This has been one of the most enjoyable Christmas’s I can remember. We had a great time! It all started on Thursday night of last week. We went to the Platten’s house in Collierville for Christmas with Laura’s family. We had to do it early because they were heading out to St. Louis on Friday. Julie was back in town and so was Kathleen. Kathleen wore the most adorable sweater I think I’ve ever seen. I really wish we’d set up the photo studio and gotten some quick Christmas portraits.
Friday was a short day at work and by 2:30 we were on our way to Brandon to spend Christmas with my family. Laura and Ryan and my grandmother were there most of the weekend. We had a blast. Dad bought a Karaoke machine. I thought it was a crazy idea when he bought it. I thought it was even crazier when he suggested getting it out on Friday night. As it turns out, though, we had a ball.
Sunday morning we went to Church with my parents. That afternoon me, Dad, Laura and Ryan went hunting in Kosciusko. I wasn’t planning on shooting anything so I took my camera. I took a gun, too, but really don’t need any meat right now. I managed to get some great photos. In fact, I got some picutres of a three legged deer. It was about 250-300 yards away so its a little blurry.
One of the best things we found out while we were in Jackson is that Laura and Ryan are expecting! She’s about three months along now. Haley’s going to have a cousin!
On Christmas eve we headed back to Memphis. We were able to go to church at Hope for a Christmas service for the first time since we’ve lived here. They just opened the new sanctuary this weekend and it is incredible. Holds around 5000 people! They had Christmas services starting on Friday I believe, and they continued through Christmas eve. In total, about 24,000 people came to one of the Christmas services at Hope. Unreal!
So Christmas day was today. We woke up early and opened gifts. One of the gifts I got Laura was a slideshow DVD of stuff from the past year. It was a lot of fun watching that. Amazing how quickly time flies. It was also a hoot watching Haley with her new stuff. We cooked a big breakfast and took a nap. When we got up, we went to the park. Yep, the park. It was 67 degrees here on Christmas day. You have to love that!
Its always easy to know when Christmas time is here. Weekends become non-existant. Between getting ready for Christmas and celebrating Christmas, there’s very little time to even remember why we’re celebrating in the first place. That’s really unfortunate. Laura and I are working hard to make sure we keep the right perspective.
This past weekend we went to a party at “Handsome” Jimmy “The Tulip” Shires’ house. For the most part, the guest list was comprised of folks from our Sunday School class. Jimmy pulled out all the stops. The food was good and he had a laundry list of activities. From Christmas trivia to a Christmas carol quiz. We even divided up in to teams and played Don’t Forget the Lyrics, Christmas style. It was really fun to watch people try to remember the lyrics to songs like “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch.”
Saturday we went to Tupelo to meet my Dad’s side of the family for Christmas. Most of the family was there. There were a few that couldn’t make it, but we had a great time. We played dirty Santa. Laura wound up with a gift card of some sort and I got a battery charger. About 5:30 or so we left Tupelo and headed back to Memphis. We changed and were out the door again to go to Kim and Kevin Humphries’ Christmas party. Haley stayed with her friend, Dakota, while we were at the party. Kim and Kevin’s party was Mexican themed. They brought in On the Border, which really hit the spot. It was a ton of fun as always.
We spent Sunday recovering from all the running we’d done all weekend. We had an open house that was pretty unsuccessful. We’re thinking really seriously about moving. Part of me is really excited. We’re looking to get a bonus room that I can use for photography in the new house and a three car garage. That gives me a workshop. The bad thing is, I’ll be farther from work and will no longer be able to walk to Shelby Farms. I think now is the time to make the move, though. We’re continuing to pray about it.
One thing we’re really excited about this year is watching Haley at Christmas. She is changing so much every day. It seems like every time I turn around something new is happening. She pulled up to a standing postion this weekend and has learned to clap. I was a little upset at how long it took her to clap, but she’s definitely got it now. She claps and smiles all the time. We’re going to be in Memphis for Christmas eve and Christmas day. Its going to be strange, but exciting. Strange that we won’t be with family. Exciting that we’ll be together. We’re starting those family traditions. I couldn’t ask for a better wife and daughter to start those traditions with.
Christmas is right around the corner and we’ve got lights up! It gets dark early now, so the lights had to go up at night once I got off work. It was pretty humorous for those who drove by who saw me 30 feet up on an extension ladder hanging lights on the peak of our house. They are up now and looking good, though.
We got some pictures made of the family for our Christmas cards. We’ve been having a lot of fun lately watching Haley grow up. Some of her little friends are clapping already. Haley isn’t. We’re going to have to work on that clapping! She’s crawling around a ton, though and laughing like crazy. She is such a good girl. We’ve got a few new videos of her up if you want to check them out.
I ran the St. Jude half marathon last weekend. It went pretty well. Especially considering the limited amount of time I’ve put in training over the past couple months. I’ve really only had a chance to do one run a week. When I’ve run the long runs lately, I’ve been doing a slow but steady 10 minute or so pace.
About a mile or so into the half, I started thinking I could be on pace to break two hours. Somethign I figured was impossible this year. I finished up at 1:59:09. Not too shabby. Far from a record for me, but for the amount I trainied, I was happy. I was pretty sore for a day or two afterwards, though. At least I finished!