holiday blog #1...and more to come

So apparently my technological prowess isn't quite what it used to be. I spent over an hour today trying to figure out WHY our photos wouldn't upload - and what to do to correct that problem - only to find out that I simply needed to restart my computer. Good. What a waste of time. Since I've already wasted enough today I think I'll try to get down to business blogging about the holidays.

I really should have blogged about things as they happened, but I wanted to include photos, so here I am with a bunch of half-memories to tell you about. Better than nothing though, right?

Christmas is always crazy for me - it has been since I was little. I have at least 4 places I'm supposed to be every Christmas Day. It tends to work out to be a fun, albeit tiring day. Since Chance and I have been married - things have gotten slightly more hectic. He closes the store on Christmas Eve and has to be back to work on December 26th at 7:30AM...which doesn't leave much of a holiday. This year the plan was the same as last: head to Tyler around 8pm on Christmas eve, getting there in the wee hours of Christmas morning...spending Christmas day running around town to the four Christmases with Chance driving back to Austin exhausted at the end of the day and leaving me in Tyler. This year, I was pretty excited about spending a little time in Tyler with family and friends - even though I was gonna miss Chance like crazy. He had the house to himself for over a week - which I'm sure he enjoyed. No being nagged to clean things up after coming home from work..just playing with his Christmas presents.

Anyway. We're not there yet. We haven't gotten to the presents. I can already tell this is going to be a VERY vain attempt to be brief.

Let me back up. Before we even GET to Christmas...I've gotta at least mention the slew of visitors we had beforehand. Well, maybe not a 'slew' persay...but we had several houseguests right before Christmas. Robert Adam and Casey came in the 12th to see The Soldier Thread at Antone's and to hang out with us...and we certainly had a good time.

We ate some good food (mmm, Polvos), played some AWESOME board games, and went on this cool Modern Open House tour in Central Austin. It was a pretty adventure-filled weekend. The following weekend, the Deckers came to visit. We get to see Kris and LJ about twice a year, since they live in seeing them is typically rare and quick, but always special. We got to spend some quality time with them checking out Christmast lights, eating more Mexican food, and playing more games.

We also spent some time leading up to Christmas wrapping up (literally and figuratively) Christmas presents, making our first ever Christmas candy, taking photos for/making/and mailing Christmas cards...

and cramming in everything else we could fit in.

Chance and I celebrated our 'family Christmas' on the 22nd, his last evening off before the 'holiday'. We opened our gifts and our stockings, and minus one minor incident had a pretty good time giving and receiving candy, good-smelling-stuff, utilitarian gifts, and toys to play with.

The gift-giving was followed by our 'annual' trip to Kerbey Lane for a scrumptious dinner/late night meal.

With all the festivities, I think we were both already pretty worn out by Christmas Eve...but we packed up ourselves and the dogs and headed to T-town around 9:00PM. The dogs came with us on a 'trial run' because my gracious sister Luci was planning on keeping them later when we visited Amarillo, and we wanted to see how they'd do with her pups. Anyway, we rolled in to Tyler around 1:30AM or so - introduced the dogs...and crashed.

Christmas day, like I said pretty much a tour of Tyler. We tend to start the day at my dad and Karen's house for the best homemade french toast I've ever had (made by Karen)...and open presents there. This year was a little different - Logan wasn't with Luci and neither Eric nor Shawn (and Mandy) were there for breakfast. Shawn and Mandy celebrated their Christmas in Tyler early, and Eric wasn't coming until later in the afternoon. So - we did our Christmas at dad's...

(which was awesome - and included a new point and shoot)...

...then headed over to Christmas at Golly's (my mom's mom).

There we opened gifts (more really cool stuff - clothes, gift cards, home decor)...

...and had a yummy Christmas lunch (I can still hardly tell the difference between Thanksgiving and Christmas food...).

Chance carved the turkey to everyone's liking (he was getting a LOT of praise for his carving job - lol - I guess he WAS the only man there). As soon as we finished lunch, we were shuffled back over to my dad's for Christmas number 3 (number 2 at his house for the day)...with Eric. We hung out there for probably 30 minutes - talking to Eric, watching him open gifts, opening our awesome gift from him (a Roku)...and eating candy. Then it was BACK to Golly's for dessert. As soon as we crammed some pie down our throats it was off to Nana's (dad's mom's)...for Christmas with the Barrett clan. We weren't able to stay for long, unfortunately, just long enough to eat a tiny bit more and open a few more presents and give some hugs. By then - Chance and I were both about to pass out - and he still had to gather the dogs and drive back to Austin (it was around 6pm or so) we decided to call it quits. Unfortunately, it was Chance's 2nd year in a row to miss Christmas at PaPaw and Margie's (Karen's dad and step mom)...and my first. Once Chance got on the road, dad and Karen had been there and were ready to head home themselves, so I stayed in the rest of the evening and worked (at my sister's) while my family went and saw Marley and Me...and while Chance drove back to Austin.

I wish we could spend a Christmas night together. Maybe SOMEDAY we'll be able to. I also found myself wishing everyone in my family would do Christmas on different we could spend more time with each group. Christmas would be more relaxing - you food, take a nap, watch tv, play games...that kind of Christmas. I can't complain too terribly much though - there's always lots of good food and good times with family (just NOT ENOUGH time)!

We came away from this Christmas saying we weren't 'doing Christmas' next year. I'm pretty sure we've both already changed our minds about that. Lol. Never lasts long. But maybe next year there'll be less pressure. Maybe someday. Or...maybe we'll just run away.

Goodness. I've been typing forever and just covered Christmas. Looks like you'll have to wait til tomorrow for a blog about my time in Tyler. And expect an upcoming post by Chance about our time in Amarillo. With even more photos. Dang. Alritey. I'm off to go watch American Idol. Yuck. I don't even know why we're doing this to ourselves. Lol.


R.A. said...

I was wondering if that pic was ever going to make an appearance. It was far too much trouble to take to remain in obscurity.

Also, what is a Roku? Links are your friends.

urban | initiative said...

wow i havent seen r.a. or kris in years!! hey guys!! ra that beard is insane! lol! isnt the roku the netflix box that streams to your tv? or am i making that up? awesome story, your holidays make me want a nap. ;]

Claire said...

@ Robert Adam - Haha. I can send you guys the other ones too, I need to. Maybe I'll post them on facebook...(: Oh wait. You don't have a facebook. HMM.

@ Chris - you're right on roku.'re also right about my holidays making you want to nap. Pretty nuts, eh? It was actually probably all that reading that made you need a nap. Lol.

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