Monday, December 01, 2008

How to Have a Great 12 Easy Steps

How was everyone's Thanksgiving? And the rest of your long, holiday weekend?

Mine was SUPERB, and I hope all of you had a wonderful one as well. (I have been remiss in coming by all of your blogs, but I am absolutely hoping to catch up on my blog-visiting today, so I can't wait to visit and see how your holiday went!)

Our holiday and weekend were filled with all sorts of good from faraway places, all sorts of great food, some Christmas activities, and (of course!) a big (HUGE) Bama win.

But instead of me just telling you all about it, why don't I share pictures with you from the weekend? Then you can just see all the evidence--in 12 easy steps--for yourself.

We spent the first part of Thanksgiving Day at Gan Gan's (Gary's grandmother) house. There was so much good food (Gan Gan makes the best dressing EVER, and I was still eating leftovers of it last night!), and all sorts of family gathered there. It was a great way to start the day!

So, we get started there with...

# 1
Pose for pictures with your cousins.

#2 Wrestle with your cousins.

Manage to take a family photo.

Then it was off to my parents' house, where a huge family gathering was taking place. My Grandma came from Texas, along with an uncle and another aunt and uncle and cousins. And then an aunt and uncle came from North Caroline, as did another cousin and friend. Throw in McKenna's boyfriend, my brother and his wife, my nephews, and my sister-in-law's parents, and we had quite a crew. It was perfect, and gave us plenty of opportunities to...

Play backyard football.

(Sydney was the designated cheerleader.)

Pose for a BIG family picture.

Get a "four generations" picture with Grandma, Mom, me, and the girls.
I am treasuring this one.

Box your boyfriend.

(For some reason, we have always had boxing gloves in our house. As a child, my brother Christopher and I would have heated boxing matches; and it continues today.)

Play Guitar Hero.

Cheer on the Longhorns.

(and get disgusted by my cousin's love for the A&M Aggies)

Host a Tea (and then a Coffee) Party.

(This was the CUTEST thing, and I've decided that Sydney seriously has a future as a waitress or barista.

Sydney started off by inviting all of us--several times--to a tea party, complete with a real tea set but "imaginary" tea. After she enjoyed that so much, Dad asked her if she wanted to serve our coffee. She set out the cups and the stirrers and the sugar and the creamer. She poured the coffee from the carafe, asked everyone what they wanted in their coffee, and had the most fun doing it. Everyone was so impressed by her "proper-ness" as she served everyone, and she even got tips for the great service!)

Cheer Bama on to a great (huge, exhilirating, JOYFULl!!!) win!!!

Well...Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year, and I'd been anticipating seeing my Grandma and other family members, and the food was just outstanding...but I would be lying if I said that I COULD NOT WAIT to get on campus and in the stadium for the Alabama-Auburn football game. Going into the game, we were 11 and 0 and ranked #1 in the country; and, even though we felt like we should win the game pretty easily, you just never know when it's a rivalry game. And, besides, Auburn had a six-game winning streak on us.

The crowd, though, was absolutely pumped up (loudest I'd EVER heard it) and the game was absolutely thrilling. We ended up winning 36-0, and there was just this huge sense of relief and joy that filled every corner of the stadium. Partly because it meant we'd just completed an undefeated season, that we still have a chance to win the national championship, and that we beat Auburn.

The stadium got louder and louder as the game went on and by the time the last five minutes were ticking down, it felt like the stadium was going to explode. SO. MUCH. FUN.

Gary went with me to this game (the first game he's attended with me all season long) and we ha a great time. Here are a few pictures of the game (from the drizzly, foggy the crowded the scoreboard with each change of score...and, oh yeah, me looking pretty excited to be there!).

Start to get ready for Christmas.

Sydney was so excited to help Mom and Dad get their Christmas tree up and start to decorate it with them.

And we got to enjoy some other Christmas preparations as our weekend winded down to a close. On Sunday evening, we had our annual Family Christmas Tree Decorating at church (we have a meal, then sing fun Christmas songs and then Christmas carols, and then each family puts an ornament up on our tree); Sydney and the other kiddoes practiced for their Christmas play; Gary got our Christmas decorations out (I'm starting to work on them today); and we celebrated with our first night of Family Advent in our home (this is one of my most precious Christmas traditions, and it's the primary way we keep the focus on Christ during the holiday season). It is absolutely "beginning to look a lot like Christmas"...and I, for one, am excited about it!

