Thursday, December 29, 2016

Festive Family Fun

Let's talk Christmas. I hope yours was merry and bright. We're still enjoying morning coffee by the light of the tree. It will come down this weekend or whenever those little fairies show up to make it happen. Whenever they come is fine...I'm not in a hurry.

Except I kind of am because January looms and we have a lot of travel on the calendar. Fun stuff, which right now feels a little overwhelming, but then I sit by the Christmas tree and remember all is calm and all is bright.

How 'bout we back up a little, because we always start out in reverse on This Side of the Pond. When last we spoke the painters were on their way and they've come and gone so no more blue tape. Whoohoo! The ice man came and jiggled something in the ice maker which necessitated a part order which means he's coming back tomorrow to complete the job. My laundry room countertop was replaced so that's done. Oh and hubs hung a few more pictures. Just ask Daughter2...he was hammering outside her bedroom door at 9:45 a.m. on Christmas Eve Eve.

Or as she would say 'the crack of dawn'!

Speaking of daughter2, she finally got here on Wednesday morning because we had a little drama with her sweet pup that required a trip to the specialty vet the week before Christmas. Meanwhile hubs and I both had our cars in for service and it all felt a little bit crazy and in fact was a little bit crazy. Merry Christmas to us-ha!

Daughter2 was her usual cookie baking rock star self and we sipped tea on the porch and went for side by side manicures and talked recipes, kindergarten, and the meaning of
life. The three of us enjoyed a lovely dinner out with Daughter1's in-laws and close friends before heading to the mountains for a Tennessee Christmas with hubs side of the family.

Christmas with hubs side of the family means Angel Pie and she deserves her own mention here. Carry on. 

We were all so missing Daughter1 and the Dr. Captain this year, so it was extra nice to have a whole houseful of aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents to fill the mountain cabin with love, laughter and chatter. Especially chatter. We are world champion chatterers.

Hubs brother and sister both own cabins in the Smokies, as close to one another as the crow flies. Does that expression mean what I think it means? Anyway, they're close in proximity to one another so we bop between the two when we visit.

Everyone trekked down the mountain on Christmas Eve for a big family dinner out before church, and then sat side by each in two pews singing Silent Night to the glow of a dripping candle.

Christmas Day was filled with the usual gift giving and receiving, game playing, and a celebratory toast to my in-law's 60th wedding anniversary which had taken place earlier in the month.

The nephews helped my mother in law experience a little virtual reality...

And I think she liked it.

These glasses are freaky y'all. I felt like I was in some other dimension of time and space, which I think is the point of virtual reality, but still...super freaky and very cool.

We had rain all day on Christmas Eve, but Christmas and the day after were both ridiculously warm. 70 degrees up on top of the mountain, and nobody complained.

photo credit: my sis-in-law

Monday we trekked back down the mountain to see my sister and brother-in-law's new home which is almost complete. We've been sharing the angst of building a home from the ground up for more than a year, and we're excited for theirs to be finished now too. Also, aunts are special people and my girls have a whole squad they dearly love.

Because it's against the laws of family togetherness to skip a meal we stopped in town for a pizza lunch with the grandparents, selfie style-

photo credit: my sis-in-law

We headed home on Tuesday morning because we had visitors coming by around lunchtime on Wednesday and there were gifts to put away, groceries to be purchased, and floors to be vacuumed. We enjoyed our company and then hubs, Daughter2 and I finally watched Home Alone last night which is a holiday tradition we hadn't managed to squeeze in before Christmas.

We went to bed knowing there was absolutely nothing on the must-do list for today and in my mind that's as good as sugarplums any old day.


  1. I love the Smoky's at Christmas. What fun you have had.

  2. So the dog was ok? That's scary.
    The cabins didnt get any damage from the fires?
    I'm scared to try those virtual reality goggles - afraid it'll get my vertigo going.

    1. The pup is some better but we are still waiting on some tests to come back from a lab in Texas. Our family's cabins are not in Gatlinburg area. Close to the fire area but far enough away to be okay.

  3. What a busy and fun Christmas. It was the same at our house for sure. Blessings for the year ahead!

  4. What a wonderful Christmas! I know you miss you Daughter 1, and I"m sure she missed you too... I"ll never forget my first Christmas away from family, it was so hard!

  5. YES to having all those lovely people around to fill the void that is there when someone is MIA for the holidays. And YES to that virtual reality glasses! I seriously almost put those on my Christmas list. But then I remembered I put a hit on Christmas gifts. Never. Again. 60 years???? Wow! That is wonderful! I hope the pup is ok. My SIL's niece finally got a pup for Christmas and it went missing for a couple of days. She came back but that sweet little girl was devastated. It broke my heart. I can't stand it when children are sad.

  6. It all sounds wonderful! Love the photos and am happy the pup is better. Hope the tests show something that is fixable!! Loud, crazy chattering celebrations are just the best!!

  7. Great catch up post Joyce. Sounds like you all had a great time. Hope the pup is ok. Happy New Year.

  8. Our Christmas was lovely and of course my fairies won't arrive for at least another week! Hope the pup is doing okay. The pie looks yummy. How wonderful to go into the mountains to celebrate. That is a nice crowd around the table in the restaurant. It all sounds perfect and hope your New Year is a great one!

  9. Greetings, Joyce,
    It sounds like you have had a busy/lovely time with family this holiday season. Treasure the time you have together!
    Happy New Year to you and yours. Take care, ~Natalie

  10. Great post - I felt like I was there! (I can chatter with the best of them). I love the picture of MIL experiencing virtual reality. Most excellent! Happy New Year.