Let me back up just a bit. I normally do everything at the last minute when it comes to Christmas. Shopping, baking, decorating...you name it. This year, however, I planned it just right. I started shopping around Thanksgiving. The week after, my decorations were up. And then it was time to start baking. I like to give homemade gifts and for the past few years, it has been food. This year I made chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, crack bark (OMG, you almost need to enter a 12-step program after eating this deliciousness), cinnamon rolls and pimento cheese. And it was all GOOD! I even pre-made my usual casseroles and brown rice that I would be taking to Mama's on Christmas Eve and to Cliff's sister's on Christmas Day. I had so much time on my hands that I even made some crocheted scarves for gifts.
Jason came home a week ahead of Whitney so that he and Cliff could duck and squirrel hunt. Jason needed a vacation because he starts nursing school full time, next week. He is working towards a career as a nurse practitioner. Emily, Lidia and Sawyer arrived on Tuesday. Whitney arrived on Christmas Eve morning. I was a happy mama. All my children and grandchildren were home for the holidays. Christmas Eve night, we all loaded up and headed to Mama's. All of my siblings and their children and grandchildren were there. It's been a year or so since we've all been there at the same time. It was very nice. The food, as always, was abundant and delicious. True to her word, Mama cooked her famous collard greens. I was a happy child.
Christmas morning started the same as usual. Santa Claus had delivered and was ooohed and aaahed over. The rest of the gifts were opened and everyone was happy and appreciative. Do you remember a couple of years ago that I really wanted to go on a Woman's Bike Tour? I never went because I started training for some running races, in particular a half-marathon. Well, 4 half-marathons under my belt now and no plans for a full anytime soon, I now have time to train for one of those tours. And, it's a good thing because that's just what Cliff gave me for Christmas this year. I am so excited! Woman's Tours and the Teton Valley.....here I come. After training, of course. In light of this new development, my posts this year will most likely be heavy on my training and progress. OMG, I can't wait. I'm pure giddy!
Monday, Cliff and I decided to do something a little differently. We roasted oysters.... just the kids and us....oh and Cliff's mama came over, too. This may be a new tradition. Time will tell.
Sadly, Emily and Matt had to go home yesterday for work. I'll see them and Lidia and Sawyer again this weekend. But even more sadly, Whitney and Jason had to go back home to Colorado, today. I won't get to see them for awhile. A total BUMMER!
This was such a great Christmas....one I'll remember for a long time. I just hope it's enough to hold me over until all my children and grandchildren are here with us again. As 2014 quickly comes to an end, so does the busyness we experienced this year. I hope 2015 brings us as many blessings, if not more. I'm certainly thankful for each and everyone of them. I look forward to a year full of exercising and continued good health, new adventures and I can't wait to tell you about some exciting family news. But not just yet, you'll just have to wait a while longer.
Happy New Year,