Anyway, we had a great Christmas season. I had a plan all devised to save ahead for Christmas this year, but with work the way it has been recently for me and the way it always is for John, it just wasn't possible. Thankfully through another's generosity and just moving funds, we were able to give everyone we love at least a small gift. It's funny that even though we purposed to have a small Christmas, we ended up having a big one. John says the biggest he can remember in his adult life. Our families are so gracious.
Not that it's about gifts, because truly it isn't. I almost felt guilty at all the things we received. I confided that to my mother-in-law on Christmas morning and she advised me that "I don't know why, but He put me here and not there". Insinuating that she was not going to feel guilty at where God had placed her in life vs. where some others might be. I agree with her. Although I know He does place us where He does in part so we can bless others. But I digress.
The Saturday before Christmas we exchanged gifts with my mom and grandma in our hometown and that's when the gifts started. I guess it's probably considered tacky to brag about your gifts, especially as a grown adult, but I got so many things I love and I love the people who gave them to me. A short list is that I received 4 maxi skirts, 2 infinity chevron-print scarves, a watch, glitter gel polish for my DIY gel mani kit, stainless steel mixing bowls, sheets, a sewing machine, a sound bar for our TV, a Coach purse, a high-grade ched knife and magnetic knife strip and an afternoon at Painting with a Twist. And taken out to lots of wonderful meals, and served lots of wonderful home-cooked meals. My I'm a spoiled girl!
Sophia got gobs of things, even though we all tried to tell ourself that she's young and won't remember it. Actually we did good and only got her two small things. But the grandparents and great-grandparents couldn't be stopped! She got lots of toys, several books, a mini guitar, a motorized ATV (she isn't big enough for it yet but she sits on it), and several cute outfits. She got another Mud Pie outfit and I just love it! They're more expensive than I would by (although we get them on Amazon for much less than retail prices), but they're sure cute and a nice treat!
John got lots of gift cards to Lowes (he wants to build a rabbit hutch)and a couple other places, Vibram shoes, 2 t-shirts, 2 new Tervis tumblers, some K-cups, beef kerky and footed pajamas. The latter he has talked about wanting for a long time. Weirdo! :) If there's any gifts I left out please forgive me. We received so many it's embarrassing I can't remember them all. But I was glad to receive them all!
We had a wonderful time in the Tampa area, even staying an extra day! My in-laws and I get along great. They even take me out dancing. They all enjoy dancing and know John doesn't, so they fill my dance card. We went salsa dancing one night and swing dancing another. We enjoyed my sister-in-law's annual Christmas Eve party. This year it was Minute to Win It themed. So fun! My father-in-law took us out shooting (although I just watched this time around), popped us kettle corn and took us out for a very extravagant Christmas buffet in St. Petersburg Beach. My mother-in-law treated me to Greek, two rounds at the Ale House (I ate the Nutty Brother dessert twice in one week! But I shared!) and IHOP brunch. I'm sure I'm forgetting to mention something...
New Year's Eve we had dinner at my mom's house with some friends of hers and some friends of ours. Then she kept Sophia overnight while we went downtown to watch our local "Pelican Drop" and fireworks. New Year's Day my grandma put out the last and final huge holiday spread.
And that's good because I've gotten a holiday spread of my own. Right across my gut. Five pounds worth. I'm aiming to have that gone when I zip up my bridesmaid's dress February 1st. Back in the saddle again. This year I puposed to use our DSLR to take photos rather than relying on phones. I'm so glad I did. I got some lovely photos, and I'll share just a few.
|At MawMaw's House|
|MiMi and Sophie|
|She still LOVES Uncle Jeff!|
|With Grandpa and Great Grandma at the shooting field|
|Taking a walk with Great Grandma- and wearing my ear protection like a champ|
|Shoot em up|
|Eat em up|
|Eat her up! She's eatin it up!|
|Sunny windy day|
|Grandpa's baby peacock, Peep|
|Christmas morning with all the girls- note the matching jammies|
|Opening presents- the start. Couldn't see the floor when we were done :)|
|Oh! A Box!|
|Playing with mommy's purse|
|And her mini Minnie guitar|
|The footed jammies!|
|Our little family Christmas morning|
|Christmas dinner buffet|
|On a balcony at the Don Cesar|
|Naptime with Grammy|
|Grammy bought Sophie a twirly skirt!|