depict a common theme:  

A group of family and friends gathered around a single table on Thanksgiving Day enjoying a meal that everyone had a hand in preparing.  

I don't think there was a single person who didn't enjoy the feast that was laid out before them.

So like I had said at the beginning of this post,  Thanksgiving was a complete success, made possible by all that attended.  I am so appreciative for all their help and the delicious things they prepared that helped to make this Thanksgiving one worth remembering.  

The rest of our day was filled with football watching, game playing, left over eating, goodness.  It was all a great way to spend our "Turkey Day."

And as a side note, I just have to add these couple pictures of Chris helping me with my least favorite of tasks.  Peeling, coring, and slicing the apples for his apple pie.  I am so grateful that he can tell when I am overwhelmed with other tasks and that he takes the initiative to help me whenever he can.  Thanks babe! xoxo