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Christmas 2017

Whew!  This Christmas season has been quite the whirlwind, let me tell you!  Now that I’m back at home, I finally have time to sit, reflect, and write.

Our Christmas celebrations were very different this year due to a number of things.  First of all, Rooster and his wife were 3,000 miles away.  We opened presents with them via FaceTime a few days before Christmas.  Second, the Mr. was on call this year, so we were stuck at home – a first, I believe, in all of the years that he’s had his job.  I guess we should count ourselves fortunate, eh?  Because of that, we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at home.  Thankfully, Chicky had driven to our house on the 23rd, so we got to enjoy the holiday with her.

The Mr. got called in to work in the wee hours of the morning on Christmas Day.  Poor thing.  He texted me when he was on the way home – my wake up call since I still wasn’t sleeping through the night.  I’d left the tree on all night so I could see it, in all of its loveliness, whenever I turned over in my chair.

He grabbed a few hours sleep when he got home before we opened gifts.

It’s a good thing that Santa got the message that we would be home this year.  He left our stockings under the tree instead of the usual spots at the in-laws’ house.

It doesn’t take long to open presents, even going one at a time, when there’s only three of you.  We had fun, though, and enjoyed the looks of surprise when each recipient discovered an unexpected or much-longed for item.

Chicky gave me a chopper that I’d read good things about on my Detoxinista Facebook page.

This thing does everything!  It even has an egg separator, a salad spinner, and an egg whipper, which I can use when making my aquafaba “eggs.”

The Mr. gave me these Vionic boots.  I’d tried on a pair at Dillard’s a few weeks ago.  He had found them on Amazon for much cheaper.  I cannot wait to wear them after I finish healing.

He also gave me a much-longed-for adjustable bench.  He’d hidden the box in the garage.

I also got a pair of workout pants, a cute little Auburn shirt, and a couple of dressier shirts.  My stocking had been filled to the brim with a couple of magazines, sneaker balls, Twizzlers, gift cards, and an insulated cup.  The Mr. always spoils me.  ❤

I didn’t take many pictures this year.  Shame on me!  Chicky gave the Mr. a lap desk.  I gave him an iPad mini, a hedge trimmer, and a wireless charger for his new phone, along with an Auburn puzzle and this adorable totem pole . . .

I’d filled his stocking with a plethora of goodies.  I had taken advantage of being able to drive in the weeks before Christmas this year.

We gave Chicky a good pair of ear buds – a brand that she had not expected but that she’d been wanting.  We also gave her a pair of shoes, an Auburn shirt, and gift cards.  Her stocking was overflowing.  We love pampering our kids!

The Mr. had to work Christmas night, so Chicky and I watched a movie on Netflix.  We turned in early, though.  I was still plagued with frequent post-surgery fatigue.

She drove me to Bigger City, Florida for my follow-up visit with my surgeon (I wrote about this in my prior post), but we had to leave the Mr. behind because he still had to work.  He drove over on Friday.

We treated Friday like our traditional family Christmas Eve.  Super Sis and I made plans to spend the morning together, as we always do, and she agreed to pick me up since I couldn’t drive.

Now let me tell you, God certainly meant for us to be sisters because we are always such a hot mess – in the same, exact way.

When she arrived, we discovered that we had chosen similar shoes.  Of course, she’d opted to go without the Darth Vader boot, but I digress . . .

The first stop we made was Starbucks.

Go ahead and admire our cuteness.

I was super excited when I realized that I finally had a partner who could/would do fun Snapchat filters with me . . .

She has to work on her timing with that tongue thing.  Of course, she was trying to place our order and stop laughing while posing, so there was that.  I need to work on looking in the right spot.

Told you that we’re a hot mess.

We went to Dillard’s first, and she showed me some of the charms she wanted for the new James Avery bracelet one of her sons had given her for Christmas.  She’d received a gift card and knew exactly how she was going to spend it.  I, of course, was an enabler who encouraged her to buy what she liked.

We had a bit of an experience while we were shopping at Express, one of my favorite stores.

Have you ever seen videos of people spitting out their drinks when they’re laughing or sneezing?

Yeah, she kind of did that, although it was because something went down the wrong way, and for the FIRST time ever, I was on the receiving end.  One minute, I was scrutinizing a possible dress to wear to this year’s high school graduation, and the next second, I was watching my Apple watch get sprayed with her chai tea.  I mean, it went ALL OVER THE PLACE.

She later told me that the look on my face was one of shock.

Truly it was.

I was worried about her because she’d choked on her drink (thinking the same thing that I was about the dress, which had lace panels down the back in a ‘HELL NO – not appropriate for any graduation” kind of way).

Then, we hurriedly tried to clean up the floor and my watch as we hightailed it out of the store.

THEN, I threw away my kleenex in what I thought was a trash can . . . only to watch it float and then sink into what turned OUT to be a can of water (I didn’t notice the chairs that people could sit on to get their feet done, I guess?

