Before I get started with this post, I have to say that I have really taken my fingers for granted. Now I know that sounds a bit odd, but yesterday while cleaning my new Ninja master prep drink maker, I cut my thumb and index finger on my right hand. I now have two band aids there because they bled like no tomorrow! It's interesting how the little things in life can remind us to be grateful for what we have. Just a thought, I wanted to share. :) Btw, if you haven't realized it from reading my posts, I'm incredibly accident prone. So this won't be the last post about a random cut or bruise.
So on to my last Christmas post! Yay! Tomorrow I will finally be able to post my New Year's thoughts. :)
Christmas Day Night: John and I made a pit stop at his father's house to drop off Sophie. We then made the short drive to his grandmother's. This trip was a big deal because in the 6 years that John and I have been together, I think he has only been to two of his grandmother's gatherings. So we were so thrilled to be able to make it this year. We started the evening by listening to his grandmother read an inspirational story, apparently they started this tradition last year. I thought it was such a great idea. For all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren to be able to listen to their (great) grandmother read and share her heart. We then said the blessing and had a buffet style set-up for dinner. My plate was pretty pitiful because of the virus. I was happy to be able to talk with everyone and enjoy being together anyway. After everyone enjoyed dessert, it was present time!
The Leviner clan really loves Dirty Santa, so every year the grown-ups do that. I have to say that this year's Dirty Santa was pretty nice. There were great gifts and not too much stealing. John scored a $25.00 Red Lobster Gift card and I got some bath gel and lotion from Bath and Body Works. :) The kids of course, opened their gifts before this. We had only two little ones present this year. Everyone also gives John's grandmother gifts. It's always nice to see her opening her gifts. She is one of the classiest ladies I know. She is the complete definition of a proper lady. (Funny Story: John and his brother got a book of etiquette from her one year for Christmas! ;) After presents and some chit-chat, we headed back to the in-laws.
We exchanged gifts there. This is where I got my amazing, but mean Ninja...lol. John got Iron Man and Green Lantern, which I was also excited about! We then headed to bed after a long night.
The next day John went to work with his dad and I enjoyed a day hanging out with John's grandmother, aunt, and my step-mother-in-law. We went to a shoe store and Belk. Our last stop was my favorite though! We stopped at a place called The Bread Basket. It's a local store owned by a Mennonite family. They make homemade bread, dip mixes, soup mixes, candles, and much more. When you woke in the store, the smell of fresh bread cooking just grabs your nose and holds on for dear life! Such an amazing place and so peaceful! We returned to home base, with a big surprise! Not only was John and his father there, but also Michael (John's brother), Rebecca (his fiancee), and Dean (good friend of John and Michael's from high school). It was so great to see them all! Micheal and Rebecca live in Virginia Beach and we rarely get to see them. We had plans to eat dinner at the local Mexican restaurant, so we all got ready to meet John's aunt and grandmother there. I seriously love Mexican food and I always order the same regardless of what it's called. I get rice and chicken covered in cheese sauce...so unhealthy, but so good! ;) We ended the evening with desserts at John's grandmother's.
Our last day at John's dad's: We enjoyed a delicious breakfast and got to packing the car. I surprised John with a trip back to The Bread Basket for lunch. ;) Lynell (John's step mother) had bought cinnamon raisin bread the first trip and John loved it! So we got a loaf of that and a loaf of sour dough, we also got two sandwiches for lunch. It was all amazing and didn't make it to our final destination...HOME!
After some window shopping and a Starbucks stop, we arrived at John's mom's. (Michael, Rebecca, and Dean had arrived earlier.) We enjoyed dinner together and everyone else played UNO. We then did presents.
I have a pretty amazing mother-in-law: She got me a Nook! (John had told me I was getting one, but I wasn't so sure.) I also got a stocking filled with assorted goodies: Mary Kay products, candy, etc. And a cute hat and wrap from Mark (Avon).
John got: A hat, some money for clothes, and some goodies in his stocking. (I can't remember what all he got)
We also got some nifty flashlights, and Christmas kitchen decor from family members.
Michael and Rebecca got us About a Boy and Roman Holiday (I seriously need to check my collection and make sure I don't have two copies now. I can't remember!) John got a gift card to Game Stop...one happy boy he was!
So that wraps up all the Christmas gift giving for one year! It's not about the gifts, but spending time with all our family makes me feel truly blessed and loved. :)
The rest of the visit was pretty leisurely. One highlight would be spending a day shopping with Rebecca. I got to know her alot better and it felt good hanging out with another girl and developing a better relationship with her. Since this move it has been a little hard. I miss so many of my friends right now. That trip really helped. We went to Yankee Candle and I got some super cute tea lights with owls...my current obsession! I also got a Lemon Lavender candle that smells so good and fresh! We then stopped by Bath and Body Works and I got some hand soap, between this purchase and my mom and mother-in-law, our bathrooms will be covered for hand soap...lol.
The last day of the trip was a hard one. I won't go into details here, but I want to ask all of my blog friends that pray to do so for me. My brother-in-law has a son and it seems that there is no other way to deal with visitation than to go to court. Michael desperately wants to spend time with his child as well as the rest of the family. Please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers. I hope that this all can be resolved in this new year and Oron's best interest will be thought of. (Thank you!)
So that pretty much sums up our Christmas. I will get pictures up when we get our camera back. Hopefully, this weekend.