Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Four Christmases: SC Edition

The Thursday before Christmas Kelley and I took off for my parents house in Greenville SC. I did work that day, and we got down there kind of late. The kids, at that point, had been at Kelley's mom's house at the lake for an ENTIRE week. So that was a nice vacation for her, and we had a lot of fun just being together as the two of us. But that night was Kelley's birthday, so we stopped at a nice restaurant for dinner that included this slice of goodness:

That was so good I felt like I should be eating it alone at home in sweatpants while crying. It's a warm brownie with an entire Hershey's chocolate bar melting on top served with vanilla ice cream. Oh. Lawd.

After we got down to SC, I got to enjoy the first beer of vacation, a Fat Tire. It did not disappoint. This vacation is the longest I think I've ever had; I don't go back until Jan 2. 13 days out of the office worked out thanks to our holiday schedule. We're closed for 4 days over the holidays, and I planned to take 4 more days of PTO (M & F Christmas week, M & Tues New Year's week) to stretch it out a bit. Then Christmas in SC worked out to be the weekend before, and Spartanburg County wanted us to show up in court on Friday the 20th. So Thursday night we headed down, I had to take a 5th day of PTO, and Friday we won the court case (we had to sue this tenant we evicted to try and collect the unpaid rent). I worked on a Thursday, and go back into the office 2 Thursday's later. Since I usually worked Christmas breaks in college, I think this is the first time since high school I've had 2 weeks off from work consecutively. It's pretty nice, gotta say.

So Friday was the court appearance, the kids came up to Greenville, we got to hang out with SC friends Friday and Saturday afternoons, and overall it was a wonderful trip. But the Barnhill (mom's side of the family) Christmas this year was really cool. 

Uncle Mikey and baby Tula

Our girls loved playing with all of the babies

My Grandmother turned 89 recently

Tula being playful over the couch - also pregnant cousin Sarah
There were BABIES this year! We have 10 grandkids in my generation, and 8 of us were there. But now all 8 of us are married (well, 7, but Morgan is getting married in May), and there were 6 kids running around! Plus two of my cousins are pregnant and due in the spring. With any luck, next year's Christmas will have a couple more pregnancies and even more babies. It's so cool to see the family growing like this.

Missing this year was my Aunt Angie and her clan. She beat breast cancer this year and had another surgery the week before so they were unable to make the trip back to Greenville.

We had a really nice family picture taken as well.

Spending time with family is the best part of the holidays by far. I am blessed to have such a large group of people who love each other to share this time.

Monday morning we did the traditional Flynn family breakfast and Christmas. It was so nice to have everyone over, but I think we all really missed my dad's mom who passed away earlier this year. But Christmas #2 was still wonderful.

Me and my mini-me. Seriously, tell me that's not my exact copy! Freaky. Same face, same posture, same hand position.

Evil Genius was glad to get her own rocking chair for all of the present opening.

The official Flynn family picture, Christmas 2013

It's pretty tough to get me anything unexpected, and I should probably make that last picture it's own Not Wordless Wednesday post. But this year, mom really got me. She was going through some of her mom's stuff when she found a box of my grandfather's old stuff. Some of the paper things just fell apart in her hands, but these were intact enough to frame.

Her dad used to write down everything. This piece in the middle was on some type of industrial cloth like a gym bag. It is his results from the State Track Meet in 1941 for SC, where he took 2nd place in the half mile and missed first place by only 6"! He wrote down the names of his coaches and fellow track teammates as well. The 405 is his race bibs that he wore on the front and back of his jersey. And when Mom told me how proud he would have been that I am a runner now, I totally broke down and cried. I miss him so much - he passed away from lung cancer in 1998 about a month before we got married, and that's still the biggest reason I do what I do today. I knew he played football in high school but didn't know he ran track as well, much less at a state championship level. This is a treasure to me.

Monday afternoon we headed back to Raleigh, tomorrow I'll post the pics from the other two Christmases!


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Aw, that gift from your mom is SO thoughtful!

Wow, Bigun does really look like you! That is crazy!

Glad you won your court case! Enjoy the remainder of your time off! I ended up having 4.5 days off from work in a row which was really nice!

Alisa said...

Justin received some items from his dad this year as well...those kind of gifts are totally priceless.

PS that dam photo needs to be next years xmas card!