Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Married & Merry

 Christmas this year was simply a dream come true.

I had many moments of just looking around at our new family of 6, simply amazed at the Lord's goodness and blessing during 2013.  At times I felt like I could burst with love and thankfulness!

Chris and I spent the week surrounding Christmas in Huntsville, staying with my parents.  On our way up, we had an amazing lunch at Tupelo Honey's in Chattanooga.  We loved their biscuits and onion bisque!

The rest of the week was full of laughter, board games, delicious food, family and friends!  We spent Sunday evening at Nick and Abby's.  Nick's always up for a silly picture!

How great is it to look over and see our wonderful husbands?!

Delicious spaghetti dinner...

Chris and I enjoyed loving on our fur niece- I've missed her furry cuteness!

Then it was off to Christmas lights!  First at a house that goes all out, then off to Arab City Park for a brisk stroll and pics.

Monday night, we had some friends over and it was so fabulous to get caught up! Moma made cherry limeade and I think we're all addicted now.

We played Loaded Questions and about split a gut at all the funny answers and guesses!  

We had our Christmas lunch on Christmas Eve, so that Abby and Nick could be with his family on Christmas.  We had so much fun preparing lunch together!

Daddy made his famous...and my favorite...deviled eggs. 

After stuffing ourselves, we played board games, board games and more board games!  

Then we made Christmas cookies...

I had to make one for my sweetheart!

Christmas Eve night, we all bundled up and headed to Tinsel Trail downtown to see all the decorated trees- it all felt so perfect and Christmas-y!

So happy and in love...

In keeping with our Forester tradition, we opened gifts from each other on Christmas Eve. 

The houndstooth ribbon should have warned Chris about its contents...

...but as you can tell, this Gator fan didn't know how to respond to his AL shirt!  Roll tide, baby!

Bama all 'round!
More games to play!

Jelly Bellies make Daddy happy!

A calendar with our wedding pictures was perfect for Moma!

 Nick loved his Griswold t-shirt...so perfect for our resident funny man!

Nick and Abby gave us metal art of our favorite verse, Ephesians 3:20.   Can't you tell how excited I am??

This is one of the happiest pictures I've ever taken.  So very blessed.

Christmas morning started with Moma's delicious sausage balls then stockings for all.

This would have to be my second favorite picture of all time!!!!  

I think Chris really loves the giraffe head I got him!

More highlights include Moma's recreation of Nanny's chicken stew, or what I called macaroni soup when I was little.  It tasted just like we all remembered!

...Learning how to play Settlers...and believe it or not, I'm a fan!

...Playing Chris's new math game, Equate- a math version of Scrabble.  I actually liked it too!

 Can you find Santa in this picture of odds and ends in Moma's garage?

Chris and I loved visiting with a few friends this week, including the Ezells and little Sunday.  She's so precious!

When she started blowing kisses, I almost put her in my shopping bag and brought her home!

We had Friday night dinner then coffee with the Phillips which is always a good time!

Moma, Daddy, Chris and I had lunch at the Freight House in Hartselle- so fun double-dating!

We loved our week in Huntsville but headed back to Jacksonville on Sunday.  I was so happy to see our Christmas tree again!  We are celebrating Christmas with the Brooks on New Year's Day so we get to stretch Christmas out a little while longer.

We had a special treat of having breakfast with Karen this morning as she was leaving Jacksonville from being with her family over Christmas.  It was so great to get to visit in our home with her!

 Our last night in Huntsville, Nick and Chris read the Christmas story and as they read Luke 2, verses 19-20 spoke to my heart-

"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told."

Treasuring...pondering...glorifying...praising...those four words wrap up my Christmas...and 2013. Thank you, Lord.