Friday, December 31, 2010

A Very Married Christmas (and an Addition to our Family!)

Its tough to be grown up.

When you look on Facebook in early December and all your college friends are heading home on Christmas break, it really hits you how much the real world restricts you.

Fortunately, my supervisor gave me the option of working remotely for a few days before Christmas, meaning Erin and I got to head home for Christmas much sooner than my three vacation days had let us dare hope.

After getting up quite early and driving throughout the day the weekend before Christmas, we were thrilled to get to spend some time with both of our families at a joint family dinner hosted by Erin's parents. Even though it turned out most of my family was sick, we all managed to have a nice evening together.

Then, after a week filled with meals with extended family, an annual party with friends, lots of time hanging out with families, and me working during the day, it was Christmas!

Both of our families went to Christmas eve service together (after hearing the announcement that their church would be celebrating Christmas eve with a fireworks display, my parents decided to join us instead) which was very nice. Then, Erin and I headed over to my families house for our traditional Christmas eve turkey.

After almost my entire family fell asleep watching "A Christmas Story", we all went to bed while visions of sugar plums danced in our heads.

The next morning, we saw a thick coat of white blanketing the lawn. The first White Christmas in Huntsville since the 1960's! It was very cool, until road closings and Erin's aunt getting stuck on the mountain (having to be rescued by Erin's dad in a 4 wheel drive pickup) put our Christmas plans in temporary jeopardy.

We started out the morning opening up presents with my family, then braved the icy roads to make it to Erin's house to open presents with her immediate family before the annual dirty Santa game with her extended family.
In the end, everything went off without a hitch and we had a wonderful Christmas! So wonderful, in fact, that it was quite difficult to make ourselves get up to drive back to Houston a few days later...

Even though we miss home, we have quite the little distraction now after having adopted a 2 month old kitten from a local animal shelter. We've named her Chloe, and you can see pictures of her on my Facebook.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thanksgiving in Charleston

For Thanksgiving Gerrit and I traveled to Charleston to be with his family. His grandparents live there, and we were also joined by his parents and brothers as well as his aunt and uncle and cousins. His grandparents' house backs up to a beautiful reservoir (complete with alligators!), and the weather was beautiful so we spent a lot of time on the back porch.

Thanksgiving day was full of cooking and then eating and then going to see Harry Potter. Then more eating (although I think dinner for most of us was Brownie Trifle). So that was nice and good family time and everything.

But then on Friday was the most important event of the week. The Iron Bowl. And in Gerrit's family this means rivalry (his brother goes to Bama). I have to say, I was more sad to be apart from my family on this day than I was on Thanksgiving (Auburn football makes me miss them!) At first we all started out in the same room watching it. But after the start Auburn got off to, I had to go to another room to watch it. Not that anyone was being mean. More like I wanted to experience my misery alone and be able to talk to the television by myself. So Gerrit and I went back to another room to watch the game. And then I witnessed the most amazing comeback I have ever seen. I really still cannot believe that we won. There are no words really, except WAR EAGLE.

Now we are back in Houston for awhile, trying to get into the Christmas spirit (although it's hard being so far away from family and in relatively warm weather). But we will get to go to Huntsville soon, and we cannot wait to see our family and friends!