Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy New Year!

2004 has ended, and another year begun. Although I meant to post about our Christmas travels earlier, we have had quite the busy holidays, which left little time for blogging. Here, though, is a recap of our celebrations and travels.

Thursday, Dec. 23: Traveled to Lake Martin, near Auburn, Alabama and enjoyed time with my parents. Read. Ate. Slept.

Friday, Dec. 24: Slept in. Enjoyed a lovely brunch (with quail!) with my mom's brothers and sisters. Read. We went to a nice little Christmas Eve Communion and Candlelight service at Red Ridge UMC. This was the first time my parents had visited there, since we were spending Christmas at their lake condo which they mostly use when gong to Auburn football games-- it was a neat service. Liturgy in any form is so refreshing.

Saturday, Dec. 25: Opened presents (from all of my family) and exchanged presents with my parents. Highlights included: money to buy a CD player for our new car, a small outdoor table for our porch, various DVD's and CD's, and lots of books. Traveled to Sylacauga, Alabama, to visit Gaines' grandmother and stepgrandfather. Ate an extremely delicious and extremely large meal. Opened more presents. Highlights of the day included playing Nerf N-Strike (it has an interactive DVD!) with his young cousin (and almost suffering a concussion when he shot me at point blank range, while Gaines almost had a broken tooth when the little boy head-butted him). Avoiding any more near-catastrophes, we traveled back down to Montgomery to spend time with Gaines' parents and sisters and their dog. And we exchanged more presents! More gift cards, DVD's, clothing, and fun. I also got a neat "teacher-bag" and a subscription to Southern Living, which I've missed reading.

Sunday, Dec. 26: Yet another trip, this time to Hueytown, Alabama, to visit Gaines' other grandparents and extended family. Another extremely delicious and extremely large meal, and it was time to exchange even more gifts. This is also the site of the famed Waters family gift-swap, in which everyone brings a present they'd really like to have and tries to get it back through much finagling and mischief. Then we rode back to Montgomery with his sisters. Where Gaines proceeded to play Halo 2 while I succumbed to the addiciton that is Sims (the 2nd).

Monday, Dec. 27: Exhausted from our action-packed weekend, we slept in yet again, and then drove back to Atlanta. We stopped on our way to have lunch with my parents at Cracker Barrel (yummy!) and then headed home.

Tuesday, Dec. 28th: Gaines, sadly, had to work. And I had plenty of Apartment Life tasks to catch up on. In the evening, we attended respective Bachelor/Bachelorette parties for our friends Chris and Kara. It was a late evening, needless to say.

Wednesday, Dec. 29th: Again, Gaines was at work. I however, got to go bargain shopping for a dress for the upcoming semi-formal wedding at Filene's Basement. That night, we were graciously invited to the after-rehearsal dinner at Maggiano's. We enjoyed a fantastic meal from start to finish, seeing baby pictures was a hoot, and we enjoyed seeing friends old and new.

Thurdsay, Dec. 30th: Gaines' last day at work this week. He actually won't be back until next Thursday, since we're going out of town. This was the evening of our friends' wedding at the upscale Buckhead Club on the 18th floor of the Atlanta Financial Center. What a fantastic view of the city. It was a beautiful ceremony presided over by a friend of the groom, a Presbyterian minister who now lives in Atlanta. We enjoyed an evening of dining and dancing with friends (well, we refrained from the latter at the risk of embarrasing ourselves).

Friday, Dec. 31:
After enjoying a nice long morning of sleeping-in, we ate lunch at our favorite BBQ establishment. In the afternoon, after cleaning up around the house, we watched a few episodes of Alias. I got seasons 1 and 3 for Christmas, completing my collection, so we started at the beginning and are working our way through. Since we've seen them all at least once, it is nice to watch knowing what we know now... We spent the evening entertaining some out-of-town guests, friends of the bride and groom who were very recently married themselves. Since they were both from the Sunshine State, they requested that we watch Vernon, Florida, since they had heard about the odd documentary, but never seen it. We also watched "Treehouse of Horror IV." What night wouldn't be complete without an episode of the Simpsons? After taking them back to their hotel since they had an early flight this morning, we celebrated the New Year with some champange and a few more episodes of Alias, of course!

So, as you can see, it has been a very exciting, action-packed week. YOu may have also noticed a theme: lots of good food and sleep. It's nice to have a few days to rest before we travel tomorrow to the Auburn Avenue Pastor's Conference in Monroe, Lousiana. Road trip, here we come!

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