Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Elizabeth Turns 17

My niece, Elizabeth, turned 17 on December 27. It's so fun to be able to celebrate her birthday with her each year. As I said in my Christmas recap post that I wrote yesterday, I cannot believe how fast the years have flown by. It really doesn't seem like that long ago that Elizabeth was still a little girl, but now she is an older teenager, and only has one year left to be a "minor." Can't time just slow down?!

In the afternoon, Sharon and her three oldest girls went to the movies, along with Chandra and me. We saw The Greatest Showman about PT Barnum. I sent Sharon a link to the trailer last summer, and I told her that I thought it looked really good. I thought it would be good, but it wasn't… it was amazing! I didn't even get tired in the movie, which is saying something, because I usually get tired or fall asleep when we go to the movies. I truly loved the it, and I can't wait to see it again. 
[It was so bright outside that I could not keep my eyes open for the picture! My eyes were watering with how bright it was, although, it looks like everyone else managed to keep their eyes open.]

We had Elizabeth's birthday dinner when we got home:
And then she opened her presents:
We tried to get a picture of the entire family, but Matt and Emi weren't feeling it. Matt sat on the couch, but buried his face behind Elizabeth's back (only his legs are visiblenotice the green PJs).
Matt hates having his picture taken, but I asked him very sweetly if he would pose for a picture with his football that I gave him for Christmas. He reluctantly agreed. Sarah was much easier to coax a smile out of. 
I sure love Elizabeth! We have a lot of fun together. I'm dreading the day that my nieces and nephews start leaving home. That day is fast approaching, and it makes me sad to think that I might see them even less than I do now. I guess growing up is what kids do, though, and it's sure better than the alternative!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Christmas 2017

I cannot believe another Christmas has come and gone, and how quickly the Christmas season went. Those 32 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas flew by! My sister Sharon and her family came up from Mississippi to spend another Christmas with us. Their visit was considerably shorter this year (they only stayed six days instead of 10), but we still had a wonderful time together.

Sharon and I were messaging yesterday, and we're pretty sure we've spend every Christmas together for the past 33 years (since I was born in 1984), with the exception of 2000 (since she was days away from having her first baby), and 2004, since she and my brother-in-law, Spencer, had just moved to Mississippi. (Spencer didn't have much time off from work, and he needed to save it so that he and Sharon could come to our sister, Annette's wedding.) What a joyous blessing it has been to be able to spend so many Christmases together!

On Christmas Eve, we went to church. We even got a gift from Mother Nature, as it snowed about an inch during the day on Christmas Eve. It was a surprise to me, because I didn't even know that snow was in the forecast. The kids were delighted (they don't see much snow in MS), and they had fun playing in it. Believe it or not, over a week later, there are still traces of our paltry snowfall lingering on the rooftops and the grassy areas that don't get a lot of sun. (It's been SO cold this past week!)

On Christmas morning the kids opened their stockings, and then we had breakfast (caramel pecan rolls and a breakfast casserole). Chandra's family came over after we ate breakfast, and then we all opened presents together for the next couple of hours. We played and hung out until the mid afternoon when we had an early dinner (we had roast beef again this year, and it was good!). We spent many evenings watching the Hallmark Christmas movies I recorded off TV, since watching them together is one of Sharon's and her girls' favorite things to do when she visits.
Matt got Christian a T-shirt that says "this is what an awesome brother looks like." Matt actually has the same one, so we made sure they both wore them on the same day. (Pictures at the end of the post.)
Chandra's family wore red and black shirts, so we had to get a picture of them. Chan is looking beautiful and is definitely rocking the "pregnancy glow." We are so excited to meet her little girl 9 weeks from tomorrow!
Brother, Matt, and soon-to-be brother, Christian:
I'm glad Matt is able to have some "boy time" with Christian. Having five sisters is great, but he would love a brother, so it's nice that he has a boy cousin to hang out with.

I can't believe the holidays are over, and that it's now 2018. 2018??? I find this really difficult to believe, because I swear it was just 2008. But 2008 was an entire decade ago. Where does the time go?! The older I get, the more quickly time goes.
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