Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Three Christmases

Well, the Christmas season has already come and gone. This time was particularly special to me because we were in our new home for its first Christmas - and more than that I was just thankful to have Brad back under the same roof with us! In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I really enjoyed spending time in the kitchen with Wesley. I always love to bake before holidays and this time, I really felt like I had the time to go all out! We travelled a bunch and spent more weekends away than we have at home so the time really flew by - and now, I can't believe we're already 7 days into 2009!
SO - to recap our Holiday travels -

I think the Ladies' Banquet at FBC Fannin is a fun, meaningful way to kick off the Christmas season and seeing all the elegantly decorated tables puts me in the Christmas spirit! Mom and Kim really outdid themselves this year and they're already planning for next year when we have a new fellowship hall to decorate!

Of course, decorating my own tree is something I look forward to from Halloween to Thanksgiving! This year, Wes noticed that there is "too much purple" on our tree so I might have to *gasp* incorporate other colors sometime soon....

And, as I mentioned, I enjoyed LOTS of baking with my little kitchen assistant - not all of our projects were as trying as the gingerbread house though some were more "hands on" for Wes! or should I say "hands IN" ?

Another weekend, Brad and I headed up to Tennessee to see his lovely cousin, Stephanie, marry her super sweet fiance - I didn't take my camera in but I really wish I had! She was a beautiful bride and the ceremony was chock-full of wonderful, sweet, thoughtful touches! The thing that really stood out to me was their decision to have everyone sing "The Church's One Foundation" together as Stephanie walked down the aisle and again when the newly-married couple made their exit - What an awesome experience that was!

While on our way home from Jackson, TN we stopped in to see the Shiloh National Military Park and I was really impressed by the monuments and the information there - Unfortunately, it was freezing cold and windy so we weren't able to fully enjoy the tour and see all that there was to see.

After that trip, we had little time before Christmas was upon us - We did squeeze in some couch shopping and we found the set we ended up ordering (no photos until they're in our living room!)

And before we knew it, we were headed to my parents' house for Christmas eve!

In my family, the tradition is to camp out in the Big Room and then Christmas morning we all wake up and open gifts! Well... we all started out in the Big Room and Wes was (naturally) insanely excited to have his Granny and Papaw and to know it was Christmas Eve... He chatterboxed until after 11 pm! Finally he got settled down and people started to drift to sleep.... Fast forward to Christmas morning and not everyone woke up in the Big Room... Some people migrated down stairs to the couch and to the guest bedroom... It was a mysterious phenomenon that I can't explain, but there are those who know what really happened!

Needless to say, it was a very groggy morning but once we saw Wes and Connor eying their stacks we all were ready to rip open our gifts! In a flurry of papers and ribbons and bows, all our gifts were opened and we all examined each others' gifts - I think I am most excited about the GPS's that Kim and I received. Anyone who knows me knows this is JUST what I needed now that we're in a new town! :)

After the gifts were open, it was time for breakfast - and at about 9 am, we ate Turkey and dressing and the whole 9 yards! haha It sounds crazy but it was divine! I loooove my dad's fried turkey!

Then, before we knew it, it was almost 1 and time to head to Brad's parents' house for... LUNCH! We had more turkey and yummy veggies and spent time with Brad's family.

I love Christmas-time when all the generations can come together and this one was even more special because it was Macy's first Christmas! Brad's grandmother also made it special when she showered us all with beautiful crystal from her brother's store and lots of embroidered artwork and super-soft knit blankets! (she even made a PURPLE one for Brad and me) Wes especially loved his scarf and hat!

After the first 2 Christmases, we spent some more time with our families before Wes headed off to Brookhaven.

We headed to Columbia for New Year's Eve and spent time with Wesley's family. We were also there to help celebrate Grandmother and Granddaddy's 60th Anniversary! What a tremendous milestone! We really enjoyed being a part of the party and seeing all of our extended family, too. Plus Wes tried his hand at tree-climbing.... Why did he wait until he was all dressed up?
All in all, we had a WONDERFUL time seeing all of our families - I must say how truly blessed we are, not only to have so many wonderful family members, but also having 3 families who are willing to work together to allow us to visit all of them! I know some couples have difficulties juggling holiday time, but we are really, really thankful that our families all coordinate to make sure that we can spend time with everyone! That, in and of itself was my favorite gift -
But beyond that and beyond the time with family, and all the delicious food, and even better than any wrappable gift was the reminder that this Christmas, just like all other Christmases, was really a time to be thankful that Christ gave us the ultimate gift roughly 2,040 years ago when He submitted to God and was born in the flesh. We may have been busy shopping, baking and travelling, but if we had been too busy to remember the Real Reason for the Season, we would have missed out on Christmas altogether!
Thank you to all of my families for celebrating CHRISTmas with us! We love you all so very much!

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