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Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014

As I sit here waiting for the doctor at the minute clinic (naturally Id be sick when I'm on break) I'm reflecting on the past two wonderful days spent with family. Christmas Eve was different for me this year as I didn't get to spend the evening with my family and South African clan because it was time for me to spend it with my in-laws. We started out the day at Peachtree Presbyterian with my sister and brother-in-law for the noon summit service.

It was perfect and really started the two days on the right foot. I love Christmas hymns and celebrating the birth of Jesus. We then ran home and picked up Cooper and the food I was making for Christmas Eve (along with our masses of presents bc we both have big families). We spent about an hour at my parents because I just couldn't imagine not seeing my parents on Christmas Eve. We dropped all our presents for my family there and then headed to Tommy's parents house. The whole family left from there to head to Mt. Bethel Methodist Church for the 5:00 service. It was a beautiful service ending in candlelight singing silent night. It was nice to experience what tommy grew up cherishing as his Christmas Eve. Tommy's family, me, his aunt and cousin all headed back to Tommy's parents to prepare dinner. 
(Tommy's sister, Beth, and her boyfriend, Danny) 

I made garlic mushrooms and we had twice baked potatoes, beef tenderloin, turkey, and bread followed by strawberry trifle for dessert. 

The egg nog was flowing (not for me) and Christmas cheer was around. It was a delicious dinner filled with family time. Tommy's family always opens all their presents Christmas Eve night so we spent the next hour or so watching everyone open their presents. We all came away very spoiled! Everyone was given th same pajamas so we all changed for a group shot. It was hysterical! Before we knew it and we were closing in on midnight. I was fading big time so we headed home so we could enjoy waking up at our house to celebrate our first Christmas morning as a married couple at our own house.

We got up early to open stockings and exchange our presents with each other. It was so nice getting to start the day just the three of us (can't forget about Cooper!). I heated up the breakfast casseroles and we scooped up Bonnie, Brett and their dog Henley on our way to my parents house. We looked like the Griswolds as we had 4 people, 2 dogs, 3 suitcases, a dog bed, dog bowls and dog food container because Henley was staying at my parents for the next few days while Bonnie and Brett go up to Ohio to visit Brett's family. Luckily it's just a 20 minute drive to my parents. We unloaded and started my favorite part of Christmas with my family! We opened our stockings before having breakfast. After breakfast we opened all of our presents. Again, we came away very spoiled by everyone! It was wonderful getting a few hours with my entire family in the same place before Bonnie and Brett needed to head to the airport to fly to Ohio. 

We left to spend a few hours with Tommy's family on Christmas Day too. We opened our stockings and had homemade tamales for lunch. Tommy had given his dad a droid for Christmas and on its second flight tommy flew it into the top of a tree. The next hour included tommy changing into random clothes and climbing a tree. He used some golfing pole to reach the copter and finally got it. Nothing like climbing a tree on Christmas! It was time to head back to my parents house. 

On Christmas each year my cousins, aunt and uncle come over for dinner. We also had another couple that are dear friends of my parents join us as well. My mom set a beautiful table for all 13 of us to sit around and we enjoyed a delicious dinner (pork tenderloin, rosemary potatoes, butternut squash and red pepper, cornbread dressing, and salad followed by lemon meringue pie and lemon/cranberry cake) and even better company. We opened our gifts from my cousins and enjoyed a great evening. There's nothing I love more than family on Christmas. We missed having Bonnie, Brett, my cousin Christopher and his wife Thali there for dinner. We skyped with Christopher and Thali in Brazil before everyone arrived that day. They looked nice and sun tanned!! I hadn't seen my uncle Clive or the Loebers since our wedding so it was great to catch up with them all. 

Christmas is a time for family and we had a wonderful two days. There's so much build up before Christmas and I'm sad it's over. This is my favorite time of the year by far. I love buying the gifts for my family each year and getting to see them open then. I love the Christmas services with the beautiful music and message. We are blessed that God sent his son for us. I am so grateful for the life I have and the loved ones I'm surrounded with. Sending love and joy from mine to yours. 

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