Get ready for picture overload....
My trees may be down, but I am still so full of the Christmas spirit! It was wonderful, fast-paced, and as usual, never enough time, but always seems to wipe you out just the same. :) Here's a recap:
A few days before Christmas, Jeff and I went to dinner and exchanged our own gifts to each other before the family hoopla began, so we'd have some "us time." We think we're high cotton when we eat at the new Bonefish Grill in town, so we started there, and when we got back to his house, there were suddenly a BA-ZILLION zebra wrapped boxes that weren't there the day before. Someone is aware I am a snooper.
Ok, so I didn't do bad either! Jeffrey got tickets to see that idiot, Ron White who happens to be coming to Columbus in April, and we're smack dab on the front row. And truth be told I laugh my head off at him too. And for his big boy prize, a Ruger 1911. Anybody? Anybody? Or are you on the Blue Door's website shopping already? Oh well, it's a fancy smancy gun, Jenn did good. We were happy kids. By the end of the night, I was having a fashion show, while Jeff was playing cops and robbers. As much as I love surprises, nothing makes me happier than the look on than man's face when I know I did good. It may be a Ruger. But I've seen that same face with meatloaf too. Which means I can afford to keep him. :)
Ok, I'm getting wordy already and I'm two pictures deep. And believe me, it's just getting good. Christmas Eve I spent with Jeff's family. Yes, you may read.between.the.lines.
First stop was Grandmama's house where all sorts of extended family stopped to visit and eat and catch up. Then over to his parents where gift swapping began with his and his brothers' families.
And I spent quality time with three of the most important people in the world to me. See, Christmas miracles do happen. ;)
Rani and Abigail sang Happy Birthday to Jesus, and a few Christmas carols, to get the party started. After a quick wardrobe change after Grandmama's house, Emmy came in in her Elf dance recital costume to hand out all the gifts, and bust out a few signature moves.
The rest of the evening was filled with lots of dancing and singing, kids laughing and playing, and wrapping paper flying high in the sky! We wrapped it up as early as possible so kids could get tucked in tight because Santa Claus had lots of deliveries to make!
As full as my heart was after Christmas Eve, I was aching to see my family some kinda bad. So on Christmas morning I was locked and loaded and jetted to Montgomery as fast as I could. In my haste, I failed to re-charge my camera, so unfortunately there is little documentation of the day in pictures for me to look back on. :(
Oh, but how I love these people. And it only takes moments before I realize just why. We are not exactly the most sane bunch in the crowd, and that's just how I like it!
Mimi and PawPaw never fail to make me laugh. In their new OUTDOOR chairs they had to open and "set down in" by the tree, we told them they looked like Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Mimi said to go and fetch her "spec-tickles" so she would look just like her, and then take her picture again.
Christmas here was crazy and humorous and loud as always, but there was a tinge of bittersweetness in the air. We're missing a cousin who should have been with us, and a month ago he was. So as we celebrated, we mourned too. As I said the blessing, I choked up as I realized we were short one teenager ready to pile a plate high with all the fixins.' I gave my grandparents both pictures of last T-giving and Christmas of their grandkids with Levin in them, and they both seemed so proud, and sad, and thankful, and happy.
The day started at Mimi and Paw Paw's, and ended over and Grandmother's and then Jeff and I headed back to Columbus late that night. It was a whirlwind of a day, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I love every moment, every hug and every kiss, every story (that I've probaby heard before), every meal, and glass of syrupy sweet tea, and cousin, every laugh, every-everything.
During this holiday, being with my family, after such a loss, in such a special time of year, celebrating Christ' birth, spending time with people I love, new to me, and those I've known all my life, I am so grateful. God sent his only Son, to be so meekly born, to walk amongst us, to live like us, and to one day suffer and die for us. For me and all my sins. Wow, Thank God for Mary and her undying faith. Thank God for Joseph, and his loving support of Mary, and his trust in God. Thank God for that manger, and for that little babe.