Once upon a time, there were two people who met, fell in love, and then got married. Both of their parents were divorced, so each of them went from two families to four families. And then the craziness of the holidays began. It's a lot of fun, what with all the extended family and relatives, but it also makes it confusing at times. Fortunately, this Christmas was spent mostly with people I know or remember. We'll leave future gatherings for me to get to know my mother-in-law's second-cousins' families, or my father-in-law's cousins' cousins.
December 23rd after I got off work we drove the 550 miles to Birmingham, Alabama. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with Shannon's dad, stepmom, and their family. We went to Green Valley's Christmas Eve service. We opened gifts, ate gumbo (or chili for me since I don't like shellfish), and opened gifts. It was a lot of fun.
All of Shannon's dad's immediate family, minus his mother, who is in a nursing home. Me, Charlie (Cindy's stepdad), Meme (Cindy's mother), Lyn (Shannon's dad), Cindy (Shannon's stepmom), Shannon (Christopher's wife), Christopher (Shannon's stepbrother), Alex (Christopher and Shannon's daughter), Shannon, and Brad (Shannon's brother).
Our neice, Alex. The kids always are the life of the party.
Until you let their daddy get ahold of the eggnog, that is.
We actually didn't have any of the eggnog, but I had to get a piece of Christopher's cowboy hat!
Alex's first Christmas, and the first present she opened all by herself (well, almost).
Uncle Brad putting together the walking toy her bought Alex.
On Christmas Day we spent the morning with the Scarbrough side of the family. Then we packed up the car and headed to Alabaster to spend a couple of days with Shannon's mom and stepdad.
The Murphy side of the family: Milton (Shannon's stepdad), Sharon (Shannon's mom), Brad, Me, and Shannon.
We opened gifts, ate Christmas dinner, and just hung out that evening, doing a whole bunch of nothing. On Friday, Sharon, Brad and I went shopping with all of our giftcards. I got a few desperately needed things and a few fun things, and still have lots of giftcard money to spend. Shannon and Milton even graced the doors of Belk for Shannon to buy a pair of shoes.
Then on Friday evening we celebrated my birthday. Milton grilled chicken and made a salad and we all ate dinner and then had birthday cake. They got me my first-ever ice-cream cake from Dairy Queen...I was super excited.
Yum...mint chocolate chip!
Shannon's double-forking it!
Saturday we lounged around, met one of Shannon's friends for lunch, and then headed back to his dad's place. We met more friends for pizza that evening, and then I helped Lyn download a new virus protector and XP's Service Pack 3. Isn't that update three or so years old? Sunday morning we woke up way too early and headed back to Wake Forest, getting in at about 8:00 pm. It was a long day of driving, but at least the traffic wasn't too bad. Today and tomorrow we're back at work, and then on Wednesday my friend Marci comes to visit! This weekend we're headed out of town again for a wedding in Asheville and will do Christmas with my dad's family. And then we have one more week of break before our January class starts. So, before all the craziness of the new year begins...
Happy Holidays from the Scarbroughs!