An Okeechobee Christmas

Monday, December 29, 2014

It's official, we've taken down all of our Christmas stuff and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I'm always sad when Christmas is over and I love seeing the decorations and lights in the house, but once it's over I'm kind of done and want it to all be put away. It will be nice to have everything back to normal.

This Christmas was special for us because it was our second married Christmas together and we got to spend it with Stephen's family this year. I missed my family dearly but it was fun to experience Christmas with my in-laws. We were all blessed to be able to have the whole family in Okeechobee for Christmas - even Stephen's grandpa was there!

We headed out on December 23 and made it in time to help with the Christmas production rehearsals. (Stephen's dad is a pastor and every year they put on a big production on Christmas Eve) Stephen's younger brother was the director and put the production together, I ended up being his assistant and Stephen was on spotlight duty. It was a rush, but we had a great time helping.

Had to get a picture with the tree at the church upon arrival

On Christmas Eve, my brother and sister-in-law joined us for the Christmas festivities! They brought along their dog, Sunny, which made things a lot more lively. Pretty much as soon as they got there, the boys decided to break out their dad's old BB gun. They used an old, blown up picture of John's face as a target and Sunny was scared to death of it! It was hysterical watching him bark and run from the picture.

Stephen's younger brother, Tim's, girlfriend Liz was in town for a few days so we decided to run through a famous Okeechobee beverage drive-through before she left. They had never been through a drive-through like that before so it was a must do. Stephen got me hooked on drive-through vanilla cokes - I had to get one and it didn't disappoint!

Excited to get something at the drive-through


All the Hirst kids (and one fur grand-baby)!

For Christmas Eve dinner, Lauren and I were in charge of making something quick and easy. We decided on hot corn dip and ham & cheese sliders. I've seen these sliders all over pinterest and had never tried them. Oh my word I've been missing out! They were so good! I'm definitely going to have to remake them for Stephen and I soon.

After dinner we all got ready and headed over to the church for the big Christmas Eve production! The production went great and everyone seemed to enjoy it! We all had a blast helping out and seeing it come together. Of course, we had to get lots of pictures before and after the service.

So official with the headsets and walkies

Fun in the sound booth 

Couldn't get a picture before it started so I snapped this one as everyone was leaving - it was a packed house

The best sister-in-law!

Thankful for a hubby who will take silly pictures with me

All the boys looking fancy

After the service, we came home, got into our Christmas jammies, had some snacks, watched TV and played an intense game of Catch Phrase. The Hirst siblings love some Catch Phrase and Sunny loves watching Animal Planet! It was a riot watching him actually watch a show and bark back to the dogs!

Christmas morning we woke up and I got one of the first gifts of the day - my first adult onesie! Lauren and I had a blast running around in them while waiting for Stephen's parents to get his grandpa. While waiting we threw together a batch of monkey bread and oh my word, I've been missing out again! This was so delicious! Definitely need to make this again as well. The rest of the day was spent relaxing, eating, running around outside and eating some more.

Christmas morning

Had to get a picture with Sunny

Family picture

Sunny wanted in on the picture

Later that day, Lauren and I decided to make these rice krispe Christmas trees. They're definitely not as pretty as the original ones but they were mighty delicious. After dinner we had a bonfire to burn lots and lots of papers. It was surprisingly really relaxing watching the fire while throwing tons of paper into it. 

Our m&m's didn't stick too well

Sunny was tuckered out

Early on the 26th, Stephen and I decided to try to go find a fake Christmas tree. We found a great, simple one at Wal-Mart for $45! I'm so excited to have found one at such a great price. Although real trees have a certain appeal to them, I'm so thankful to have a fake one next year. After finding a tree, we went to a family friend's ranch to shoot John and Lauren's new shotgun. I've never shot a shotgun before and I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't horrible to shoot and didn't have a lot of kick to it.

Stephen's looking thrilled to be there lol

Stephen broke out his gun for a few rounds

Later that afternoon, we headed over to the coast and did some more post Christmas decoration shopping. We found some amazing deals at Kirkland's and Target. Kirkland's always has the best sales on holiday decorations - 75% off! Can't beat those deals! Target has 50% off all Christmas items so we stocked up on all the essential consumables - wrapping paper, boxes, tissue paper, etc. After stocking up, Stephen's parents treated everyone to a delicious dinner at Pietro's on the Ocean at Jensen Beach. 

The next few days were spent relaxing and being lazy around the house. We did decide to go look at a shooting area in Okeechobee called OK Corral Gun Club. This place was so neat! It had 2 clay shooting courses, an area to simulate shooting in the western days along with multiple beautiful ballrooms/buildings. It was such a neat little area and is the perfect place to escape for the day. 

On our way home we were suckered into a DQ billboard and had to stop for a dipped cone and a mini blizzard.

Stephen and I had a great time celebrating our Savior's birth with family. Can't wait for Christmas next year! I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas and spent it with loved ones.

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