Four Christmases

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

So we're in the car again- can you believe it? Except this time we're on I-95 working our way back home- YAY!! It has been so wonderful to spend time with as many family members as possible, but this girl is tired of living out of a suitcase and eating gas station food. I swear, I'm getting pressure soars from sitting in this car... And I have gained some serious lbs this Christmas! I told my sister I might as well be a quadripalegic who just eats candy all day.

Anyway, here's how our Christmas panned out. After our Christmas for just the two of us in DC, we were in Holdrege from the 20th through the 24th and did Christmas with our immediate family there (Randy, Debby, Kara etc...). On Christmas Eve, we drove to Columbus, NE and had Christmas with the whole family. We went to Grandpa and Grandma Grassmeyer's church for the Christmas Eve service, came home for the traditional night of soup/chili eating, mass picture taking, and Chinese auction gift exchange. I made my first mistake here by trying to be funny.

So, it's common knowledge that with Chinese auction/White Elephant gift exchanges, couples have a great advantage because they can gang up and work together. So after Tyler opened these stocking hangers (which he was really excited about), I was doing my wifely duty to try to pedal these lovely stocking hangers to everyone else. It was Debby's turn to choose a gift and I was doing my best to convince her that these lovely, hand crafted paired Christmas stocking hangers were what she really wanted. She wasn't buying it, saying something about having enough at home and not needing any more, to which I replied, "But I'm pregnant with twins!" and rubbed my belly. Wrong thing to say. Everyone in the vicinity seemed to freeze, silence, and turn to stare at me, including my own husband who was sitting next to me. He looked at me with this shocked look, like "WHAT are you DOING?!" I quickly blurted out that I was just kidding and sank into the sofa. Joke didn't seem to go over well. I mean, two stocking holders, says she doesn't need any, joke that I'm pregnant with twins... C'mon. I was trying to be funny. Oh well. Note to self: no pregnancy jokes in Nebraska.

On Christmas morning we had a quick breakfast and left Columbus for our 16 hour drive to Atlanta. The trip was fairly uneventful save for the fact that NOTHING is open on Christmas except for gas stations, so we had lovely meals consisting of beef jerky and Combos. Mmmmm. Nothing says Christmas dinner like some dried salted meat and cheese-filled pretzels. Throw in some trail mix and zebra cakes and you've got yourself a bonafide feast. We did finally find a Jack-in-the-Box that was open in Nashville at 11:30 that night, where we waited in the drive through for an hour.

So we did our traditional Christmas with my family on the 26th. We open real gifts and then do White Elephant, which is so much fun. Some gifts you really want (Starbuck's cards, iTunes cards...), others you're SOL if you open them (aka- the pineapple cookbook, Randy). By far the funniest gift was a pair of slippers made out of maxi pads with a very funny description that my mom made.Kelsey's new boyfriend was the one who ended up with them, poor thing. I'm sure his mother was thrilled to see what he brought home after having Christmas with the Smiths.

We hung out in Atlanta for a few days, had a great brunch at my aunt's house, played mass games of Rummikub, went to Landon's wedding dress fitting (it's gorgeous- Click here to see it! ), went to a fun concert with Becky and Randy at Eddie's Attic, went to church and randomly ran into an old friend I hadn't seen since her wedding two years ago, and had lunch with my fun friend Christie.

We had to make a hard decision on Sunday: head back to DC as planned and tackle horrible traffic on I-95 or head elsewhere for a day or two? We could drive to Savannah and spend a day there, drive to Charlotte and spend the night with friends? I was dying to get home, but I knew the drive home would be so much easier if we waited a day or two and I was already losing my car patience. So we drove to Savannah on Sunday. Good decision. I got to see my mom's great Christmas decorations and spend time at home, see the dogs, sleep in my old bed, spend time downtown, and spend more time with Charles, Landon, Becky, Randy, Mom, and Rick. I'm so glad we decided to extend our trip just a few days more. And in just a few hours, we'll be HOME! I can unpack my suitcase, sleep in my own bed, and be lazy for another 12 days...

Hope all of your Christmases were just as fun and family-filled!

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