Okay, so we may not have gone to 4 different houses in one day, but Wesley and I did indeed have FOUR Christmases this year!
#1: We had our own Christmas present exchange on Thursday afternoon when Wesley left the OR. Neither one of us got any surprises this year from each other, but it was still fun exchanging gifts :)
#2: On Thursday night (the 23rd) we went to Dothan. We met some of my high school friends for dinner Thursday night at LaParilla, Dothan's newest Mexican restaurant. We spent Christmas Eve relaxing and then we drove to First Baptist Headland for their Christmas Eve service and my Aunt Terry Lynn and Uncle Sherrill met us there. It was such a wonderful message!! When we got home, we ate seafood gumbo! Before exchanging gifts, my dad read the Christmas story from Luke 2 which is a family tradition. In the past years, it was my PaPa who read the story, but it was my dad inherited the privilege. Afterwards he said, "The people in this room throughout the years will change, but the story never will." No one could have said it better!
#3: After breakfast on Christmas morning, we drove to Lincoln, AL in time for Christmas lunch with Wesley's whole family including grandparents! It was my first white Christmas, which will make my first married Christmas even more memorable. That evening we played a game that Wesley's mom invented and opened gifts. The game was a combination of charades, trivia, and a get-to-know-you game.
#4: On Monday we met my mom's side of the family in Decatur for Christmas. My mom's twin brother and his family also met us there. It is a tradition to eat our Christmas meal in Decatur at Red Lobster! :) Gotta love their cheese biscuits! I wish that I had taken pictures of our visit in Decatur but forgot.
On our way from Lincoln to Decatur, we stopped in Birmingham to meet Ann Banks Serota, Maggie and Blake's precious baby girl! She was a doll! Wesley cracked me up because he did a head to toe assessment on her before he held her! haha! But it was the most comfortable that I have ever seen him around a newborn. It gave me a glimpse into our future....we will probably spend the first week as parents assessing our babies!
Then it was back home to Panama City! It was so wonderful spending all of that time with our families! Hope that you all had a Merry Christmas with your families this year!
Looks like our deep freezer is about to be filled with deer meat! Wesley shot his first deer this weekend! After a busy week of studying for finals, it was good for Wesley just to be outdoors! I think that I was just excited as he was!
Doc and Kawliga weren't really sure what to think!!
I turned the big 2-5 today! Just as close to 30 as I am to 20! I have had the best week celebrating! On Thursday Wesley took me to Firefly to celebrate. He had a final today, and then another tomorrow and Wednesday, so he asked if we could celebrate a little early (which was fine with me!!!)
My parents and Sarah came down yesterday after church and brought a homemade chicken pot pie and carrot cake!
Thank you all for the cards, e-mails, phone calls, text messages, and facebook posts! It has been a great birthday!
...and taste like Christmas! One of Wesley's favorite snacks during the holidays is homemade Chex Mix! I've already made 2 batches and we are about ready for a third! I use the traditional Chex Mix recipe but add Cheese-its and Cheerios per Wesley's request :)
We picked up our Christmas tree last night and it immediately made our home smell wonderful! We might have spent a little more than I would like to admit, but I can honestly say that the fun of decorating a tree is worth it!
Here are some pics of our other Christmas decorations...I still have some decorating to do.
Santa Claus is coming to town....and he let me go shopping with him and pick out what I wanted! :) Santa (aka Wesley) let me have one gift a little early. I've been watching the Reebok Easy Tone commercials and decided that I wanted my legs and butt to look like the girls' on the commercials! I asked the guy at the check out counter if they really worked and his reply was, "Well you can't just wear them on the couch and expect results!" They supposedly work by throwing you off balance and you have to use different muscles to walk in them. I KNOW that I will actually have to exercise in the shoes...I will keep you posted on the results!
In other Christmas news, I tried and tried to think of a creative Christmas card idea this year, but when we were in Montgomery for Erin's wedding, Alana set me straight by telling me that I only had ONE YEAR that I could use a wedding photo for our Christmas card, and that I would be crazy if I didn't! That is all the convincing that I needed! I ordered our cards from Shutterfly.com last Sunday night and they were at my doorstep three days later on Wednesday morning! I plan on mailing them out this week.
I am so excited that Wesley and I are both going to have a week off for Christmas. We are going to be able to go spend a couple of days celebrating with each of our families!
This year I feel like I have more to be thankful for than ever before! Here is my Top 10 list of things that I am thankful for this year:
1. Jesus was sent to die on the cross so that I could have eternal life! If I had nothing else, that would be reason enough to be thankful!
2. I have been blessed with a wonderful husband who loves me so well! He is so selfless! If I had known that being married to him would be this wonderful, I would have married him after our first date (ok, maybe our 3rd date...I wasn't sure that I even liked him after our first date! ha!). Seriously, I didn't even know that it was possible to love someone as much as I love him!
3. I have such a wonderful family who I love so much!
4. Our good health.
5. The fact that Wesley got accepted to CRNA school after being an ICU nurse for only two years, and that he has been so successful so far with a 4.o grade point average! The Lord is truly blessing him and continues to reassure us that this is His plan for our lives.
6. Our home in Panama City and the fact that we have cars to drive.
7. My job as a NICU nurse and the fact that I am able to support us while Wesley is in school.
8. Great friends in our lives!!! Friends make life so much more fun, and the Lord has blessed us richly with people that we LOVE to hang out with.
9. The fact that our pantry, refrigerator, and freezer are FULL. There are so many people in the world that can't say that, and we take this for granted everyday.
10. Last but not least, I am thankful for our country and for the people that fight and have fought to give us our freedom.
I am a little sad that I have to work this Thanksgiving, but Wesley is going to drive to Dothan and eat with my family...that way he can also bring me back a plate of Thanksgiving food to eat before work tomorrow night!
I hope that everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving and will take the time to count your blessings!
This past weekend Wesley and I headed to Montgomery for Erin and Neal's wedding weekend. We picked Alana up in Dothan on our way and it was so great getting to catch up with her and hear all about their new life in Washington! When we got into town we went straight to the bridesmaid luncheon at Michael's Table.
The rehearsal dinner was Friday night at the Capitol City Club. It was so much fun getting to celebrate with so many friends!
The wedding was absolutely beautiful and the reception was so much fun! Delicious food, a wondeful band, and a great location!!! Plus, all of my best friends from high school and college were there!!!
I met Erin at Camp War Eagle before college and we have been best friends since. We pledged Chi O together and she was my suite mate in the dorms Sophomore year, roommate Junior and Senior year at the Chi O Mansion, and then we lived together while I was a nurse and she was in grad school. Erin has the ability to make a complete stranger feel like a best friend! She has seen me at my worst (when I would freak out becuase I got ANOTHER speeding ticket or the time our house got broken in to and I had a meltdown!!) and at my best! I hope that she and Neal are having a wonderful time in Big Sky, Montana!
Wesley and I got married March 13, 2010 and moved to Panama City in August for him to start CRNA school. I am a nurse in the NICU at Gulf Coast Medical Center. I am the middle daughter of two wonderful parents and feel so blessed to have such a wonderful family and sweet friends.