I have so much to catch up on! In short, Stephen and I did our Christmas weekend, then packed up and headed to Chattanooga, TN to spend Christmas with my family - we stayed 10 days instead of 9, came home - which took an extra 2 hours thanks to GA traffic - had 2 days at home to clean and tear down Christmas decorations and celebrate New Years before heading to Stephen's parents house for 2 days to do Christmas with them. The long story is below...
December 21-22: We drove up for the first time together (first long drive together) and it wasn't bad at all! Not much traffic, Stephen was amazing and drove 90% of the time and I finally finished my Will & Kate book so I could hand it off to my sister. The 21st and 22nd were spent enjoying being at home and running errands with my mom and sister. The evening of the 22nd, we met my dad downtown after work along with our close family friends for dinner. We were going to go to Rock City and see the Christmas display but it was so gross outside we decided against it and chose to see the Christmas window display. I'm not 100% sure where downtown it is (I know near the library) but apparently for YEARS, this building has put up a big Christmas display for everyone to see. It was really neat, but a bit creepy. After the display we went to our friends' house for dessert and hanging out before heading home.
I was really tickled Stephen found some neat books!
So I assumed it'd be freezing, so I didn't want to pack a skirt for Christmas Eve and packed pants. The outfit was a little rough so I ended up putting on a sweater after these pictures but still didn't like it very much. And I discovered I should NEVER wear red lipstick... lessons learned
December 25th: I woke up around 8 and was ready to go! We got my sister up but then let my mom sleep in till 8:45 since she was up all night with the dog for the 2nd night in a row - she was freaking out over the bad weather. I was so excited for everyone to open gifts - I knew I had a lot of surprises under the tree (that never happens) and we had a lot of surprises for my family as well. Stephen and I made chalkboard cheese trays for my mom and SIL and they both loved them. After the presents, we opened stockings and then my dad continued the tradition of making a big breakfast. We followed up breakfast with a quick nap and then played some ping pong and other games since it was raining outside. My mom made a delicious Christmas dinner and we followed it up with some board games and a movie.
Frisbee got a new jacket!
The cheese board we made my mom. My SIL got a slightly different color with different hardware
December 26th: We woke up and headed out to Target and other home stores in search of after Christmas sales. We loaded up at Target and Kirklands! Stephen even found another Christmas tree at Home Depot and we can't wait to put it up in our living room next year. After a full day of shopping and utilizing my new Hunter Boots we ate lunch and headed home to rest. We ran to the gym to play some basketball with my family and then my Aunt came over that night since she was sick on my dad's birthday. We ate dinner and chatted about the Sorrick family history. Stephen's big into family history so for Christmas, I got him a family history book that we needed to fill in. My Aunt know basically everything about the family so we had a great time learning about our history and getting in some great laughs. Some of her and my dad's stories had me in stitches!
December 27th: Ahhh, the first day it wasn't disgusting outside. We went to church and then after lunch, Stephen and my dad ran out to get some ping pong balls. So, my dad found a ping pong ball machine as a fun gift for my mom for Christmas. We got it all setup and the balls kept dropping out and not going anywhere. Before calling it a dud and returning it, my dad figured out that they had changed the regulation size for ping pong balls so the ones we had were too small. Thankfully they got the right size and the machine worked great! After their trip, Stephen, my mom and I took a walk around their neighborhood. Walking in TN is no joke - some of those hills are killer!! It was also a way prettier view than FL and the houses were a lot more pleasing and exciting to look at than our neighborhood at home so that made the walk very enjoyable. After the walk, we played with the ball machine, had dinner and closed out the night watching Jurassic World.
December 28th: The weather had gotten gross again so my mom and I hit a Zumba class at the gym before running some errands, but not before having some of my dad's famous pancakes. We had a blast doing the class together and it made me miss my dance classes at the gym so much! During the day, my parents had hired someone to come in a build a platform in the basement to put one of their couches on to create stadium seating. Everyone loves how it turned out and we broke in the new seating arrangement with Interstellar. I had honestly forgotten how sad it was and ended up crying the whole night lol
December 30th: We woke up and finished packing some last minute items before having breakfast and loading up the car. We were so sad to leave but for me, once it's in my head, I'm ready to get home. We amazingly fit everything in the car comfortably (thank goodness we don't have kids yet lol) and headed out. It rained basically all in GA and there was terrible traffic from Dalton to Forsyth and it took us an extra 2 hours to get home... definitely not the easy drive we had going up there. Stephen was amazing and drove 90% of the time again. After getting home a little after 9pm, we had Publix subs and I unpacked all our suitcases so I could focus on Christmas items the next day.
December 31st: We slept in, got my new blog design up and running (yay!), ran a few errands and then came home to work on tearing down the Christmas decorations. For New Years Eve, Stephen grilled out ribs (we're going to have to work on those a little more lol) and I worked on putting away the Christmas decorations. This year, we got a ton of tubs and organized everything within the tubs (i.e. wrapping items, decorations, kitchen, etc.). I'm so glad I decided to organize everything this year and I know it'll make next Christmas so easy to decorate and prepare for. By 11pm, I was beyond pooped and ready for bed but I had to make it another hour so we watched some Office episodes and then saw the ball drop.
January 1st: First of all, how in the world is it already 2016? Second, I've got to remember to write 2016 on everything which is going to be a challenge for a while. We slept in again but then got right to work on getting all of the outside Christmas decorations put away. Stephen was a trooper and got everything in the attic that needed to be up there. After lunch, I worked on chiseling away at my to-do list and cleaning the house. I made a traditional Southern New Years day dinner - ham, collard greens, black eyed peas and rolls. We also packed up to head out to my in-laws for our 3rd Christmas (or 1st Christmas of 2016 ;))
If you made it through the post, bravo! I know it was pretty lengthy and somewhat detailed but I didn't want to forget all that we had done. This was probably one of my favorite Christmases and I'm so glad we were able to spend so much time with my family in TN. I can't wait to spend Christmas up there with them in 2017! We enjoyed a low-key entrance to 2016 and I hope everyone else had a great holiday season!