The giggles, y’all.  We could hardly walk because we were laughing so hard.

I seriously love my sister.

We went back to Dillard’s, since we’d parked there, but did a bit of shoe browsing (ahem) before leaving.

That’s when I fell in love with these . . .

Oh Vionic shoes, you get me every time.  I texted a couple of photos to the Mr., told him that I really liked them, and then bought them.  I’m saving the receipt in case I find them cheaper somewhere else or discover that I can’t wear them when I can actually put two on at a time.  I’m not allowed to put any weight on my right ankle unless it’s in a boot, which means no regular shoes on that foot for an entire month.

We went back to the house, picked up the Mr.’s mom, and took her back with us to the mall, where Super Sis bought the charm she’d been admiring and had it put on.  We also visited another store outside the mall but didn’t buy anything.  Oh, and we had to go to Trader Joe’s, where I found some canned coconut milk that will be perfect, later, for some desserts I’ve been dying to make.  Most coconut milk has an ingredient (can’t remember the name now) that prevents it from being whipped.  Not so with the Trader Joe’s brand.

By the time we got back to the house, my ankle was shot.

It’s quite clear that I still have a LONG way to go in my recovery . . .

But our fun wasn’t over yet!  We still had dinner and presents to go!

But first, another Snapchat selfie with my seester . . .

Can you just see her face . . . forty years ago.  Quite the imp she used to be.  And please admire my hair.  My hairdresser had washed and dried it for me on Wednesday.  She’d done a FABULOUS job.  I love good hair days.

Chicky and my oldest nephew cooked most of the dinner.  Super Sis got a picture of them, but I didn’t.  Boo!

I did manage to snag another selfie with my sister though.  When you don’t see each other very often, you’ve just got to take lots of selfies.  Ahem.

Dinner was fun; everyone squeezed around one table.  We sure were missing my boy and his girl.

Then, it was time to do presents.

Super Sis and her family had already opened gifts with the in-laws, but we still had a few presents to open.

Cali jumped right in the middle of things.

As usual, we went from youngest to oldest.

The Mr.’s parents gave me the Instant Pot I’d had my eye on.

This one is f-a-n-c-y, let me tell you, and even has Bluetooth!  I’d seen a number of vegan recipes that call for this appliance but that I’d been unable to try (yes, I know that I could have made them, but it would have taken far longer to cook).  I’ve got a New Year’s recipe all picked out already!

They also gave me an Amazon gift card!

Super Sis and her family gave me a Books a Million gift card and this fabulous jacket . . .

It’s the only Hogwarts item I received this year.

The Mr. got several nice gifts, including this Auburn plaque for the wall . . .

The Mr. and I gave his mom a couple of gift cards and his dad a Roku, which the Mr. spent the rest of the evening setting up.

What an eventful day!

Our time with our family wasn’t quite over, though, and we woke up on Saturday raring to go.  I made another couple of trips to the mall and did a bit more shopping since the Mr. had not been with me the first couple of times.  I texted the following picture to Super Sis to show her that I’d worn my new jacket . . .

I did a bit of a DIY project and tightened the screws on the banister in the Mr.’s parents’ house . . .

Later that evening, we visited Blaze Pizza, which I’d never eaten at.

I was duly impressed with the care they took with my vegan / dairy-free pizza.  I got the gluten free crust and just WOW.  I ate half and saved the rest for today.  It was delicious!

Then, we went to Shoe Station – a family favorite.

There were two sections of Vionic shoes . . .

I didn’t see too much that I liked, but I did find this pair . . .

I liked them, but the price was not any cheaper than Dillard’s.

So, I bid them farewell as I left them at the store . . .

We went back to the in-laws’ house, but it wasn’t long before Super Sis and I decided we had one more errand to run . . .

We were all about the nail polish – clearanced ones at that.  Of course, we had to act goofy and managed to clear the place out by the time we were ready to pay.  I think people were afraid that we’d escaped from the loony bin.

Alas, Super Sis had to go, though, so the beautifying would have to be done individually.  She had church to prep for the next day, and we had to get ready to head back home.

As I got ready this morning, Cali kept me company . . .

The Mr. and I said our goodbyes.  I hugged Chicky tightly; it will probably be a few months before I get to lay eyes on her again because of our work schedules.

We stopped for hot chocolate at a local coffee place on the way out . . .

The drive home was quick, or so it seemed, as the Mr. and I listened to old-time church music.

Our dogs greeted up happily when we got home, and I found the cutest calendar waiting for me in my stacks of mail . . .

I think I’d seen a story online about this little boy and his dog.  The foster family just adopted him; the proceeds from the calendar sales will go towards charities that support foster children.

Yeah, I’m going to enjoy this one all year long.  ❤

And that about covers Christmas.

I’m exhausted.  I think I’ll take a nap now.

Talk to you in 2018!

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