Sunday, January 9, 2011
Traveling home for Christmas/New Years:
December 22nd Zach and I jumped on a plane headed to Tampa. As soon as I started to recognize some of the Tampa wonderfullness I let out a sigh of relief. I didn't realize that whole time I was -semi- holding my breath. I felt relieved to be back in the familiar. Though even as we arrived I felt a bit of sadness knowing I only had 2 weeks to enjoy all of the people I love. However, those two weeks were absolutely wonderful. Crazy. But wonderful. I could take you through all of our traveling zigzagging adventures in the land of Florida, but I won't. It's exhausting to even think of everywhere we drove and how quickly we left.
Zach and I love being in Saint Augustine. It is very much our home away from home. I mean, for Zach it actually is home. We spent time with Zeke, Zach's momma, Grandma and Grampa Grant, friends, and good ol' Saint A. Christmas Eve Eve we all pitched in and made a delicious dinner. It was wonderful to be in such a small warm space surrounded by family and love. Christmas Eve we went to the Christmas Eve Service with Grandma and Grampa Grant. It was beautiful. We love them. After the service we exchanged gifts with Zach's mom, gave hugs and said our goodbyes. Around 1:30am we headed to Tampa.
Christmas morning we woke up in the Madden/Jones home. I love my home. Especially at Christmas. I wish I had taken more pictures. It's so comfy cozy and smells delicious. And by delicious I mean a mixture of scented candles and dog. All the girls were in their matching oh-so-cheesy PJ's. That morning there were 10 of us sitting around the fireplace opening Christmas gifts. Soooo much love. After the gifts were open we all took showers and got ready for extended family to join us for some tasty food. After all the yum yums we played a hilarious game of White Elephant which always contains some type of sexual gift. Last year it was a Kama Sutra book that Nonny chose, "Well what is this?" she said as she flipped through the pages. This year it was a Penis Pokey book and a Naughty Joke book. The second of the two was supposed to be an actual gift for someone, but the jokes ended up being a bit too naughty. It was hilarious. Zach and I ended up with some really nice hangers---I can't pass up free hangers that won't break---and a Modern Family DVD---Zach stole it from Dad---. That night we went to the Tampa Theater with my Aunt, Uncle, and cousin to see The Kings Speech. It was really good. The next few days were filled with relaxation, another movie (True Grit at Cine Bistro, also really good), and yummy food. I love my family so much and I honestly cannot wait to move back down South.
Zach and I went to visit Mom! We had a really nice time. It's the first Christmas in a long time that we were able to be together. She made a real southern meal for us. Pork chops, spoon corn bread, turnip greens, macaroni and cheese, and sweet tea. So yummmmy. We drove around a bit, got lost, and then ended up at World Market. She had never been there so it was really fun. After we got home we made popcorn and watched Sling Blade. I always thought it was some type of action -lots of blowing up cars-movie. I was a little off.
----New Years at the Farmhouse!----
Oh man. So fun. 19 people and 2 dogs all in one house. Weeee. . . played games, shot guns, sat by the bonfire, drank. . . a lot, hugged, played with dogs, rode 4 wheelers, ate more yummy food, flew a kite from an ATV, took pictures, and so much more. It was a fantastic time and I was so incredibly sad to say goodbye. I wanted to cry every time.
And now we are back in Princeton. When we arrived there was snow on the ground. Then 4 days later it snowed even more. A lot more. And so now we are surrounded by a wonderful winter wonderland. So, even though I miss Florida and all of its wonderful inhabitants, I am enjoying living in the North for the time being. We have a year and a half left and I know it's going to fly by. Also, I'm planning on applying to Saint Augustine University for their OT program. So that means I have to start studying for the GRE's. Fun fun fun.
Miss you and love you all.