Monday, January 7, 2013

Christmas 2012, Part 1

Happy New Year! We're still catching up and getting back into our normal weekly routine after the holidays, but we do have several things to share on here over the next few weeks or so. I hope to post a bit more regularly this year, but I'm not going to call it a "resolution" just yet.

For Christmas, we drove down to South Carolina to see family. We spent a few days with my parents and grandmother (which this post covers), and then we spent a few days with Ed's family (will cover in our next post).

We had a nice trip. There wasn't much traffic, and we saw lots of farmland and mountains. We broke the trip up into two days, stopping for the night in Franklin, IN, since we didn't leave Rockford until mid-afternoon on the Friday before Christmas and it's about a 14- or 15-hour drive.

Somewhere in Indiana
Somewhere obviously not in Indiana (can't remember if it was KY, TN, or NC)

Once we arrived in SC, we watched a few movies, went to church, did a little shopping, and even did a few quick and easy craft projects. And thanks to a $10 gift card, my mom and I both ate lunch at Chick-fil-A for 44 cents total one day while we were out shopping!

Speaking of Chick-fil-A, the Clemson Tigers (our alma mater, in case you couldn't tell) played the LSU Tigers in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on New Year's Eve, and Clemson won in the last few seconds of the game, in true Clemson form. You could say it was a real cat fight!

And speaking of Clemson, the Clemson Christmas tree ornament was cute this year. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

And speaking of Christmas trees, my parents totally got one for free this year. Sweet!

And speaking of sweet...just kidding. Is that getting funny or annoying? I'm kind of enjoying it. It's pretty much how my mind works all of the time. I'll stop for now.

Anyway, onto some photos from Christmas day. We made some jams, jellies, and a marmalade to give as gifts. We also made some lip balms. I'll post more details and photos of all of that later.

Bernadette holding up some blackberry jam we made
When Bernadette (my mom) opened the lip balms, she tried one on and asked Daniel (my dad) to see if he could smell it, so he kissed her to find out. It was cute. Ed managed to snap a photo, but it came out too blurry. Oh well. They probably didn't want a photo like that on the internet anyway. ;)

We were glad we got to see Joyce (my grandmother), since we hadn't seen her since before we moved to Illinois.
Joyce sitting with Buster (left) and Buddy
The pugs were adorable, as usual. Buddy enjoys opening Christmas presents, but evidently it's not Buster's thing. Buster pretty much just sat there and didn't want to be bothered with it until someone mostly unwrapped it for him. This from the dog who until recently chewed on everything. Obviously, Buddy just has more Christmas spirit and experience than Buster.

Buddy opening his Christmas present
Buster not opening his

We sort of developed this expectation while opening gifts that everyone needed to look really surprised, maybe even shocked, as they opened each gift. We think my dad gets the prize for that.

That second one makes me laugh so hard every time I look at it! Not sure what happened with the lighting, but I think the reddish tint kind of adds to the intensity. He really does like nuts that much, though (which is why he got them), so he may not have been trying too hard to act pleasantly surprised.

Well, we set out the next day for Ed's parents' house, but before we left town, Ed wanted to stop by Death Valley (the Clemson football stadium, aka Memorial Stadium) for a few photos. It was starting to rain and it was windy (the wind was puffing up his shirt in the first photo below--not extra pounds!).

We played in the marching band while we were there, so we spent a lot of time in this stadium.

And yes, the grass was green the day after Christmas. We won't even get to see grass again where we live until maybe March-ish.

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