So, for the first time in a year, I actually took some vacation time from the Saturday before Christmas through the Wednesday after New Year's. And it was awesome! I don't think I really realized it at the time as much, but I really needed that vacation. I spent the first week up in Paducah at my parents' house. Many of the nights I spent out pretty late, just trying to see as many people as possible. As much as I did that, I still didn't get to everyone, even though many nights I was out until after midnight. Just to see my friend Nathan Wallace, he had to pick me up from my family out at the mall!
But on Christmas Eve, Christmas, and the day after, I tried to spend as much time as possible with family. Christmas Eve, we pretty much relaxed and watched some tv. (Not a complaint...relaxing, especially with family, is one of my favorite past-times!) Christmas Day was a lot of fun. My family, between them, got me an iPod, speakers for my iPod, and a car charger, although Grandma didn't know what it was for! It really surprised me, since I didn't ask for anything. I've played with that thing since I got it. The only time I'm not messing with it is when I'm at work, or when Kacey has her iPod in my car.
Christmas morning is always special to me just because it's a chance to be with my family. I hate getting gifts, though I'm working on being better at receiving them, but I enjoy giving them. And that's kinda funny because I'm usually very poor at buying gifts for people. I never know what to get them. This year, though, I knew exactly what I wanted to get Lesli & Ryan and what I wanted to get Sydney, which was nice. But I had no idea what to get Mom or Dad. Luckily, when I mentioned that to Mom, she told me flat out what to get her. "Pajamas." My response was, "Wow, that was easy. Why didn't I do that 3 weeks ago!" She also helped me figure out what to get Dad. Good job Mom! And Lesli helped with my present for G-ma, so thanks to her too!
One of the more fun things that Christmas morning was watching Sydney with her toys. You could see her intelligence growing as she tried to figure out each little thing. Granted, she had about a million toys, but it was kinda fun watching her. Although, if you took the toy she was looking at so that she could open her new present, she was NOT a fan of that! But overall, I think she did pretty good. And, at least she will never not have enough toys to play with. That's why I just got her a UK t-shirt!
On Wednesday, the Day after Christmas, I went down to Jackson, TN to visit with my uncle, aunt, and cousins. It was a lot of fun spending the day with them, partly because I never know how much I'll get to see them, especially my cousin Leah and her husband, Drew, since they live in Wake Forest, NC...not exactly down the road! Once again, it was just fun relaxing and spending time with family, especially since these are the cousins that I grew up with knowing the most, although Brett couldn't be there. (I never remember if he has one "t" or two "t's" in his name...oh well, I think that's right.) And Sydney was really interested in Leah's son, Boone, who's still a 7-month old baby...I think. Oh, and the picture I took on the right is my favorite from there with Sydney, cousin Rebekah, and Lesli. I'm surprised I took it and not Ryan! HAHA! And thanks to Lesli handing me down her camera, I was able to take all of these pictures! YAY!
Two days after Jackson, I hit the road to Minnesota
to see my best friend from college, Billy, and his wife, Pam (whom I've actually known longer than Billy). I guess I should say the road actually hit me though. It started snowing as I got to Peoria, IL. But once i crossed the Wisconsin border, the roads got rough. It's actually the most I've had to focus on a long road trip, as I was having to focus on other vehicles AND try to keep MY car on the road. After 13 hours, I arrived in St. Paul (technically, Eagan), MN...and I was exhausted! But my stay up there was great! It was the first time since I had actually seen Billy and Pam since they married Summer '06, so it was long overdue.
Probably the most fun night was New Year's Eve. We went over to someone's house from the Woodbury church. The main focus of the night was Nintendo Wii. If you don't know what that is, it's the video game system that makes you do stuff, like move your hands to drive/fly or swing the remote to swing the golf club in the Tiger Woods video game. Or, you can play DDR (Dance Dance Revolution), which I never play, but did that night. Here are some pictures from that night:
Great Picture of Billy!!
After leaving Minnesota January 2, I drove down to Paducah to stay the night, before getting up the next morning and driving back down to Nashville to start back work. And that's where the next post will start. Vacation was awesome!