Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Christmas Vacation…

On Christmas afternoon, our little family set out headed to Maggie Valley, North Carolina.

We were meeting my parents at a cabin they rented for the week. Mom & Dad had been up there since Saturday…They enjoyed a few days to themselves and even made a trip to the Biltmore Estate in Ashville. I was super jealous because they got to see the Biltmore all decorated for Christmas.

Our girls were amazing on the drive up.collage We made great time and only stopped twice for gas and once to eat. When we made it to Dillard, it was already dark and we could see the Dillard House all lit up, so we pulled in to check out their Christmas displays. It was sprinkling and cold, but we still let AB roll down her window- which she loved. :)

We made it to the cabin around 10:30 Christmas night.

We had a great nights sleep and woke up rested and ready to go! DSC_5806

Grammy & the girls


AB was ready to sled since the moment it arrived at our house mid-December!

DW scared us a little on Wednesday morning when he had some sort of allergic reaction. We don’t know if it was the shower gel he used or the towel, but he broke out in hives and blisters and his whole face started to swell. Picture the movie Hitch… only not quite as bad. :)  Thankfully a Benadryl and some cortizone was all he needed to get better!

We needed to make a quick grocery run, so we went into Waynesville, which has such a cute downtown area. The little shops on the main street were adorable and all had such beautiful window displays.

After our grocery run, we decided to take a little drive and scope out the snow tubing for the next day…Dad was manning the GPS and we were off… after about twenty minutes of a backwoods winding road up the mountain, we got the feeling we weren’t heading to the right place… the feeling was confirmed when we hit a dirt and gravel one way road half way up a mountain… Come to find out we were headed to the Cataloochee RANGER STATION instead of to the slopes. Ha… My Dad’s GPS privileges were revoked after this mishap. :)

We made it back to the cabin for a late afternoon nap for Mames. DW & I went back into town for dinner while Mom & Dad kept the girls at the house. It’s always fun to have a little date and I’m happy to report we got TWO of those while DW was off work for the holidays! :)

Later that evening, we got a little snow at the cabin. AB was SO excited! DSC_5808




Our first two nights, we ended the day playing “Farkle” –2 Such a fun game..I think Mom won the first night and DW the second, because… AND I QUOTE- “…the meek and the mild shall inherit the earth...” My Dad and I are in big trouble because meek and mild have never been used as adjectives concerning us. :)

Beau, Kristy and the kids arrived mid-morning on Thursday. DSC_5840

These two are always excited to see each other. The had a big time playing together and are so sweet together. If I was taking pictures, Garrett would insist on having his taken with AB. DSC_5844

Momma & Daddy cooked a huge Christmas lunch that did not disappoint. My Dad cooked a standing rib roast and it was amazing. 1I got lucky and got the end piece. Mom cooked all the sides to go with it and I made some biscuits. It was an excellent meal and a great way to start our Christmas celebration together. 3

After lunch, it was present time.DSC_5871 Mom packed a little tree and brought it up with her. I was so glad to see it when we got there.DSC_5820 It was my Granny’s and it had her red bird ornaments (“ointments”) on it. My heart was happy to have a little “Granny” with us).

Pop played Santa and passed out the gifts… he even wore a Santa hat, but I still want to be his favorite, so I won’t post it. :) I will post Mames wearing it, though… DSC_5845

The trip was the gift to the whole family from my parents and I think everyone loved the idea of doing something together instead of having gifts…even though Grammy & Pop still did presents, too, though. All of the adults got a coordinating outfit for a family picture and the kids all got snow/cold weather gear (ski bibs, snow boots and gloves) for the trip.DSC_5874DSC_5881


DSC_5893 Pop didn’t really like Grammy’s thinking on this, and put in that the kids needed a TOY, too…so he went shopping and picked all of them out toys. So sweet. The girls loved what they got- especially Mamie…She isn’t really interested in many toys, but this thing kept her attention FOREVER. DSC_6220 