Whew...that was a long post, but it sure made me happy just looking at those photos all over again and reliving all the good moments with all of you.

I can't wait to hear all about your holiday too. I hope it was a great one!


Becky Welch said...

Glad to see you had a great holiday along with two big wins - Texas and Bama!! I have pictures to post about that later!

Adrienne said...

Aww I love this post!!! Glad to see you all ahd a great time!

hippo chick said...

What a delightful post. I knew you would have a wonderful weekend. I loved the picture of your family; the four generations (what a treasure) and you at the Bama game. What fun!!!

I will post lots of stuff when I get home. We leave Tuesday. It's been a great trip.

Have a wonderful week.

~hippo hugs~

Gin said...

What fun you guys had. I love all of those pictures.

Kingcover said...

We don't have Thanksgiving in the UK but luckily I don't need to make a dumb dumb out of myself by asking what it is because I already know *Gareth 1, Dumbness 0*.

I see in the magazine rack in the boxing picture you have magazines called 'Southern Living' (at first I thought it said 'Summer Living' and then I thought "why in the heck would they still have books about summer months"). Anyways why do you need a magazine to tell you how to be a Southern since you are already one??? Heeeeeehehehehe ;-)

I had one millimetre of snow during the weekend. Does that count as snow or a very thin layer of easily evaporated ice?!

Kingcover said...

Southerner I meant

Cheryl Wray said...

Becky--I love finding other Bama AND Texas fans. :-)

Adrienne--We had a blast!

Pam--I can't wait to hear more all about your trip!!

Gin--It WAS fun!

King--LOL Yep, we need magazines to tell us how to be Southerners. :-)

Dettao said...

Hook em horns! LOL

Looks like everyone had a great time and I am so glad to see some burnt orange in those photos.

Yvonne said...

Love the pictures of the family. Thanks for sharing with us.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. These are some gret memories.

Gretchen said...

I loved all your family pictures, Cheryl. Your mom looks so young! And what a beautiful grandma. You and the girls look precious, too. I would treasure that "girl" picture, too. Sounds like your holiday was all it was meant to be and more.

Edleen said...

Cheryl, your posts always makes me Smile! looks like so much fun you all had :)

have a Great December!

Jeff said...

I LOVE Sydney serving the coffee. I don't know why that struck me like it did, but it's completely adorable.

I was glad to hear that Bama won too, and in their stadium no less!

We had a good Thanksgiving. It was nice and quiet. We basically cooked up a "Barefoot Contessa" Thanksgiving. We loved everything she cooked on her "Back to Basics Thanksgiving" so we whipped that up since our usual potluck plans got derailed this year. You should try her Apple/Sausage's amazing!

camport said...

Love all your football pics! And the generation one, too. I have a few with my Grandma that I am so glad I got!

So glad you guys had a happy Thanksgiving!

Cheryl Wray said...

Detta--I bleed Crimson, but there is plenty of burnt orange in my veins too. :-)


Anon--Yes, some absolutely great memories!

Gretchen--My grandmother is absolutely gorgeous. So fashionable for her age and young-at-heart. And Mom looks young maybe I have some hope. LOL

Cheryl Wray said...

Ed--Thanks! I hope you have a wonderful December too!

Jeff--Sydney serving the coffee was SO adorable. She is something else! I love the Barefoot Contessa, but have never actually tried any of her recipes. I'm going to have to go check out her Thanksgiving menu. Thanks for the tip!

Chrissy--Backyard football is a Thanksgiving tradition, so I also loved those photos!

Sheila said...

WoW that was a fabulous Thanksgiving and what better way to. The 4 generation pic is beautiful.

Maria said...

Awesome post Cheryl! I love, love, love, all the family pictures! Awesome times.

scrappermimi said...

Looks like a fantastic holiday, tfs your picture. You were super busy too!

Congrats to you and BAMA even though I am a Penn State girl! LOL

Monogram Queen said...

I knew you would have some awesome holiday pics! My Thanskgiving was wonderful as well although I have no pics to share.

Oh I forgot to say i've gotten brave and am taking part in a cookie swap this week-end. Should be interesting!

Holiday Hugs my friend!

Heather said...

Wow Cheryl the photos, especially the posed ones with your family, were fabulous. I loved the ones of the football game too.

It sounds like you had a wonderful holiday! I thought it was too cute that Sydney served the tea. LOL

Mississippi Songbird said...

We've got our tree up, but not the outside lights yet.. Maybe this weekend...
Merry Christmas!