Thursday, December 31, 2015


My daughter just wrote a Christmas recap on her blog and when I read it I realized I'd already forgotten some of the happenings. I figured I'd better put mine in writing too, before 2016 rolls around. 

That's the thing about blogging. Either you write about something as it happens or immediately after, or you have to wait years and write about it in hindsight. A Christmas recap two weeks from now would feel odd.

I didn't take many pictures this year. The apartment is not conducive to stellar photography. It's 'cozy' with just the hubs and I here, and then add another three adults plus two dogs into the mix (we were dog sitting my sister's pooch plus Daughter2 brought her pup over) and there's not a whole lot of room for photo staging. 

Which is why you see my ginormous bottle of 409 in this picture-

Perhaps you didn't notice because you were distracted by how precious my girlies look when they're together.

Picking up where I left off in Monday's post...we made the trip from Alabama back to SC Sunday afternoon and dropped the newlyweds off at my daughter's in-laws home. Hubs and I planned to just drop and go, but then my son-in-law's momma said something about shrimp and grits, and hubs has a rule about never turning down a plate of shrimp and grits, so we had to go inside and sample.

The 'kids' stayed at the in-laws the first three nights they were in town, then transitioned their belongings here and slept in our spare room the rest of the week. We only live about ten minutes from one another, which helped a lot with all the back and forth that needed back and forthing.

On Monday we all met up at our lake property to show the West Coasters the lot and dock and semi-constructed home. Very semi, but there's concrete and a lower level garage and that's something. We returned them to the in-laws after lunch and then hubs and I spent the evening wrapping gifts and tweaking the decorating here.

As an aside, this is my Christmas card wall. It makes me so happy I might just leave it up until we move into the house next summer.  Everything in the apartment is rented, including the 'art' which is essentially a piece of decorative iron.  I used my Christmas clothespins to attach the cards and it definitely added something to the original work.

Tuesday morning my son-in-law had plans with his dad, hubs was busy with an all day course, and the girls and I settled in for a full day of baking. It was bliss. Honestly when I opened the door to my daughter standing there and her sister standing beside me, I wanted to cry. I'd bought them cute mugs from Anthropologie with the sweetest, tiniest little gingerbread toppers that fit on the rim.

We all got back together Tuesday evening for dinner at a local steak house, one of my son-in-law's favorites, and that was a lot of fun.

Wednesday was filled with a bit more baking and then an afternoon showing of Star Wars.  I loved it. I'm not one of those crazy Star Wars people, but I do love the original films and this one hearkened back to that.

My daughter's in-laws included us in their Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meals, both of which were wonderful.  We ate early afternoon on Christmas Eve which was perfect because we had plans to attend a 5:30 church service. Plenty dark for candlelight at 6:30 PM! My Daughter2 sang with the band which made it feel extra special for me.

The girls (and I) opened our traditional Christmas Eve pj's and Christmas morning looked much like Christmas morning has always looked. Except for the 70 degree temps. What in the world? I was spoiled per usual by my hubs who always says, 'We're not buying each other anything this year, right?' but then buys anyway.

We had another delicious meal at the in-laws, then came back here and later played a really fun board game called Ticket to Ride that involves train trips, geography, and strategy.

Saturday was ridiculously fabulous in terms of the weather, and we decided to get out and work off some of those cookie calories we'd all accumulated. My son-in-law went early morning hunting with his dad, so it was just the four of us for a good chunk of the day. We headed over to the university campus for a walk around the lake-

A little jumping...

...and of course a selfie.

Saturday evening we all trekked downtown for dinner, adding one friend/groomsman to the party.  Hubs and I went home after dinner and left the 'kids' playing darts, enjoying a gorgeous Southern summer evening at the end of December.

Sunday faces looked like this.

What can I say?

It went too fast, as we knew it would, but I like to think we made the most of the minutes and the hours and the days we were given. The precious gift of time we shared celebrating family, friendship, and the birth of God's only Son.


  1. Beautiful pictures. You are such a beautiful family. I really enjoyed the pictures on your daughter's blog as well!! Happy New Year

  2. A www sounds like you all had a great time but partings are always hard. We're looking forward to getting our son and DIL back from the states today and a family meal including his Grandma on Sunday. Happy new year.

  3. I just noticed that both girls have your smile!
    I love seeing how well they get along. So precious! :)

  4. Sounds like you had a truely magical Christmas. And despite being in a "cozy" apartment, and as the birth of Christ shows us, it not the size of your house but who is in it that matters. Thanks for sharing your story!

  5. Joyce...I smiled through this whole post!! Love the pics of the girls together. So glad you had such a great holiday!

  6. Such great pictures. I'm glad you all had this time together. There is nothing quite so sweet as family together for Christmas. Wishing you a God's many blessings in 2016.

  7. Love the sweet photos of your girls! Happy New Year Joyce :-)

  8. It sounds absolutely perfect. So happy to hear more details about your Christmas.

  9. "Sunday faces" is both sweet & heartbreaking... I am glad you all had a chance to be together. We are predicting this will become harder and harder for us to pull off so I too tried to savor each moment.

  10. Really lovely recap. I'm afraid it might be the New Year before I get one posted. With hosting the Hubby's family on the 23rd, Christmas Eve, Christmas, X's birthday on the 28th, my birthday yesterday and hosting New Years Eve dinner tonight, I simply do. not. have. a. minute. Good times. ;)

  11. There is something too wonderful to put into words about the adult "kids" together for brief holiday interludes (or non-holiday). I understand wanting to cry , to hold onto the moment and not let go. So glad you had cherished moments this Christmas. Happy New Year, Joyce.

  12. South Carolina? Wow! I have been gone too long. What a lovely recap and I wish you the best in 2016. Look forward to catching up on what I've missed and seeing where the Lord leads.

  13. Awe, that last picture almost made me cry. I missed our daughter not being with us so much this year and Cmas just wasn't the same but we all survived. So glad you all shared such wonderful memories together.

  14. I so enjoyed your side of the holidays, after reading Shannon's! Great photos and so much fun. Time does go too fast.

  15. What a great holiday. I really enjoyed seeing your Christmas card wall art - very creative. I absolutely LOVED the photo of the "jump-ers". Way to go! Another great family celebration with your beautiful daughters!

  16. Joyce...your photos speak volumes to the love in your family. Wasn't it just the best to have your girls together, again? My heart was more than happy and I know yours was, too.