Monday, December 27, 2010

A Very Bailey Christmas

Well, we did it--7 Christmases!! We actually handled it a lot better this time around than last year, I guess because we have gotten used to all the goings and comings! For us, Christmas starts on Christmas Eve at Forrest's Aunt Jan's house for lunch. The whole Adams side of the Bailey family (Forrest's grandmother Bailey's side of the family) come together and makes a massive lunch. Growing up, Christmas Eve didn't start until we went to church that night, so I LOVE getting to start Christmas "early" at lunch time! We always eat way too much at Aunt Jan's, yet somehow manage to find room for her famous 4 layer dessert!! After lunch, we went to Christmas Eve Mass with my mom and brother and sister. I love Mass on Christmas Eve. The church looks so pretty all decorated and I love singing the Christmas hymns. It really reminds you of the reason we have Christmas to begin with, and at a time when people are concerned about eating and presents, it is nice to have that reminder. After Mass, we went back to my parents' house for dinner with Uncle John and Aunt Sue and John and Sara (my dad's brother and his fam). We had filets and oh so many desserts!

Look at all the goodies!


The McCords
We opened presents with them (jewelry for me and a golf gift card for Forrest) before heading off to Duck Springs to Forrest's Aunt Susan's house for snacks and more presents. Forrest got some cash (woohoo) and I got a super cool cooler bag and a monogrammed necklace. Score! Wait----that's not all! After Aunt Susan's we went up to Forrest's parents' house to open presents with them. What a haul we raked in!! I got an adorable houndstooth bag with red handles from Mrs. Bailey (among lots of other things) and 3 new cookbooks that I am excited to use from Davis. Forrest got the hat pictured below, a carving set, and lots of other great gifts!!

The Bailey boys modeling their new hats
I was pretty proud of my gift giving skills as well. The Bailey's loved everything I had picked out for them, especially Davis!!

I got Davis these funky bookends for his office. Aren't they fun??
Davis was also sweet enough to get presents for Brownie, Stella, Sonny and Ruffles. Thank you Uncle Davis! When we got home we gave the animals some of their Christmas treats and then put the rest under the tree and went to bed. HOWEVER, Ruffles was too excited to sleep! She knew where we put the treat bags so she kept jumping out of bed and running down the hall to the tree. She was just like a little girl on Christmas Eve! It was too cute!

Ruffles stole Sonny's bone and hid under the table with it!
We woke up bright and early on Christmas morning to open our presents to each other. Our 2nd Christmas---how special!!!

Look at all that swag!

Stella loved hiding in the presents

Brownie enjoys chewing the tape off of boxes
Forrest and his Christmas gifts, plus Sonny on his bed, which Ruffles tries to steal

My presents from my sweet husband! I LOVE the piano bench and piano music most of all!!

To make it even MORE special, it was SNOWING when we got up! I had no idea so I was totally shocked!! Snow, to me, makes being cold worth it!!

This is fuzzy, but I had to post it!
After opening our presents, it was time to go to my parents' house to open presents with them. Again, we got some great swag! I got tons of clothes and jewelry, some new shoes, and and a panda pet (from my brother), and Forrest got some new "zigzag" shoes as I like to call them, as well as a weight bench!

AOII panda pets
After presents we ate breakfast and went out to play in the snow. It really was a magical feeling--a white Christmas!!

Mom and Dad's house

Merry Christmas!
As sad as we were to do it, we had to leave about 12 to get to my grandmothers house in Birmingham (on my mom's side). They didn't have any snow and it was kind of a downer to have to leave it! We had a big lunch with all of my aunts, uncles and cousins and I could barely contain myself until time to open presents!!! Since there are so many of us, there are tons of presents crammed around the tree and it looks so amazing!!!

