A Merry & Bright Christmas

This Christmas season was full of joy, (too much) delicious food, and the best of company.

Zach and I traveled to visit his extended family the weekend before Christmas. We begansymphony with an incredible performance by the North Carolina Symphony in “Cirque de la Symphonie.” Quite spectacular to say the least. We enjoyed dressing for the occasion, listening to the beautiful music, and watching the talented (and flexible!) performers.

The next day we spent the morning and early afternoon with the Hall family. We participated in the annual White Elephant gift exchange (I got a cute tote, Zach got Lowe’s and Dick’s gift cards), played Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots with the little ones, and watched part of the Panther’s game. We also got to see the sweet kiddos open their gifts– including a fun swing for the backyard (which the adults seemed to enjoy even more). It was a special time spent with family, but we sure missed Mema in the midst of it all.

We then visited his mom’s side of the family, ate dinner with them and played some basketball with the boys. They loved the Iron Man toys that Kaye gave them, and even enjoyed a dance party under the carport. That night we got to spend some time with Luke and Matthew, which always includes a whole lot of laughs.

On Monday, Zach and I enjoyed a lazy morning with his parents and a much-needed therapy session at Barnes & Noble. There are few things better than a good browse through a bookstore. Then we packed up the car and headed to Landis to spend time with some of my family. We enjoyed delicious Gary’s BBQ and played UNO with cousins. (Zach won a round or two, but I just plain stunk!)

Mom and I did some last minute shopping on Christmas Eve and we took some family pictures at the house. It had been a while since we had some good pictures together (outside of the one or two from graduation). Zach and I also took a few together. (*The family picture is one Mom took of the camera lense… so the real ones are coming soon.)

familypicbig      eve

After that, we went to my great-grandmother’s house for our Christmas Eve dinner, which has been a tradition since before I was born. Nothing tastier than those chicken ‘n dumplins! Zach headed to Boone to spend our last Christmas Eve apart, while my family headed to church. Once we got home, Morgan and I snuggled up together in her bed after putting out cookies for Santa. Here is a sample of what I posted on with our picture: 

Next year bring lots of exciting changes, but there are bedcertain things about our family Christmas that I will miss that cannot be matched. I will miss searching for Rudolph’s nose in the night sky on the way home from Mamaw’s and the sacred feeling of candles held up in the air during “Silent Night” at the church I grew up in. I will miss giggling into the late hours of the night about reindeer and Santa Claus. I will miss waking up and calling for Mom and Dad to come get us to see what Santa left for us. I will miss singing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus at the top of the stairs together and getting equally excited about her gifts as my own. I am so excited to treasure these moments tonight and tomorrow one last time as a family of 4. We have plenty of new memories to create in the years ahead as our family grows, but I will always love looking back on the special Christmas moments that the 4 of us have experienced together. I love you Mo. Thanks for always making Christmas Eve special.

Christmas morning greeted us withgraciechristmas (2) our traditional family breakfast and opening gifts. I loved spending the morning with my precious family. “White Christmas” (our favorite) played in the background while we exchanged gifts and were surprised with unexpected items. Watching Gracie open her presents was also a special treat- her first Christmas was definitely a hit! (Here she is with her new penguin– poor guy probably won’t last a week!)


We packed into the car (Gracie too!) for a visit with Mom’s family. Our cousin Jen just had a baby in November, so we all took turns holding Baby Ben.

ben1      ben

All in all, we had an incredible Christmas 2013. Lots of love, food, laughter, and family. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I hope you and yours had an unforgettable Christmas. Here’s to a wonderful new year!

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