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Christmas 2016 – Part 2

You’d think that with me being on Christmas Break, I’d be blogging more.

Not!

Ha!

In my last post, I detailed my family’s fun during our first Christmas gift exchange.  I’ll pick up from there.

We got up the next morning and packed up the car.  We were heading out for our family get-together in Bigger City, Florida.  It was the first time that we had Rooster’s girl with us, so we wanted to make sure she got the full experience.

The dogs were not pleased at our departure…

Poor Gambit. He had loved every second that his boy was home.

Poor Gambit. He had loved every second that his boy was home.

Pele had been allowed to sleep in the room with Rooster and his girl. He was in happy land!

During the ninety minute drive, I kept myself occupied by setting up the new headphones that the Mr. had gifted me.  It was pretty easy.  I downloaded the Under Armour app for my phone and after a quick Google search for instructions, paired it up with the headphones.

The hardest part was getting the ear buds in my ears correctly (this was after I changed out the covers for smaller ones to fit me).  I watched a video that helped a bit, and before too long, I had them in.

It took me a few more minutes to figure out how to get the heart rate monitor to do its thing (I had to install the headphones in the app and then press on the right ear bud).  I joked with the Mr. that he obviously hadn’t irritated me too much; my heart rate was a calm 79 bpm.

Our first afternoon and evening with the family were fairly calm events.  We ate lunch at the Mr.’s parents’ house and met up with the rest of the crew for dinner at Newk’s with an in-between stop to get Rooster a new phone.  I was relieved.  His old phone wasn’t staying charged for long, and because I’m the “owner” of the account, he needed me to approve his new phone purchase.  There had not been any phones to his liking where I live.  Fortunately, we were in Bigger City, Florida, where we had options.  He upgraded to a 7 Plus.

We actually went to bed fairly early because we knew we’d be busy the next day…Christmas Eve!

I slept on the couch downstairs; the Mr. slept on an air mattress in the den so our boy and his bride could have the upstairs room.  Because I haven’t been sleeping well, I was up around 6am.  I took advantage of the quiet time and started getting ready.  It takes me a lot longer with one healthy leg to stand on.

My foot was looking better than the day before.  I’d been instructed to start putting 25% body weight on it and had overdone it my first day.  It had swollen up like a balloon.  By the 24th, it wasn’t back like I wanted, but at least I could see more of my toes.

Soon, I was ready and raring to go.

Please admire the skinny jeans that I am now able to wear because the cast is GONE!!!

I texted Super Sis.  She’d graciously offered to be my chauffeur for the day.  I had lots of errands to run for Santa.

She drove my car…a long line of people to drive it since I got hurt.

We ALWAYS go shopping together on Christmas Eve.  It is one of my favorite traditions because we don’t get to spend much time together the rest of the year.

We ran by Starbucks; she treated me to a hot chocolate.

Because she wouldn’t let me pay, I had the idea to pay for the order of the car behind us in the drive-thru.  We tried driving away slowly to see the occupants’ reactions, but because of the way the lot was set up, we had to turn the corner before we could look.  I hope they were surprised.  🙂

We took a little longer to shop than we’d originally planned.  As I said, things take me more time.  At our last store, I spied the following glasses…

I fell in love with them and wanted to get them priced.  They were more than I was willing to spend, simply because I was already spending a small fortune on gifts.  Super Sis said, “How much do you like them?”

I replied, “A lot.”

She said, “Birthday gift?”

I said, “Okay, but write in my birthday card that you gave these to me.”

She said, “Done.”

And so they came home with me.

For the record, my birthday isn’t until March.  She said I could go ahead and start using the glasses though.

When we finished there, we were pooped.  People had started calling us.  We were being summoned back to the house.

We had Christmas dinner to get ready for!  The Mr.’s mom had slaved away all day to prepare some of our favorite food…field peas, dressing (which I don’t eat but everyone else does), turkey from Sonny’s (none for me, thank you very much), mashed potatoes, and other goodies.

