Saturday, December 26, 2009

our merry little christmas

with a lot of our vacation days used up during the disney trip, our holiday vacation started wednesday night. we managed to get packed up and on the road by dinner time and made our way to fayetteville without too much trouble. alan and rachel, my brother and sister-in-law, brought their two cats to stay as well, so we had a full house of people and animals!

thursday morning, we were up pretty early (because of the animals) and mom and i headed out to do some last-minute shopping. i made a trip to use a coupon at the local "pet supermarket" and stocked up on goodies for pepper and the cats, including this festive (on clearance) t-shirt with a stuffed reindeer on the back. quite amusing...

the other shopping stop was at the local craft store for some more shaped hole-punches. i knew my grandma had colored tree lights, so i wanted to have a couple more options for doing more of the shaped bokeh. so much fun!

i had to settle for white paper here, so i think that affects the overall lighting of the picture. i'll do black paper this evening, along with a tripod.
and some fun non-shaped bokeh. love those colors!
my aunts and cousins came in town, and rachel and i were enlisted to teach my oldest cousin, carmen, how to use hot rollers for her hair. she has gorgeous thick hair that was taking way too long to style--so we ran out for one more trip to pick up a set of hot rollers and taught her (and maria) how to put them in. some fun girl time with some truly beautiful results--look at those curls!
that evening, we went to the Christmas eve service at church and came back for a delicious dinner. before we knew it, it was time to go home and get a few hours of sleep before coming back the next morning.
the big items this year were iPod touches--3 in total, with one going to each of my cousins and another one purchased secretly for my very surprised aunt nancy.
alan was also surprised by a carolina hurricanes jersey...
and he was able to sneak in a nintendo ds for rachel.
justin and i aren't so much for surprises--we had already gotten our big gifts a couple of weeks ago. my 35 mm lens came in handy for all of my last minute christmas card shoots, and justin has been using his surround sound headphones for the xbox (which has also been a huge gift to me--no more huge explosion sounds or gunfire coming from the gameroom!)
we opened presents for a couple of hours...

til it was time for a late breakfast and playing with everything we got. even midnight (carmen and maria's dog) got in on the action.justin and i headed back home mid-afternoon in a heavy rain and a couple of traffic accidents along the way. but we made it just barely to head over to his mom's house for dinner and an evening of rock band.
i was having fun taking pictures of the tree while i sat out on rock band. i want to set up my tripod tonight with our tree to see if i can get better starburst shapes on our lights.

and then this morning...we took it easy. a big pot of coffee to go with the homemade cinnamon rolls from lindsay--
and lounging on the couch as we watched "it's a wonderful life." justin had never seen it!

pepper joined us in the lounging--we had missed her a lot over the weekend since we didn't want to introduce her and midnight, but she's had plenty of cuddle time today. she's now sporting her new collar from the pet supermarket (and i just love it--went with something other than pink) and a sweet pet tag that i got during my Christmas shopping that is a cross with a paw print that says LOVED.
curled up with us on the couch...
such a sweet sweet dog.
we've used the rest of the day to get the house back in order (somewhat) and to take it easy. i love that we've had no plans or schedule and can just enjoy the day together. it's been a long time since that's happened.

so, how were your holidays?