That afternoon, we decided to try out the new sleds and snow gear and drive up to find some snow. We headed toward Cherokee and the Smokey Mountain National Park. The drive up was beautiful and you could start to see a little snow in the ditches and ice in the tops of the trees.sceneiccollage We’d made it up a ways when my Dad’s truck started to slip and his traction light came on, so they stopped and turned around. DSC_5970We were in DW’s truck in front of them, and decided to go up a little further. DSC_5950

DSC_6126I was so glad we did. DSC_6137I hated that the rest of the family missed it, but the view was as beautiful as it always is – maybe even prettier with the ice capped trees… and AB & Garrett got to do a little sledding! DSC_6116


We stopped at two lookouts to enjoy the view and let the kids sled and play in the snow.



When we made it back to the cabin, DW and I took all the kids (except Mames) back down to the playground.  DSC_6181The house mom rented was in a gated community and the cabin owners share this awesome playground.DSC_6148 There’s also an entertaining barn and picnicking area that everyone can use. There’s a creek that runs by both and all the way down the main road…it’s beautiful. I am sure it’s lots of fun in the summer time, too. creekcollage

The kids all had a great time playing. They tried out their sleds on the hills,DSC_6151

DSC_6205 ran and jumped and acted like crazies… which is always fun for a bunch of kids. DSC_6183




On Friday, we went to find some more snow. We found a little dusting…DSC_6284







It was enough for us to sled a little…and to even build a tiny snowman.DSC_6327


Mames (Miss Serious) kills me in this picture. It looks like she’s giving the Indian “How” sign. :)

That afternoon, some of our Georgia family came up and rented a room in Maggie Valley. We had chili and soup back at the cabin and the kids all had a ball playing together. DSC_6218

We had a little Christmas caroling, and the cousins sang and acted out a few Christmas songs. DSC_6392Jackson stole the show and was the star. He was adorable and loved having the lead part of every song… He played Frosty, Santa Clause and Rudolph. DSC_6400


Saturday we had a big breakfast together and spent the morning listening to the kids play. AB was loving having all the girls to play with.DSC_6419 I loved getting to see these girls, too! The only picture of the three of us where we all had our eyes open was the one where we’re making these faces…of course. :)

We made one last trip to play in the snow one more time, but didn’t have much luck…DSC_6492

The icy trees were gorgeous, though!



AB trying to make ice bubbles…


Beau & his crew and the Georgia cousins headed back home after lunch, and DW and I decided we’d head back to Florida that evening, too. Driving at night is so much easier with kids and the girls did so good on the trip home, too.

Time spent with family is a gift. 


We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow and any time we get to see those we love, we should do our best to enjoy it. Even knowing what I know, I’m not always good at this. DSC_6459

I’ve had several friends make comments over the years on how much time we spend with my family and with DW’s family and how they can’t believe we actually take trips TOGETHER. We aren’t the Cleavers by any means- and believe it or not, we even get on each others nerves. I know…gasp! But we make an effort to be a family. Its crazy, loud and chaotic most of the time when we’re all together. Some are more scheduled and planned than others…Some are more laid back, others a little high strung…(I’ll let yall guess which categories I fit into)…Fact is, we’re not all the same and there are some differences in the way we do things. But, I think Willie summed it up perfectly on D.D. the other night:

“Sometimes there’s friction among us on Earth, but we sure love each other.”

In the words of my late Granny-

“Ain’t that the truth.”



Stephanie Heintz said...

I'm really diggin your long hair! It looks really good on you! :) Love you.

Carrie said...

Okay, so I don't know whether to comment on you being high strung (Me too!) or you quoting Willie off Duck Dynasty! So funny! :) LOVED reading the re-cap of your Christmas trip! I know your parents loved having everyone together.

Lyndsay said...

Looks like a great time and what a fun idea! The family picture is so good too :)