07 January, 2012

Christmas Vacation: North Carolina

Fortunately, our vacation was nothing like that in the movie. ;-) We spent a total of 3 weeks on the mainland and enjoyed it immensely.

After entirely too much traveling, too much back pain and too little sleep, we arrived at our first stop - NC - on the 20th. Adjusting to the time difference is always difficult for me, but I was super excited to be in NC and staying with my SIL, Anna {check out her blog!!}, and her little family. I mean, how could you not be excited to spend time with these two cute kiddos?

My niece, Eden, wearing her birthday gift(s) from us. =)

My nephew, Harry, being super cute and happy as usual.
Seriously, isn't he adorable?!

Things started getting busy a few days after we arrived. You know, all the Christmas celebrations and all. I'm not usually one for the busy-ness, but it was nice. =) First we had dinner and a Dirty Santa game with some extended family. It wasn't as fun for me as times past because my preggo brain forgot how to play the game. I boringly chose to grab an unopened present instead of stealing one. Sigh. The next day was a fairly rushed Christmas Eve celebration followed by a Christmas Eve service at the church Anna and her hubby attend. 

 My FIL {known as Pop to the kiddos} with Eden and Harry.

 Jason, Anna, Eden and Harry {well, the top of his head, anyway}.

 Jason being a bit of a goofball. =P

Us opening gifts!

Then on Christmas Day, we got up, got dressed and headed to Grammy and Gramps' {Joe's grandparents} for a pre-church breakfast. This also ended up being super rushed because we were going to church. We had planned to visit our "old" church - where we attended before Joe enlisted - but that didn't work out so well... We didn't realize they weren't holding services on Christmas Day. So we drove back and went to church with the rest of the family instead. =P After church, we headed back to Grammy's for snacks and more presents.

 Grammy's Christmas tree

 It took 3.5 years, but I finally have my own stocking at Grammy's!

 Opening gifts...

 Pop and Bossie {FIL and MIL} with Harry. =)

 My oldest nephew, Kellan, excited about his gifts.

 Showing off gifts.

The only {posed} picture of us from Christmas.
Take note of the beard... Does anyone else's husband boycott shaving during leave? GAH!

After all of the Christmas gifts and dinners {oh my word there was so much food}, we finally had a little bit of down time. Joe spent a lot of time with his dad going to gun shops and ranges {a new development} and I...well, I spent a lot of time with Anna and the kiddos. It was very nice. =) Especially since I ended up being able to go through some of Eden's barely worn clothes and got to bring some of them home for Charlotte!!!

Joe and I were also able to have lunch with some of his "old" friends {who have become my new friends, since they're both girls =P}, Rebecca (along with her hubby and kids) and Katie. We had a really, really great time with them and I only wish we were able to do it more often! Sadly, no pictures were taken... What bad bloggers we are!

On one of our last nights in NC, we were able to get together with most of the people in our old small group. It was so nice to get together with everyone who was able to come and just catch up. We're all on Facebook, but it's really just not the same... It's just so hard to connect with people you don't see all the time or aren't related to, you know? Anyway. Dinner was awesome. We had a great time. The best part about this little get together is that all of us are expecting. Seriously. There were 4 couples there and every single one of us is having a baby within the next 2-4 months. Even better? We're all having girls. How awesome is that?!?!! I just really wish we were going to be there.... I miss NC enough as it is...this doesn't make it much easier. I miss those girls, our friendships, and the fact that we're literally at the same place in our lives. Sigh. 

All four of us in order of due date, from right to left. I'm the last one!

We spent our last day in NC with family. We had 2 weeks there, but it seems like no matter how long we're there it's never enough time. Joe and I kept saying the entire trip that we just have to get back there...sooner rather than later. One day...

Since this post is already long enough, I'll have to fill you in on the last week of our trip later! Stay tuned, it's pretty interesting - complete with a bestie date and Mom drama. ;-)


Chantal said...

How funny you are all pregnant! Seems like everyone is having babies these days hehe.

Julie @ Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life said...

Sounds like a great Christmas! My husband never shaves during leave and his hair grows super fast. He looks so different!

wHiT said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time. That's a great last picture.

JG said...

It's the year of girls! I called it ;) SoldierMan can't go more than a few days without shaving. He doesn't mind being a little scruffy but he can't stand having a beard.

Katy said...

If hubby doesn't have to work there's about a 95% chance he isn't gonna shave either. Looks like you had a great time :) I love North Carolina too! Luckily we'll be moving a little closer sometime this year.

Anna said...

Great post! Loved re-living all the fun times. :) And of course, my cutie-patootie kids helped to make it a real show-stopper, lol.

Optimistic Liz said...

my husband boycotts shaving too! he just had his 30 days after deployment and it was awful!! Thank goodness he shaved it after 3 weeks! he was getting really irritated skin under the hair.
I am glad you glad such a good christmas on the Mainland and in NC. We're moving there in March!

Amanda said...

I love it when my hubby doesn't shave. I may be one of the few that does.. so leave is a favorite time for me.

Glad you had a good time in NC!

Jes said...

I hate the leave beard!

Katie said...

Love all the pics!! And yes, I cannot believe we didn't take a photo at lunch!! Lol.

Lydia said...

My husband likes to don the leave beard as well, but I love him with a facial hair though. Well, he looks good in it, that is. I don't enjoy the prickly kisses. He knows it's time to lose the beard when I start resisting or shortening the kissing. lol!

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Wow! You had one busy Christmas holiday!!