Merry Christmas to all!
We have thoroughly enjoyed the past couple weeks celebrating my birthday and most importantly, celebrating the birth of our Savior! We hope everyone was able to find complete joy and satisfaction in the midst of the craziness of family, gifts, traveling (in our case), and LOTS of food!
Since my birthday falls 4 days before Christmas, the celebrating and the gifts tend to last for about a week and a half prior and post Christmas day.......not complaining by any means, just implying that the week before Christmas (especially this year) is NON-STOP! As OCD as I am about organization and strong attemps to stay on top of EVERYTHING in hopes to enjoy every party, every bought gift, and all company; I still found myself hustling and bustling up to Christmas Eve.
Here is a little run down of our lives prior and post Christmas.......Take a DEEP breath.
These gals and I got together for our 11th annual Christmas jam party. We started our tradition when we were in the 9th grade and have continued to carried it out through high school, college, and now I guess you'd say 'adulthood.' These are some of my very best friends who Ive done life with for a very long time. After all these years, half of us are married, two with toddlers, and one on the way.....
This is mommy to be, Emily, with baby Ava Elise in her belly. They were so sweet to bake me a cake since our party fell on my birthday "eve".
I turned the BIG 26! So my incredible fiance and of course my mom went above and beyond to make my day extremely special.
We celebrated with my family on Saturday, so Saturday night he treated me to a shopping spree at the Summit.
Because on Tuesday, he surprised me with a relaxing day and evening together in our H-I-P (house in progress). We do have one room, his office, that is cozy and livable. Therefore, we curled up next to our Christmas tree, watch 3 of my favorite movies, enjoyed dinner of my choice....... pizza and candy :), and spent some great QT together in OUR house that we're beyond giddy about the idea of getting to move in together in just three short months!!
I spent the day with my three little rascals, finished up what I thought would be the last of my Christmas shopping, and then headed to dinner with my best friend from Auburn, Jessica, (who travels every year to celebrate my birthday with me), Jana, and Deidra. Ive been overwhelmed at God's gift of friendship in my life. So blessed and so thankful!
Payton, mom, and I exchange gifts with the kids and Mallory and Trent.
The 6th person in this picture is the Auburn tackle buddy we got Miller for Christmas. He LOVED it!
Brought our 9th annual "Christmas with Christy."
Christy has been our faithful, gracious, disciplining mentor to the four of us since we were sophomores in high school.
And every Christmas Eve EVE, we spend the night at her house in continuous of our 9 years of traditions: dinner, opening gifts (Christy has ALWAYS been extremely thoughtful and creative with her gift giving to us), and loading up her two kids, Preston and Ellie Kate, to go look at Christmas lights.
This year, Christy gave us each an ornament with our annual picture that we take in front of her Christmas tree and money sent to support our Young Life Leader, Lyndy, who is LA doing missions. Also, we had a new member that joined us and will be joining us in years to come......
Baby Jones #3.
After 5 years, losing a baby and being diagnosed with Lyme's Disease....Christy's pregnant! Praise the Lord!
Made an early to drive to Guin to spend Christmas Eve with the Junkin family.
Every Christmas Eve, the entire Junkin Family gathers at Payton's grandmother and grandfathers house.
And after a delicious dinner, listening to the Christmas story read by Grandfather Junkin, and opening gifts; I joined Corridor X for the 2nd time that day to drive back to Birmingham so that I could wake up one last time at my house with my family.
Spent the morning at Miss Livi's house.
Payton drove in later that morning.
And we enjoyed family
and swapping more gifts at my parents house.
Then packed up that same night in order to beat the weather and drive back to Guin so that we could be at the church breakfast Sunday morning.
Sunday.....Christmas Day #2.
Santa came again!
We stayed in our jams ALL day long and celebrated Christmas with Payton's family.
Sunday night, we headed over to OUR house where Payton and I finished up swapping our gifts to one another.
And we ended the night in the peace of Payton's office at our house, watching movies, rejoicing that this will be our LAST Christmas "single", and shedding many tears over one the best gifts I could have ever receieved.......a canvas picture of my favorite picture!
We absolutely can NOT wait to incoperate our own little traidtions into both sides of our wonderful families.
Even though we had to stop every second to catch our breaths this years, we are extremely thankful and beyond worthy of the blessings that God faithfully continues to pour on our lives. He is so GOOD and definitely too good to us. We love you and thank you for your investment in our lives......
Monday and Tuesday.
Now that we've had Monday to catch our breaths, we're packing up to head out for a short, relaxing trip to the mountains in Gatlinburg!
See you soon!