Christmas recap

I have everything put away and most of the house is back to normal so I thought I would finally write my post about the holidays. I’ll just continue to ignore the 2 loads of laundry waiting to be folded until I’m finished 🙂

The holidays started off with my first 5K – Ryan’s Reindeer Run in downtown Fayetteville. The longest distance I’ve ever ran before this was only 2 miles, so 3 seemed like quite the daunting task to complete. I was warned by a girl who ran the race a year before, that there were 2 huge hills to conquer. Unfortunately for me, there were 4. We had to run up and down 2 hills, then I found out at mile 1.6, that we had to turn around and run back the same way we came. The 2 downhills that seemed awesome at the time, were looming ahead, waiting to be ran up. Even though the hills were challenging, I was determined to run the whole race without stopping. I ran the whole way and finished with a time of 34 minutes. Not as fast as I would have liked to run it in, but it gives me a time to beat for my next 5K. I’ll be searching for a local race to run in the early spring. Who knows? I may turn into a runner after all.

(Getting ready to cross the finish line!)
After the race finished up, we loaded up the car, got the puppies settled and set off for PA. After a 7 hour car ride, we reached Evan’s parents’ house. There was so much going on! We entertained a few families from their church, the first night that we were there. The next day, we packed the car up again and headed off to NYC. Evan got us tickets to see Cirque du Soleil for our anniversary so we decided to make an overnight trip. We walked the cold streets all day – taking in the sights. We went to the top of the Empire State building, visited the M & M store, saw Times Square and had a fabulous time at the show which was called Wintuk. The next morning, we headed over to 30 Rock to do the NBC studio tour. I had the pleasure of anchoring a fake newscast towards the end of the tour. Good to see that the broadcasting degree got put to use.
(NYC Christmas tree)
(View from atop of the Empire State Building)
The next night, we went out to visit one of my college roommates, her husband and their daughter. We all had a great time catching up. I definitely miss my friends from home! The next night, we went to visit one of Evan’s best friends from high school and his wife. The guys drank a little too much gin, but we shared a lot of laughs in between the drinks.
Christmas Eve was a busy day. My sister-in-law and I helped my mother-in-law prepare food for that night and the following morning. We were hosting a dinner for 13 people that night and I think she was just a little bit stressed out. We went to the 4:30 church service where Evan got to play his saxophone with the praise band. I’ve known my husband for over 9 years now and this is only the second time I’ve heard him play. He sounded great and I wish he would play more! Dinner went off without a hitch after the service and we all headed to bed early.
Christmas morning came and everyone got treated to a lot of presents. I received a gift card to Loft so I could buy some new teaching clothes and a new purse. Evan got a great Columbia fleece jacket and some books to take along on his deployment. Rosie (my 9 year old sister-in-law) kept us entertained for the rest of the day with her new Nintendo games and board games. Our turkey dinner was fabulous and I capped off the night with “Elf”.
Christmas #2 happened a few days later down in Philly with my parents. We got a lot of presents that we weren’t expected, but were definitely well-received. I got Photoshop for my Mac (can’t wait to start using it), a new wireless mouse, another Loft gift card and a few new books. Evan got a cover for his new Kindle that I got him, a giant bag of coffee (since he’s addicted) and a book rack for his bike trainer.
We got to see a bunch of my friends while we were down in the city. We had the pleasure of visiting our good friends Katie and Ben who are at a rehab center in New Jersey. We knew this couple from when we were stationed at Ft. Benning. Unfortunately, they were in a car accident in August 2009 and Ben has been to several rehab centers to treat his TBI. It was great to catch up with Katie finally since I hadn’t seen her since December 2009. Ben seems to be making great progress! He was talking, joking around and being silly with us. He promised Evan that one day, he’ll do a triathlon with him and he’ll beat him. We can’t wait, Ben! (If you want to read more about Ben and Katie’s story, click here to follow their inspirational blog).
Over the next few days, I got to see a few good friends from high school. We watched the Eagles game (unfortunately they sucked and lost to a terrible team), ate a lot of cookies and grabbed some authentic Philly cheesesteaks. Overall, Christmas was great. We saw a lot of friends and spent a lot of time with family. We definitely weren’t taking this holiday for granted since Evan may not be here for the next one.
I’ll leave you with some pictures from the holidays!

(Posing with Murphy in front of the tree)

(Family Christmas photo)

(Just us – Merry Christmas!)
Well this has been quite the long post. I guess I’ll save my New Year’s resolutions for my next post. Stay tuned!
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