Cali, my grandpup, was ready to snarf up crumbs.

Cali, my grandpup, was ready to snarf up crumbs.

Then, we all got ready for our traditional pre-church photos, which went off swimmingly well.

I wish I could show you the pictures, but alas, some of my people don’t like their faces on my blog.  Rooster’s girl was very agreeable; she’s used to my picture taking by now.

Then, we headed out to church for a beautiful candlelight service.

By then, it was pretty late, so Super Sis’s family and ours parted ways.  They were instructed to show back up at the house no later than 7:30am.  We had a tight schedule to maintain because my boy and his girl had to visit her family.

As has been my custom, I awoke early Christmas morning and got ready…

I have to wear a sock under my boot to prevent chafing.  Thank heavens for all of the knit pairs I’ve made over the years!  This one matched my shirt…

Then, I made my way to the living room to await the arrival of the rest of the clan.  The tree was gorgeous!

We had a stocking waiting for Chicky.  Rooster and his girl had done their stockings before they’d left their home, but we had a little something for each of them.  I can’t say that I like not doing stockings for our kids.  We may have to go back to this in the future.

Cali got in the middle of everything.  She was loving all of the extra attention.

I received this blanket…

I also got this night light (a few days after the fact, but the intent was there!!!)…

Super Sis and her family actually got to the house at 7:15…the first time I think they’ve ever been early.  Go them!

Present opening began immediately, and once again, Cali settled herself in the middle of the action.

How awesome that there were ELEVEN of us opening gifts this year!  We opened one present at a time, starting with the youngest member and working up in age.

There was so much laughter as each gift was opened.

Cali managed to catch a nap despite the noise.

Every year seems to have its own theme.  This year, we were all about sports…as in “We are a sports family…except for Super D (Super Sis’s husband/the Mr.’s brother).”  Ha!

Everyone got something sports-related, I think.  The Mr.’s mom got an exercise ball and a jacket/vest to wear when she’s out walking on frigid mornings.  Other members of the family got various apparel from Under Armour.  We could have done a commercial for the company, I kid you not.

Here are a few of my gifts…

A purse from Super Sis and her family

A purse from Super Sis and her family

A Ginger Snaps necklace…also from Super Sis and her crew

I’d never heard of Ginger Snaps before.  They are adorable!  You just pop the charms off and change them out!

I ordered more of these charms on our drive home the next day.  I’ll share photos of those in a future post.

The Mr. and I got a bonus gift from our siblings…

Aren’t they fabulous?

The in-laws had labeled their gifts to us with numbers…in the order we were to open them.  Of course, I was number-challenged.  Last year, it was Super D who opened the wrong gift first.  Fortunately, we caught my mistake before I actually opened the wrong gift!  Ha!

A Pandora ornament with a check inside for a ball winder (I've already ordered it).

A Pandora ornament with a check inside for a ball winder (I’ve already ordered it).

The in-laws also gave me this beautiful bracelet…

The bracelet has a heart charm with my birthstone…not pictured.  I’d been wanting a charm bracelet after the one I had purchased a couple of years ago from Premier had tarnished.  I’m in love with my Pandora bracelet.  ❤

There were a number of gift cards exchanged and other things requested on Christmas lists…because that’s how we roll.

The morning flew by, and before I knew it, Rooster and his girl were packing up.

Despite having spent eleven days with my boy, the parting was hard for me.

I sat close by as he and his girl ate lunch and fixed snacks for the road.  They had a six hour drive ahead of them; her family was eagerly awaiting their arrival.

The Mr. and I walked them outside and said our see-you-laters…never goodbye when you’ve got a family member serving in the military.

I did really good as I hugged my babies tight.  Having them in the same zip code had been divine; letting them go was another rip on my heartstrings.

I scootered my way up the driveway as they backed out and kept the tears in check until I went back into the house.

The rest of the evening was quiet; I tried to focus on my blessings and not my boy’s absence.

The gifts had been wonderful, but what had been best was spending time with my loved ones…something I’ll never take for granted.

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