See what I mean???
 I was again proud of my gift giving at their house. The "adults" (meaning the married grandkids and the aunts and uncles and grandparents) draw names on Thanksgiving for Christmas gifts. Forrest and I had Mimi and Stevie, my oldest cousin. They were both VERY pleased with their gifts!! I got Stevie a giftcard to BassPro Shop, a "gone fishing" glass ornament, and a fisherman nutcraker (he is into fishing AND nutcrackers!!), and Mimi a yard statue of Mary holding Baby Jesus (she loves gardening AND Jesus!). Stevie announced that he was making sure I got his name every year, so I was feeling like the best little Santa ever!!! After presents it was time for the annual "stairstep" cousins pic. We have been taking this picture for as long as I can remember (at least 19 years). We line up in birth order and before, we made the perfect "stair steps". Now the stairs have gotten a little wonky!!!

Wonky as can be!

That's more like it, except I am the 2nd oldest and the 2nd shortest! Joseph will beat me next year!
Because of the snow (it actually started snowing and sticking in Bham by this time) we were eager to get on the road to Selma after presents. Forrest's mom's mom lives in Selma and we were due for dinner and presents at her house. The roads were actually totally fine on the way down but I was VERY concerned about Sonny. He was outside in his fence and I was so afraid he would be freezing! He LOVES snow and I kept thinking about him rolling around in it and getting wet and not being able to warm up. He has his "Dogma Hall" house that is insulated in his fence and it is partially covered, but I got so upset worrying about him that Forrest said we could drive back to Gadsden after dinner instead of spending the night. That made me feel much better! In Selma, the hit of the night was Nana Frith's surprise present--a brand new flat screen tv complete w/ HD DVD player and some DVDs to watch!! The boys set it up and everyone started watching "Enchanted" (my pick). By about 8, we decided we needed to hit the road. The roads were again fine and we made it home by 11pm. Sonny, my happy little man, was perfectly fine, although very happy to see us!! We let him out and ran around in the front yard playing in the snow with him. I love crunching through fresh snow. If there is a smooth patch, I HAVE to run through it. I was stomping all over the yard and we even tried our hand at sledding on garbage can lids. Forrest also decided to have a snow ball war and I must say I was pretty good at hiding behind trees to dodge the snowballs. What a magical Christmas!!

Unfortunately, I locked us out of the house, so we had to stay out in the cold a little longer while we waited on Roy to come rescue us. Ruffles was staying at my parents' since we were going to Selma, so he brought her home too!

Saving the day!
The next morning we got up at 7, despite our late night, to go to Sunday church. I also wanted to get a headstart on my after Christmas sale shopping. I went to Wal-Mart and stocked up on wrapping paper, bows, boxes, ornaments, etc. You usually can find solid colors that don't look Christmas-y so I use this paper all year round! I also got a new tree skirt and some adorable purple ornaments at TJMAXX. After we ate lunch, we loaded Sonny up and took him to the golf course near our house so he could play in the snow. He loved running through it to chase his ball and kept trying to get into the "water hazards" on the course, depsite the fact that it was 20 degrees!!

On the green white

I can't make this turn over but isn't a cool shot of Sonny catching a snow ball??

Much better pic of the house but since it was taken on Sunday, I wanted to include the actual one from Christmas Day. Notice I have crunched through all the snow in the yard.
I started to freeze so we went back home to warm up. We took him on one last snowy walk through the neighborhood and then I had had enough--nap time!!! While I snoozed for a good 3 hours, Forrest watched "Inception" (from Roy) and then he decided to take a nap himself. By this time, I was up and at'em, cleaning up the disastrous house Christmas had left me with. I got to talk to my friend Ellen, who got engaged on Christmas Eve!!!! I am SO happy for her and Nelson and can't wait to be a part of her wedding!!! (She was a bridesmaid in my wedding and I'm going to be one in hers!!) After putting all of our presents away Forrest and I went to Mom and Dad's for our weekly Sunday dinner. White bbq chicken, homemade mashed potatoes, peas, salad, and left over Christmas desserts!!! Can't go wrong! I got home and literally crashed last night. I am STILL exhausted and we have such a busy week ahead!! I don't know when I will catch up on all of the sleep I missed! Exhaustion aside, we had a wonderful Christmas and are so blessed to have a great family to spend time with!!
Sleepy dogs! Notice Ruff has pushed Sonny off of his new bed onto the floor!

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