Hello, everyone! I hope you all are doing well! We just got back from a 4 1/2 day stint in Kansas and it was definitely well worth the 11 hour drive. My family was awesome and I felt truly blessed as I looked around and took everything in. Knowing I have all of them in my life makes me ooze happiness and I am thankful for each and every single one of them. Some highlights of the trip include ::
- Extended family Christmas - all the siblings between my mom and stepdad (there are 5 of us and we're all married) gathered at my folks house to celebrate a few days early. All 9 of the kids opened presents, we had some incredible bite-sized peanut butter pies and sat around for hours chatting and making each other laugh. It was the perfect welcome home!
- My brother had a work party on Friday afternoon so I insisted my nieces and nephew come over to play. A nerf war ensued - for hours, my husband, mom, stepdad and the kids hid behind forts and army crawled around the basement, laughing hysterically the whole time.
- Friday night pizza and a game - my favorite kind of night
- Friday Night Lights the movie - it is weird to see Billy Bob Thornton play the role of coach. The movie is good but it's just not the same seeing Connie Britton married to BBT and not Eric Taylor. I did however learn that my stepdad lived in Odessa, TX during Permeon's hay day. He described everything about it and I couldn't help but listen in awe!
- Saturday my husband took me out to visit my father's grave. Last Wednesday marked 18 years without my father. I hadn't been to visit his grave in a long while but it felt really good.
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - holy me oh my, this movie ruled. If you're a fan of the book or just a fan of Daniel Craig (oh, Mikael), I suggest you clear an afternoon/evening and spend it watching this film.
- Christmas lights! We drove through a display, checked out a house with lights set to music on the radio and admired it all. While listening to Christmas music the whole time, of course.
- Baking - my stepdad and I made pumpkin pies, I made a raspberry chocolate trifle and we all worked together in the kitchen to prepare dinner.
- Family arrived late afternoon, we opened presents and ate, then spent the remainder of the evening playing nearly all the boardgames we all got for each other (can you tell what kind of family we are?!)
- After we said our goodbyes, we journeyed over to my stepbrother's house for their annual Christmas night party. I reunited with a friend I've known for 22 years (whoa!), made friends with a childhood friend of my brothers and ate the crap out of Georgia's world-famous hummus.
- We finally made it back home to Louisville with just enough time in the evening to exchange gifts with each other.
What a holiday! How were all of yours? I'd love to hear! And if you don't celebrate Christmas, I'd still love to hear how your weekends were!
Here's to a terrific last week of 2011!