January 8, 2012

We Traverse Afar

Whew...Christmas wrap-up a little late. In my defense, we were just gone for Christmas. In fact, it was quite a trip. We left as soon as SoldierMan was released for Christmas block leave. We loaded up the Exploder with laundry, presents and puppies and headed north to Oklahoma. We stopped overnight, which is a story too long for this post and may or may not have involved a dog-fighting ring (I'm still not sure).

Anyway, we finally arrive in OKC with just enough time to get settled in and cleaned up in time for SoldierMan's sister's wedding.

If you look closely, you can see us on the right. It was one of the most beautiful, fun weddings I've ever been to. She was gorgeous, glowing and the happiest I've ever seen her. It still chokes me up to think about it. You know that old saying about being happiest when the people you love are happy? That's what it was like.

The rest of the week leading up to Christmas was filled with shopping, chasing runaway puppies (post to come), Mazzio's pizza, yellow queso and spending time with family.

Finally, Christmas Eve came. The biggest day of the year. We went to lunch with my grandparents for their 58th anniversary, at their choice, Golden Corral - which has a chocolate fondue, in case you weren't aware. And a cotton candy machine. It's high-class.

We went to my mom's family's Christmas Eve party, where we had almost 60 people...and quite a few missing! That's always a fun get-together. It's a big pot-luck with all my aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, cousins-multiply-removed.....it's a blast.

The feature event, of course, the the Mickey's Christmas Carol Sing-along video.

It's the best 30 minutes of the season. The whole family sits around the TV and we pop the tape into my parents' old VHS player and sing along with the bouncing Mickey head.

Sister and Fiance

Brother and Girlfriend

Me and Soldierman

After the video, we said our goodbyes to the group - yes, all 50+ of them - and ran over to SoldierMan's family's Christmas Eve celebration. We got a couple of new in-laws on that side, and we have four nieces and nephews, it always makes for a good party with SoldierMan's five siblings and their families. We play Secret Santa on that side (Am I allowed to say "Santa"?) and that's always fun. This year we got an extra surprise: One of SoldierMan's sisters - they're all really talented and creative - she made the rest of us customized aprons, commissioned by my MIL.
Yes, mine is Gryffindor! How awesome is that? That's all of us in our aprons (MIL is wearing the Bride's, who was still on her honeymoon). Pretty sure I was squee-ing for a whole 24 hours :)

Christmas Day my dad's family met at my mom's for lunch and Dirty Santa. (All these pictures were taken by my aunt. Somehow my camera never made it out of my purse...imagine that...)

Dad "fixing" the cakes

Cousin, Brother and Mom

And playing bell chimes....

The next day we were on our way home. We loved being home and seeing everyone, and never got enough time with anyone, of course. Can't wait to go back.


  1. Looks like fun! I LOVE the aprons, what a fun gift! And your Mickey sing-a-long?! Such an awesome tradition :)

  2. Looks like a wonderful time with family and friends!

  3. Looks like a fantastic time. Love all the different aprons! :)


  4. What a wonderful Christmas you had! My brother is probably going to be engaged soon and I can't wait!


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