The holidays are always a busy time, so obviously this blog got put on the back burner for awhile. The month of November was a great start to the holiday season. It was nice to have a few days off of work around Thanksgiving to appreciate the day even more. Jason and I spent the day with both of our families, eating lunch with Grandma and my side of the family and then spending some time that afternoon with his dad's side of the family. Thankfully both celebrated in the same city so we didn't have much driving to do that day.
The month of December was busy as ever. Early in the month our Newleywed group from church (yes, we're still considered newlyweds 3 years into our marriage) had a Christmas Progressive Dinner. The appetizer portion started at our apartment and we had some great food all night long. The theme food was Mexican, so we had... mexican cheeseball, mexican 4 layer dip, taco soup, tacos, enchiladas, and other things I just can not remember. It was a great night. To cap the evening off we joined the Young Marrieds group from church and had dessert and a white elephant gift exchange. Both Jason and myself made out pretty good that night. I exchanged a set of pom poms for a cool oriental looking tassel that the giver thought was hideous. Jason exchanged a dog toy for a parafin wax hand bath. So, I guess I'm the one that made out pretty good that night! The evening was topped off with some of us playing a board game at the Ellises house and staying up much past our bedtimes. But it was fun even though our friend Devon is way too good at board games the involve vocabulary!
I attended and hosted a cookie exchange during December as well in preparation for Christmas. These evenings were great both fun. The first was in Emporia at my friend Jayme's house. We had hot chocolate, wassail, muffins, and butter braid bread. We had a fun game of Christmas Carol Pictionary that was very hard for many of us. What made it hard wasn't just that we had to guess the drawing, but we had to guess what song the drawing represented. I had to draw "The ox and lamb kept time" and "I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus" and something else that I just can't remember at this time. It was a blast though despite it's difficulty. The other cookie exchange was at my apartment and a few girls from our Newlywed group came over. We exchanged our cookies, our recipes and went out to eat at the Cheesecake Factory. Now that's a cookie exchange! We sat and talked and had a great evening together and the cheesecake, it was sooooooooo- good!
Another wonderful even December held for us was Jason's graduation from Graduate School. He now officially can place the letters M.B.A. behind his name. It was a fun day as two of his cousins graduated along with him with their Master's Degrees. We had a family celebration party at his aunt's house where they had delicious food and snacks! Then we spent the afternoon and late into the night playing Mexican Train dominoes, the best game ever!
And finally Christmas! Well, Christmas Eve. The morning we spent at Michelle's parents house opening some presents and hanging out around the 'ole Christmas tree. The afternoon we spent at Jason's parents house where we had Christmas dinner of ham, potatoes and the fixings and more presents. That evening we arrived back at Michelle's parents house to spend the traditional Christmas Eve night enjoying some more food and time with her side of the family. There we had sandwichs, shrimp, veggies, and many choices of dessert. But the night had to be cut short as I worked the next day, Christmas day in OP. But it turned out to be not so bad, and I made a quick drive back to Emporia as soon as my shift was over to finish the day with Grandma's leftovers and board games! Unfortunately for Jason though, he spent the day at his parent's house sick in bed. He felt better by the time I got to town and we headed to grandma's house with me, but felt bad for nearly a week afterwards. Poor thing! December definitly wasn't a good time for either of us health wise, we both had our boughts with the flu bug this year.
New Year's Eve we happened to spend with Maria and Matt who came to visit us for the weekend. These last minute plans gave us a great chance to see the two of them and get to know Matt a little bit better. The weekend consisted of eating out every single meal: Buffalo Wild Wings, DQ Grill & Chill, Joe's Crab Shack, Texas Roadhouse. Next time they come up, we promise to cook for them at least once or twice! But it was all good. Saturday afternoon we spent some time at the mall, watched King Kong (which Maria cried, but not because she was scared to death), and we rang in the new year playing dominoes. Sunday they stayed thru the Chief's game and then headed home later that afternoon. It was a great time getting to hang out with them and I can't wait til we see each other again, hopefully in March or sooner!
Look for more photos to come! Our camera was having difficulties around Christmas/New Years so I'm hoping to get some from others to share.