home sweet home

The wife and I are finally home after an exhausting three days. We haven’t slept in our own bed since last Wednesday night. We I got up on Thursday, went to work as usual and performed my usual morning routine there. What was to follow was definitely NOT routine at all and made for a very long blog post. A little over three days and about 500 miles later, our Christas festivities are now complete. If you want to hear more about our Christmas, read on.

I came home around 11 and Bonnie and I left around 12:30 to visit my sister for her birthday. (Happy Birthday again Sissy! Around 5, we departed from ol’ Polk County and headed up the mountain to Brevard to have dinner and hang out with Bonnie’s high school friends. Us, Matt, Anna, Buck, and Mandy went out to eat at Casey Jones’ and went to Dugan’s Pub afterwards for “undrinks” as Mandy labeled them. We hung out there for an hour or so and then headed back to Buck and Mandy’s house for some relaxing and goofing around. We started watching Blue Collar Comedy Rides Again but gave up and turned if off after about 20 minutes and decided to play “Catch Phrase” instead. Definitely a fun game and we ended up staying awake til 1:30 in the morning playing. About eight hours later, we woke up, had breakfast, chatted a while and then we left for Shelby.

We spend most of the day doing last minute Christmas preparations and just trying to get a little rest. I wrapped the last of the presents and Bonnie did some of her wifely duties around the house. We took about an hour nap at some point in the afternoon, but it’s been such a crazy few days, I have no idea when that actually was. We had Christmas with our kitties: they each got a big ball of yarn their own bottle of treats. We headed to Crestview around 10 so that I could do my technical duties in preparing for the Christmas Eve service at 11:00 pm. Aside from my usual technical work of running the sound, I was also asked to take part in the service my sharing what the Light of the World meant to me. My mom showed up just in time for the service to start and it truly was a beautiful and meaningful service. We got out of there just a little after midnight and headed for home.

Well, by this time, it was Christmas! We had decided in advance that we were going to exchange our gifts once we got home. We did stocking first and then moved on to take turns opening our gifts for each other. I got some things for around the house a nice gray suit, and an Atari Flashback which is just an awesome toy. It has 20 of the classic Atari 7800 games built right in to it’s rather small enclosure and comes with two old-school style Atari paddle controllers.

We stayed awake watching more “Overhaulin’” on TLC until around 2:00 or 2:30 when we finally gave in and decided to nap for an hour. After that, we hopped up, loaded the car and headed to Polk County to surprise my family on Christmas morning. My mom was awake when we got there checking on the Tom the Turkey who was hanging out in the oven and we almost gave her a heart-attach. After a few minutes, she went and got my dad and then shortly after that I went and woke up my sister, who was not as surprised as I had hoped because she wasn’t asleep when we got there and heard us sneaking inside.

Christmas morning there was a hit – we racked up more presents, but more importantly, I got to spend another Christmas morning with my family. FINALLY, around 11, I got “the call” and ten minutes later, Bonnie’s final Christmas present showed up – the 5 1/2 week old chocolate labrador. Talk about surprised! We went and had lunch with my mom’s side of the family and then took off up the mountain again.

Christmas’ at the Miller’s was wonderful as well. Even though we had all agreed to only buy a gift for whomever’s name we drew, “Santa” ended up bringing gift cards to Wal-mart for the daughters and Lowe’s for the son-in-laws. I also got something that I’ve been craving for months now – this awesome Firefox polo. Then we had some yummy pasta dishes and dessert and then sat around watching Blue Collar Comedy Rides Again and laughed our heads off. At this point, Bonnie and myself are barely alive and borderline delirious because we haven’t slept in well over 24 hours, but we decided to play some 90′s Edition Trivial Pursuit with Mike and Kelly anyway with the rule modification that whoever got to three pieces in their game piece was the winner. What seemed like an eternity later at what felt like 2 am (it was actually only 11 pm) Bonnie and Kelly were the winners.

Bonnie didn’t sleep so well because the puppy was a little lonely in the kitchen all by herself, but I slept like a rock until Bonnie made me get up at 5 and take the little one outside. After cleaning up several wet spots and one nice surprise, I was back in bed and slept a few more hours.

On the way down the mountain and after much deliberation, we decided to name our newest child Java. It continues the “geekspeak lingo” of our other pet names, Apache and Pixel as well as representing coffee since she has such a dark coloring. We were back to Polk County now at my other grandparent’s (Dad’s side) at 2 this afternoon and then went to visit a little more family after that.

Well, its 8:30 pm now as I’m finishing this post, and we’ve been home since around 6:30 I guess. The introduction of Java to Apache and Pixel has gone extremely well so far. Neither of our cats have ever been around dogs, so it’s pretty interesting so far.

I’ve taken over 200 pictures in the past few days with the Canon A85 that we purchased a few weeks ago as our Christmas present for each other and they will find a home on the web someday soon I hope.

I hope everyone else had a super fantastic most excellent Christmas, as my first one with my new family was definitely the best ever.