Christmas in Georgia

As I wrote yesterday, our Christmas this year was pretty spectacular.

Last week, Hubby and I went shopping for friends and then had dinner at Shane's Rib Shack.
 It was yummmmmmy.

Then, since we were on a budget and I wanted to be domestic, I took this recipe from one of my favorite blogs- the rockstar diaries- and made homemade apple cinnamon granola for our family white elephant gifts.

I think they turned out pretty well, don't you?

On the night before the night before Christmas (i.e. December 23rd), my dad's side of the family hosted its annual get-together at my Aunt Christy and Uncle Scott's place up in Talking Rock. They live in a beautiful cabin in the woods, so it's pretty much my favorite place to go for a Christmas party.

And, this year, something extra special happened.

Family members who have been estranged for years came together to celebrate the season and our wonderful family. I got to watch them laugh and tell stories, and it felt like no time had passed at all.

I'm very grateful for God's little miracles.

On that same day, I met up with my sweet friend, Mary Beth, to exchange gifts. We had lunch at Blue Moon Pizza in Marietta and I had lots of fun catching up with her during this busy time of year. The best part of the day was when I gave her a paiting from my trip to Kenya, and then she turned right back around and gave me a framed photograph of myself and Lucy. Great minds think alike!

On Christmas Eve, Hubby and I stayed at my mother's home where I grew up in Bremen. I technically only lived in this particular house for one year during my senior year of high school. Then I went to college, came back for weekends and holidays, got a grown up job (ha!), and got married, but it's such an amazing place and it always feels like home to me.

Hubby, my sister, Kati, her boyfriend (!), Luke, and I played a few games of Clue after dinner and presents. Hubby won almost every time...but let me just say it was only because I would "suspect" and then he would "accuse" thereby taking my correct choices and using them to win the game. He wins at everything, but only because he cheats. It's true, I swear. At least that's what I tell myself.

P.S. I was super-impressed with everyone's fancy mantels this year.

On Christmas morning, we woke up to a breakfast of bacon and eggs with a cozy fire going and "A Christmas Story" on television. My mom certainly knows how to make people feel special.

Later that afternoon, Hubby and I drove out to Conyers to visit with his parents, Ray and Wanda, and sister, Cassi.

We played Scattegories (which is my favorite because I'm a nerd) and then went to see a movie. Wanda, Cassi, and I saw "Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows" (so good!) and Hubby and Ray went to see "Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol".

They are always so much fun to be around, and I love that I inherited them as my own family.

We ate for probably the fifth time that day, and then visited Hubby's best friend, Daniel, his wife, Amber, and their sweet little baby girl, Naphtali. She was the cutest cute she almost made me want to get started making my own.

Maybe that will be next year's Christmas present for us (I'm kidding...but maybe a little serious). My mom and Kati went ahead and bought us a frame that reads: "Mom + Dad = Me" so, apparently, we need to hurry up.

Have I said I love my family? Well, I do.

And, finally, the Christmas service at Buckhead Church was incredible. The music, the lights...the funny little intro before praise and worship (well, good morning Brian Littrell from the Backstreet Boys!). And while all those things are wonderful to have, the most wonderful of all was the message from Andy, who really highlighted the beauty of this season for me. I'm so grateful to have a pastor who constantly searches the Word for something new to teach us from what we've heard so many times before.

"Whenever there is darkness in a person's life, God will be unfailing in His effort to shine light into it...the Christmas story is the pinnacle of this truth. God's love for us is relentless, and wherever we find darkness He will always say, 'Let there be light!'"
-Andy Stanley

1 comment

C.Curley said...

I'm not sure if I honestly believed there is no other couple in the world with our names...but I was pretty darn excited to read "Aunt Christy and Uncle Scott." ha!