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The one with a few more Christmases

Tuesday, December 31, 2013
The day after Christmas we woke up and had a leisurely morning at Ann and Gary's. Andrew, Matt and Gary went to breakfast and to CCI to turn in the pump and put the finishing touches on that round of chemo. I hit up the after Christmas sale at The Greenery and got some good deals on awesome ribbon and a new wreath for our side door for next year.

Grandmama (Gary's mom) and Aunt Lisa came up for a visit around lunch time. We had lunch and opened more presents. Perry got a little people nativity set which will be so fun for years to come, an animal puzzle, and a bubble mower. Ben got this awesome bike thingy from Grandmama that we had to immediately be put together and tried out. It looked so fun.

We headed home mid afternoon so Perry could get a nap in before heading over to have Christmas with my Dad, Krista and Caroline. Caroline had just gotten back from a study abroad trip to Italy and it was great to hear about it and see pictures. And she brought us back an awesome tie, scarf and ornament as Christmas presents. Dad and Krista bought Perry a baby-sized leather jacket. Perry knew he looked cool in it. Ok, not get him to smile in this picture Caroline is holding up a cat above my head.

Perry also did a lot of practicing on his walking.

Mommateen and PawPaw, Deane and Greg and Debbie came over for dinner too. It was great to visit with them another night. We also celebrated my birthday a little early with a song and cake.

Whew. I think that is the end of the Christmas 2013 posts. And the end of 2013 posts all together as it is 10:45 on New Years Eve. And clearly we have been having a wild and crazy night since I am sitting here doing this on the sofa while watching football an hour before midnight. The year has been eventful and full of changes. It has been full of amazing experiences and memories as well as a sprinkling of hard moments and sadness. 

We are anxiously preparing for and awaiting the weekend ahead celebrating Perry's first birthday and we are looking forward to see what 2014 has in store for us. No matter what, I am so blessed and grateful to have these two boys by my side.

The one on Christmas evening

Mid-afternoon on Christmas day we went over to Andrew's parents house. We opened tons of presents while we waited on the traditional Christmas lasagna to finish cooking in the oven. We take our time going around and watching each person open a present. We focused on the kiddos at first so they would have things to play with while the adults opened presents later. Perry got an awesome cow flashlight that "moo's", a bunch of books, the Phineas and Ferb Christmas movie and ornaments, a popper, some more duplo legos, and too many other things to list. Ben bought him a present all on his own at the school's mistle toe market. He bought him a cute baby spoon with a bear on it. So sweet.

Perry also got a "brown puppy" from Granna and Granddaddy. Ben got a brown puppy Webkinz stuffed animal when he was a baby and he loved it and still sleeps with it at night. Granna bought a "backup" puppy several years ago in case Ben ever lost his (which he never did) so the puppy that has been collecting dust all these years has a new home and adoring little boy owner. Perry already is in love with his brown puppy.

Granddaddy got lots of new hats and gloves and things to stay warm with and a photo book of the nearly 300 "Team Gary" pictures we have been collecting over the past six months. He had chemo the week of Christmas and it wrapped up mid afternoon on Christmas day. One of their sweet nurses at CCI agreed to come over to their house and un-hook him on Christmas so he didn't have to stay connected to the pump until the next day.

Kate and Ben got all kinds of new toys and fun things. Kate was excited to get a new Auburn cheerleader outfit from us. Ben's special gift from us was a "science kit." Emily said to get him a science book, and I a few (bunch of) other things. Like everything he needs to extract DNA from a strawberry, and make gummy worms, and dissect a pig kidney. Yeah, I am that Aunt apparently that gives preserved animal specimens for Christmas that I got for free at a teacher conference last month. Ben and Kate were both ecstatic to get Despicable Me 2. They had been talking all day about how they didn't get it from Santa or their parents.

The gift of the year though was "E" books. Pretty hard backed books cut into the shape of an "E." Ann got one for me and Emily, while Emily got one for Ann. So funny. And not the first, or second, time we have gotten each other the same monogrammed thing (and in the same letter since we all share the same last initial).

It was such a fun afternoon and evening. We stayed at Granna and Granddaddy's that night so we could put P to bed and keep having fun. We eventually fell into bed to get some rest before our last two "Christmases" the next day.

The one on Christmas morning, part II

Saturday, December 28, 2013
About 10 am on Christmas morning, the Moreland family came over. Perry was napping when they got there so we got to have some adult time and feast on Christmas brunch. It was quite the spread of food, complete with a "dressed up" watergate salad.

    Christmas morning mimosas

After brunch we opened presents. Perry got a dancing sock monkey, electronic remote control, interactive teddy bear (that teaches body parts) and a mickey mouse clubhouse play set, to name a few.


    Me and my daddy

All of the gifts were awesome and most of them were things we really wanted. This one being a slight exception...and yes, it has sound effects.

And this was a gift that came wrapped in a box which was explicitly not part of the gift...complete with a note that said to return the box to the giver. Apparently Kay was scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of boxes to wrap in this year and had to resort to unpacking boxes in the attic. lol.

We also had some fun with the DIY photo booth I set up. I think it turned out pretty darn cute and we had fun mixing and matching the props. The background is just pretty wrapping paper taped to the wall with painters tape. I need to remember that little trick for taking pictures with fun backgrounds.




    I love this family photo!

The annual family photo, with and without crowns (from our Christmas poppers)

We always celebrate my birthday after we have finished all the Christmas food and presents. My aunt got me a Great American Cookie Company cookie cake (which is the best cookie cake on the planet I am convinced). I was in heaven.

It was such a fun time. There is never enough time on Christmas day to do all the talking and laughing that you want. But we made the most of the few hours we had and it was a very merry christmas.

    Perry and his Papaw

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