Holiday highlights

Often, when I don't blog during a busy time, I find myself starting to avoid it like the plague. Too many things have come and gone that I could have posted about.

But I did not. And that is fine. But now I feel like I need to touch base on all of these things, which turns into a multiple scroll blog and, let's be honest, no one makes it to the bottom without some serious skimming.

Since I failed to blog about any holiday event this past week, I decided to try and highlight some of my top 10 moments. (These are in no particular ranking order, but, instead, are listed chronologically)

1. Christmas day we had a few friends over for a turkey dinner. I successfully made gravy for the turkey for the first time in my life. hmm gravy...

2. Also on Christmas day, I had the chance to take some photos for a family. It was a lot of fun and even though I still have a lot of growing to do a photographer (and maybe a lot of my shots from Sunday were evidence of this), I am grateful to everyone who takes a chance with me. Plus this is what I love to do.

3. We went to Illinois on Monday. Even though traveling 10 hours in a car isn't a highlight at all, we did listen to podcasts of The Bobby Bones Show the whole way there (and back again). It was great. And a fabulous way to pass the miles. (Stopping at the Gap outlet near Kansas City is a nice choice too).

4. As I mentioned, traveling is terrible but seeing my niece and nephew run to the door and yell "Aunt Anna!" when I got there was so fantastic. (Also, I am pretty sure my 2 1/2 year old niece forgot I was there because in the morning when I woke up Mikaela saw me across the house and ran over to me to give me a hug. So cute).

5.  Well, I have to have a little shallow shout out here and say I really liked all my Christmas gifts. The fam did good.

6. I got my 60-something father a bb gun for Christmas so he can keep squirrels off of his blueberry bushes. Even though my dad grew up on a farm shooting rabbits, it was the strangest thing I've ever gotten my peace-lovin Mennonite preacher father. I guess it took living in North Carolina to bring out this rural roots again. Hilarious. (I'm also not allowed to put this photo on Facebook... so shhhh)

7. I got to see my Illinois cousins once again. We used to see them a lot when we lived in that state (obviously), so seeing them now is a huge treat. Plus, our uncle took us all out to eat. wonderful.

8. When I was in central Illinois, I wanted to make sure that I got to the Blend in Washington with my brother. Mostly, I wanted to buy their loose leaf tea that is delicious. But also I love coffee and drinking it with my brother. It was delicious and I will be enjoying my new teas for a few weeks to come.

9.  going to Eli's Coffee shop on our way out of town. (Always a plus).

10. Hanging out with my entire family is, of course, the main highlight. We haven't really been together since before I went to South Africa (in 2009). We saw each other in Tennessee but things were hectic and we didn't really get to spend very much time together. So being all together this time was important.

And just like that the holidays come to an end.