Happy New Year!
There. I feel like I can finally say it. After waiting for Christmas for so long, it finally came and now I really feel like I am in 2012.
As I mentioned (maybe a million times), my little brother is on leave from his time in Afghanistan. Although he will be spending most of his time up in Oregon with his wife and her family, they were able to come down for the long weekend to see us. Which has been WONDERFUL!
We are not a super sappy and lovey-dovey family, so instead of sitting around crying about the time that has been missed, we headed out the door and did what we really wanted to do: go get food (Applebee's -- yum) and then head on over to Guitar Center. If you have a music lover in your family you must experience this place. The boys banged around on the drums while we girls listened, got bored, and then wandered around the store.
Yesterday, however, was a sappy and lovey-dovey day. It was full-on Christmas over here. The last time I was able to spend Christmas with my brother was five Christmasses ago. He was 18 and on leave from Basic Training, and I was 24 and spending my first Christmas with this new Brazilian boyfriend of mine ;) The next year I was married to that Brazilian boy (just 10 days of marriage, by the way!) and Tommy was in Iraq. The following year he was stationed in Kentucky, spending Christmas with a girl he had a crush on named Brittany while we stayed around here. The year after that Tommy and his WIFE Brittany spent their first Christmas together in Tennessee and we spent Christmas in Brazil with that side of the family. And this last Christmas found us mailing him packages to Afghanistan, praying for his safety, and me crying on Christmas day because the sun was shining and my brother was no where to be seen, and we decided that Christmas was not going to happen until he came home. And this weekend he came home :)
Michael Buble crooned out the tunes to us, about Winter Wonderlands, Holy Nights, and things like that, while food was cooked, games were played, and movies were watched. The house smelled like gingerbread and there was a lot of loved ones around, and it was perfect.
My favorite picture of the day:
First of all, we all agreed that turkey is kind of a stupid food. It doesn't have much flavor, costs a lot, and makes you sleepy. So we opted to have roast chicken for dinner. Secondly, yes, this apron belongs to me. But that didn't stop Dan from putting it on and getting work on carving one of our two birds. You put those two things together and we have a fun Christmas memory :)
Of course, being Christmas, we had all the other stuff. I know some families eat a ham on Christmas, but that is not the way we roll. Thanksgiving dinner is so good, so we do it twice. The holiday season is then sandwiched in between to amazing dinners, my favorite food around.
Of course, we had the tree, the gifts, the cookies, all that. But the best was having family around. It may not have been December 25, but it was perfect!