Our First Christmas

Our first Christmas was a great one… and it was a WHITE CHRISTMAS!!! The last time Tennessee or Alabama had a white Christmas was 1989. Our Christmas began on Thursday, December 23 when I got off from work. We decided to open our presents from one another at home by ourselves. I think this will become a tradition because we really liked opening our presents with just the two of us there. Christmas Eve we traveled to Hartsville to celebrate with the Painter’s. We got to spend some quality time with our precious niece and nephew, Evelyn and Isaiah. We had dinner that night, open presents and watched A Christmas Story, which was a little strange since the Painter’s have been watching Christmas Vacation since it was first released every Christmas Eve but for some reason Heather and Greyson wanted a change. We also played with the kids until it was time for them to go home and get ready for Santa. The next morning we woke up to our White Christmas. I was so concerned when the snow started falling the night before that we wouldn’t be able to make it home to Florence. I wasn’t able to be home last year on Christmas because my grandfather was in the hospital so it was really important to me to get home. Thankfully the roads were clear from Hartsville to Florence. At home in Florence, we opened our presents and ate lunch with Mom and Dad. We also played on the Wii. We had a bowling tournament and Dad won! It amazed us all since he has never bowled a day in his life or played a video game. It was such a great relaxing and fun Christmas. The memories from our first Christmas will be ones we cherish forever.

White Christmas

Christmas Eve at the Painter's

Isaiah and Evelyn

Family Photo in front of Mom and Dad's Tree

A Week Without G

A week away from Greyson use to be “normal”. The first 3 ½ years of our relationship was long distance so it amazed me how lonely and anxious I felt being away from him last week. He is in the PGA apprentice program to become a certified PGA professional at a golf course. He had to travel to Port Saint Lucie, FL for a week of seminars. The morning he left it started snowing and didn’t stop until Monday. All I could think about was Libby and I getting stranded at our townhouse and losing power and I wouldn’t even know how to build a fire in our fireplace. Silly, I know! Then there was the threat of an ice storm on Wednesday so I was a bundle of nerves then too plus I had to get ready for a Christmas party I was hosting, a friend’s birthday and a friend’s wedding. And to add to all of that, a night in Nashville to see Garth Brooks in concert. All good things but this girl needs sleep to function and I was running on very little sleep. I also have become use to having a partner who helps me with everything so it overwhelmed me to make sure everything got done. I’ve lived on my own before and have been responsible for everything but I have become use to the luxury of having G around. Besides being anxiety ridden and homesick for G, it was a great week. I got to hang out with my girlfriends at the concert, Christmas party, birthday party and wedding. This is more than I normally get to do a month’s time and not because I am married now but because of our crazy schedules. I had one friend in town from Boston and another from Southern Alabama. It felt great to hang out with them like old times. Plus, I think if I didn’t have so much going on last week I would have been even more homesick for him so I thankful for everything I had going on and all the fun I had.

I am so happy to have G home now. We are looking forward to our first Christmas as a married couple. Merry Christmas everyone!

Andrea and I before the concert. We were so excited!

Celebrating Ashley's Birthday

Greyson made it back in town for Alyssa and John's wedding


Sunday was our first big snow of the season. I am a fan of the beautiful white stuff but only when I have a stocked fridge, nowhere to go, and plenty of friends to play in it with. As it turned out, I only had one of those, a stocked fridge. I stayed home Monday morning because I’ve only driven in snow once and that was last year. So needless to say I am not an experienced driver in the snow and ice. I came into work around noon. Beside skidding around in the hotel parking lot, I was good. The forecast is calling for ice tomorrow. I am praying for no ice because ice means loss of power and this girl likes a warm house! Looks like it is going to be another cold nasty winter as if last year wasn’t bad enough. After this winter we may pack up and head to Florida! Here’s a picture of the view outside our bedroom window Monday morning. I may not have to dream of a white Christmas because it may be reality!

Photos from Christmas Past

Celebrating Our 1 Year Anniversary Dating at Orpryland Hotel
December 2006

Greyson's first Christmas at Gran and Papa's house
Christmas 2007

Holiday Party

Libby's 1st Christmas


A Few of My Favorite (Christmas) Things

1. Kroger brand sugar cookie dough with Christmas tree sprinkles- It tastes better than any other brand. It comes precut and already has sprinkles and the best part it is a $1.76 for a pack of 24 cookies. They are perfect to take to a friend or a party. I’ve already taken them to one Christmas party, which leads me to my next favorite thing.
2. Christmas parties- I know a lot of people dread them but I love them especially my annual Christmas party with my girlfriends. We started the tradition in college and I hope we never miss a year.
3. Diet Sierra Mist Cranberry- My mother-in-law got me hooked on it a couple of years ago. We both have our fridges stocked full with it during the holidays.
4. Shutterfly.com- G and I ordered majority of our gifts this year for our families on Shutterfly using our wedding photos. They had some great deals this year too. We also ordered our Christmas cards from there which leads me to my next favorite thing.
5. Christmas cards- I think I started working on our Christmas cards in September. I only wish I was kidding. I debated over the design, scripture and picture for two months. I love sending and receiving Christmas cards especially ones with pictures.
6. Christmas music and yes, I dare to say it caroling- My church caroled every Christmas when I was little to our shut-ins. Yesterday, some of my co-workers and I went to an assisted living to carol. It brought back so many great memories and seeing the smiles on their faces as they sang along with us just warmed my heart.
7. Christmas pajamas- And not just any Christmas pajamas but Christmas pajamas from my mom. She has been giving me Christmas pajamas my entire life. It started because she wanted me to look nice on Christmas morning for pictures and the tradition hasn’t stopped and I hope it never does.
8. Giving- I love how giving everyone is at Christmas and there are so many opportunities to give. This year Greyson have given to three children in hopes their Christmas will be a little brighter.
9. Season of advent- I love being a part of a church that truly celebrates the season of advent. One definition of advent is “the arrival that has been awaited”. Each day of advent our church provides a devotional to help our church stay grounded in the true meaning of Christmas.
10. Old and new traditions- I have so many fond memories of Christmas traditions from my childhood and I am excited about the new traditions Greyson and I will begin as we start our lives and family together.

Six Months

Monday was our sixth month wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it. When I look at our wedding pictures I feel like it was yesterday. I am going to be completely honest and not pretend that we have it “all figured out” or “all together” because that is far from the truth. What we do have is God and His grace! There were some days I wondered what have I done? And I am sure G has thought the same. I thankful for all the people who told me marriage isn’t always easy. If they hadn’t I know there would have been days when I would have told myself that it wasn’t supposed to be this hard.

I am particularly thankful for the Klika’s, one of the couples that gathered around us and prayed for us at our wedding. They have been married 52 years and their love for one another is inspirational. When we decided to get married, Mrs. Klika sat me down and told me about some of their struggles they had faced and if it wasn’t for God they wouldn’t have made it through those times. She then told me that each night before they go to sleep that they pray together. She later gave me a hand carved cross from wood from the Holy Land to keep by our bedside to remember how important prayer is in a marriage. That cross sits on our nightstand.
There have been times in these last six months when we’ve come to God pleading for His provision. Marriage is hard work but it is also the most rewarding relationship you can have (aside from God).

I am so thankful to be married to the man who knows the good, bad and ugly and still loves me unconditionally. He is so good to me. Libby and I are treated like a princess and a queen. I can’t imagine having to live without him and hopefully I never will. Love you, G!

In celebration of our sixth month wedding anniversary we had cake from Julia’s Bakery! We find any excuse to go to Julia’s.