Wow... Christmas has come and gone, once again!  I can't believe it goes by soooo fast!  It feels like just yesterday was Friday, December 21st, in which Christmas was highly anticipated coming the next week.  And now, it's already December 27th!  It definitely doesn't feel like 6 days later...

But, regardless of this all-too-fast-time-lapse, here we are, on December 27, 2012, anticipating the New Year - 2013!  It feels so weird to see that number.... But again, anyway, I will recap my 2012 Christmas holiDAZE that was absolutely fantastic! 

On December 15, 2012, we celebrated Christmas on my mom's side of the family.  I'll be honest here and say that I really do wish we had it on Christmas Eve again like we used to when my Granny was still alive.  It's just that 2 weeks into December is too soon to celebrate Christmas - we were all in shorts and t-shirts because it was pretty much 85 degrees outside, and it felt nothing like Christmas at the time.  However, we ate, and ate, and ate (as we always do) and played Train dominoes and had a blast as always. 

On December 21, 2012 (only 6 short days ago), Hilary, Josh, Colten, and I decided to trek over to the trail of lights in Austin to marvel in all of its spectacularness.  Yes, I know 'spectacularness' is not a word - but it is now! :)  Besides the freezing cold temperatures, it was amazing!  In the five years I've lived in Austin, I've never been to it - although, it didn't happen the last two years due to monetary problems with the City.  But this year, we wanted to get in the spirit and check out what had Austinites talking for months.  Ok, let's start by saying that to get there (and back), we had to travel on a BIG YELLOW BUS!  Wow - I haven't been on one of those in AGES!  Ok, maybe only for five years, but they are definitely a lot smaller than I remember them ... or maybe it's because I'm bigger than my high school years...who's counting anyway?!  Ha.  Once we got there, we had to walk for what seemed like a bazillion miles to the end of the line to get into the trail - which ended up being an hour wait time, and we began at Mo-Pac...we got our exercise, that's for sure!  Once inside, we were in the trail for an hour and a half, in amazement at all of the exquisite light displays - they were gorgeous!  I've always been a fan of Christmas lights, so it was definitely amazing to witness - and a night I'll never forget! 

After getting back on the big yellow bus to head to the car, we all headed home, in three different vehicles.  Add the freezing temps, and exhaustion, and the fact that it was 10 o'clock at night, and we were in for a looooong trip home to mom and dad's.  But, we made it, after a driver switch or two.  The next morning, we celebrated Christmas with our immediate family - Mom, Dad, Hilary, Josh, Chelsea, Colten, and myself.  What a bunch!  Everyone got what they wanted gifts-wise, and then some!  And we had lots of laughs and memories to add to our holidays together.  Then, mom wanted to take family pictures, so we reluctantly got out of our PJ's - it's Christmas...of course I wanted to stay in my PJ's!  We took the picture and then headed to town to visit with Pops since we weren't able to spend his birthday with him.  He, of course, didn't mind and enjoyed the visit, as did we!  We then headed home, where I ended up taking a 3-4 hour nap!  Holy cow!  I didn't realize just how tired I was, but it was a glorious nap.  And all the while, Colten was glued to the bed in the spare bedroom playing on his Xbox.  What would he do without it?!  Haha. 

The next day was Sunday, so we all got ready, dressed in our Sunday best-ish, and headed to church, minus Josh, because he apparently 'celebrated' a little too much the night before with Chelsea's family!  After church, Hilary headed to Victoria to meet up with a friend and the rest of us hung around the house, playing cards, which is always great fun!  Then it was time to head to Yorktown to celebrate Christmas with Colten's mom and step-dad.  They loved the gifts we gave them: 'Bubba' made out of deer horns, a cross, ritz cracker kit, photo charm bracelet, fuzzy socks (who doesn't LOVE fuzzy socks?!), and a set of taco bowls.  It wasn't much, but it was what everyone wanted, so it was great!  Colten received his camoflauge coveralls that he's been dying to get, and I don't think he's gotten out of them once!  Well, maybe a few times, and to sleep possibly.  I got a vacuum food sealer, which I tried out yesterday and it's so cool!  I've always seen them advertised on TV, but I never thought I had to have one.  It's pretty neat.  I also got a cross with the state of Texas on it, from Heather, and from Ricky and Trenton, Colten and I each got a $25 Visa gift card.  We spent the night with every intention of heading back to Schulenburg around noon.  However, we were really enjoying the stay in Yorktown, and Colten's best friend, Kyle, ended up heading over, so we spent Christmas Eve in Yorktown with Colten's family - fireworks and four-wheelers included!  It was a pretty fun day!  We ended it with watching Fireproof on Netflix and staying up until at least 2:30 watching it...whose idea was that again?!  We had to be up the next morning by 5:30 to leave by 6 and head to Schulenburg for Christmas mass.  Boy, that sure was early!  But luckily, Colten drove the entire way, so I was able to nap for about an hour, which was glorious.  Then, to church!  Church sure was pretty empty for Christmas morning!  I was definitely shocked, but many could have gone the night before and to other churches with their families in other towns...it was just kind of weird!  After church, we headed up to Pops's house to celebrate Christmas with dad's side of the family.  We had soooo much to eat, as always!  Everything was so delicious.  We were able to take Pops out for a few hours to spend with us and open gifts - I really think he enjoyed it!  After lunch, we opened gifts.  For my dad's side, we still draw names and buy for one person, which is so fun!  I wish we did it still on mom's side, but traditions are changing I guess.  Sadly.  I got a bamboo dish drying rack that I've been wanting for forever and an iTunes gift card.  I was one happy girl!  Colten got the camoflauge duffel bag he's been dying for as well.  We cleaned up!  After gifts, Pops had to get back to the nursing home, and the rest of us hung around and played Apples to Apples.  If you've never played it before, especially with a crazy bunch of people, I'd highly recommend it!  After that, Colten was bored and headed home to play Xbox - surprise, surprise, right?!  Haha.  Then, Amber, Haley, Nolan, Josh, and I headed home to mom and dad's house as well to play Xbox - Fruit Ninja, FIFA, Angry Birds, and Grand Theft Auto.  We had both Xbox's set up in the living room - it was quite a sight!  And sooo many laughs.  Great cousin bonding time :). 

Yesterday was a catch-up day...which meant I caught up on SLEEP!  I slept until NOON!  We spent the day just hanging out at mom and dad's and enjoying just relaxing with absolutely nothing to do. 

In all, we had a great Christmas holiday with lots of family!  And more importantly, Colten was blessed enough to get all five days off from work in order for us to spend every minute together.  I'm so unbelievably blessed!  And, with that, I'm very excited to jump-start the new year!  It's going to be an even better year, and I can't wait! 

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