Thursday, December 29, 2011

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree- Holiday Recap 2011

I can't even begin to explain how much excitement I feel when spending the holidays with my family and friends.  It brings such pleasure to my heart to spend time with the ones I love most.  It is such a busy time of year, especially for us as we split all of our time between several different sides of the family, but I enjoy every minute of it!  This holiday season brought many laughs, tears, and pure moments of joy.  I am so blessed to be loved by a great group of people.

Bradley and I headed to the Upstate Thursday evening after work.  We arrived at my sister's and she had prepared a nice home cooked meal for us all to enjoy.  {She has become quite the Betty Crocker, ya'll!}  Friday morning, we woke up bright and early to get a head start on one of my mom's Christmas presents.  Every year my sister and I do something special to her yard.  Last year, we planted shrubbery and a few rose bushes.  This year, we cleared out an area around a large tree in the front yard, lined it with rocks, and covered it in pine straw.  In the spring, this will be a nice little spot for a flower bed!

Christmas Eve Eve
Friday evening, I scurried off to Greenville for a get together with some college friends.  We enjoyed many laughs, some awesome food, wine, and a little game of Dirty Santa!
{Travis and Morgan's precious daughter Maci!}
{A few of the gals}

{The whole crew. L to R: Mary Elizabeth, me, Ashley, Jenna, Kristen, Morgan, Lauren, and Carly}

Christmas Eve
Saturday morning, my in-laws hosted a Christmas brunch at their house on the lake.  It was a special treat complete with grits, sausage gravy, breakfast quiche, country ham biscuits, cinnamon rolls, pigs in a blanket, and mimosas!  That afternoon, we headed back to my sister's for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner: steak!  This year, I even brought in some fresh shrimp from Shem Creek to make some shrimp and vegetable skewers to go along with the meal.
{me and my sister}
{my sister, stepdad, mom, and myself}

After dinner, we exchanged our gifts and enjoyed each other's company.  I must have been a good girl this year, because I got everything I wished for and more!

Christmas Day
This year was a little different than most.  It was the first year that I woke up with my husband by my side on Christmas Day.  Normally, my sister and I both spend the night at my mom's and then make our way to our significant others.  It was nice to share this first married Christmas together as a family.  After a delicious breakfast (prepared by my mom the night before) we headed to my cousin's for lunch with the Shealy's!
{my cousin Mason opening his gifts}
{such a good little helper}

{I wonder what his mom's secret is??!}
{baby Avery}
{Bradley, myself, Charles, Ashley, and Justin}
{all of the grandkids with our grandmother}
{me and my love}
Christmas day evening, we all headed to the nursing home to see my grandmother.  She was in such great spirits and we got some awesome pictures with her!
{Nanny and her girls!}

{Bradley, Me, Nanny, Ash, & Justin}
{my favorite!}
{with our beautiful mama sister}

Day After Christmas
My mom, sister and I woke up at the crack of dawn to head to the mall to see what deals we could find.  Boy, did we find some steals.  I purchased a beautiful nativity scene at Kirkland's for $8!  Can't beat that.

After a long day of shopping, we headed to our last Christmas dinner with my mom's side of the family.  We enjoyed pizza, some fun games, and old memories.
{my cousin Lauren and I}
{Ash and Caroline}
{Houston and Mama}
{Houston showing us his magic tricks!}
{Mama and her boys...finally something other than girls :) }
We all received one of the best gifts this night.  My aunt took a video camera to the nursing home a few weeks ago and filmed my grandmother talking about her life and her family.  We have a whole hour of her on video that we can watch at any time.  I am so grateful that my aunt had this idea.  I will cherish it for many years to come, even after she is gone!

Sorry for the long post filled with pictures.  I told you I am busy at Christmas :) 
How was your Christmas?!

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