I have kind of jumped around on the ol' blog recently, so let me back up... to Christmas!
We had a fabulous break (11 1/2 days!!!) spent in Columbus, Las Vegas and Chattanooga. We surprised my parents in Columbus by showing up a day earlier than they expected. We had planned all along to try to make that work, but we didn't want to get their hopes up. They were both freakishly surprised and excited to see us! (quick story: When we got to the house, Dad and Ashley weren't at home. I was a tad bummed because I realized the surprise would be spoiled as soon as they got to the driveway. However, apparently they got to the house and saw our car and Dad said "hmm... I wonder who is here. They have an Alabama license plate... it must be Ansley." Which is ridiculous because a) We have an Ohio license plate and b) Ansley has a Georgia one. Regardless, he walked in the house and freaked out when he saw us!)
We ate Mexican for dinner and went into vaycay mode posthaste. We spent the next four days in pure holiday bliss.
The best part about Christmas with my family is the amount of time it takes us to open gifts. I may have mentioned before that David has helped us enforce a spending budget per family member, but somehow the number of gifts continues to grow each year! When we were growing up, we spent Christmas at my grandparents' house and it was mayhem. There were kids tearing into gifts left and right, and no one ever saw each other's loot. Now that we celebrate in Columbus, we've adopted the way my mom grew up opening gifts. We open our stockings together (slowly still), but then we go one at a time- oldest to youngest. This year it took us 3.5 hours to open presents! We all revel in each other's goodies, and it makes the day so much more meaningful. My mom is the youngest of six, so it must have taken much longer in her family!
We all got way too much stuff (as usual), but I think this is the first year that everyone genuinely appreciated all of their gifts! Almost all of us used Amazon wishlists, which helped immensely.
Here are some gift highlights:David-
- the game Pit
- an awesome OSU colored blanket, handmade by mom
- 4 Ohio State lappers
- a grill tray
- Tervis Tumblers
- this purse (in Hope Garden)
- a personalized cake plate (I had this one on my wish list, but my creative brother bought a plain white one and painted it! It has a "G" on the middle!)
- leather gloves
- a label maker (!!)
The Bryants also gave us a fabulous gift, this piece of the Dept. 56 North Pole Series!! They started our Christmas Village, and we are so excited about it. While doing some day-after-Christmas shopping, we stumbled upon a store that had them 50% off, so we got 2 more pieces for next year!
Unfortunately, Ashley had to leave Friday evening to go into work, but not before we made this macaroni (the consensus voted that it was more trouble- and money- than it was worth) and rode her new scooter!
Another highlight of our time in Columbus (other than sleeping in, playing with the sweetest puppies, eating my weight in food, not showering, reading lots, hanging out with the Getkin clan and card-planning with Mom) was visiting the new National Infantry Museum with Dad and Greg. It was really awesome, and it was especially fun to go with my dad who can tell us tons of additional details about just about everything.
Overall, we had an awesome Christmas. We left Columbus Sunday to head to our vacation in Las Vegas! Another post to come...
For pictures from our entire Christmas vacation, check out the facebook album.