Sunday, December 29, 2013

There's No Place Like Home For the Holidays

Man, what a week is has been down here in the great state of Georgia!
Ryan and I took off from Boston a week ago yesterday and arrived in Kennesaw on Saturday night to spend the holidays with both of our families. When we walked in the door, we were greeted with this ADORABLE face! 

The whole week absolutely FLEW by. Sunday night, Ryan and I, along with my parents, grandma, brother, cousin Jason, and Ryan's parents went to dinner at a hibachi place in Roswell, which is always SUPER delicious!

Monday, we switched things up and celebrated my dad's birthday a day early (he was a Christmas Eve baby). The same group mentioned above (minus Jason) left from my parents house around 6 to head to downtown Atlanta to participate in a murder mystery dinner, "The Nutcroaker- Murder On Your Toes", at Agatha's Dinner Theatre. Neither Ryan nor I had ever attended one of these before so we had NO idea what to expect but it actually turned out to be a very fun evening!

When we arrived at the theatre, each person was given a slip of paper with their character and a description of their role throughout the show. The birthday boy was supposed to take on the role of "pushy parent" but he passed that off to my mom (a much better fit for the role- haha) and became a member of the singing group, "the Nuts" along with my brother. Brad and I were both members of the "Sweets" and Susan, Ryan, and my Grandma were all members of the "Dancers". My mom had the only speaking role and she KILLED it! Each of the three groups had to perform a song in one of the acts that went along with the show.

After the show- chilling with Creepy Santa. Can you spot him?

Tuesday, Christmas Eve, the Schoeff family recreated an old tradition for my dad. When my dad was growing up, his family would go out for an evening walk to look at the Christmas lights. When they would return the house, Santa would have just left, and everyone would open up their presents! Since Ryan and I were heading to the Smith's house around noon on Christmas, we decided to give this old tradition a try, and it turned out to be a very fun way to celebrate the whole day with my family.

We sat down for our traditional Christmas dinner of Honey Baked ham, pineapple casserole (my favorite), party pea casserole (Grandma Schoeff's recipe), and baked mac n' cheese. After we feasted, we headed out to check out some Christmas lights, opened our Christmas presents (a three and a half hour event), and rounded out the night with a dip in the hot tub. It was a PERFECT Christmas eve and a tradition I vote we continue!


Oscar's Christmas portrait
Wednesday, Christmas day, we spent the morning with my family before packing everything up and heading to the Smith's to begin some Smith family Christmas traditions. We got unpacked at the house and then drove over to Bob and Meredith's house to spend some time with family and open presents. Towards the end of the afternoon, Bob pulled out the keyboard and Grandma played Christmas carols while we sung along.

We headed back to the Smith household in the evening to greet Brandon, Rachel, and Papa, eat some dinner, and start our little family present exchange. This was our 2nd night in a row opening presents until midnight and boy, did we feel spoiled! With the help of my parents, Brad and Susan, Olivia, and Brandon and Rachel, Ryan finally completed his list of ski necessities. That boy is ready for the slopes this week with his new skis, poles, helmet, goggles, and a facemask!

The second half of the week flew by just a quickly as the first half, but in that time we were able to spend some quality time with Rick, Jane, and Beth (we missed you Becca and Derek)... dinner at my FAVORITE restaurant in Georgia, La Parilla...

...and have a mini-party at the Smith house Saturday night, where we got to hang out with Brandon and Rachel, Brad and Susan, my parents, Ryan's old tennis coach Stephan, Ben, and Juan and Jaclyn (who are coming up to the cabin with us for New Years!)

Although this week went by way to fast, as you can see, it was chocked FULL of awesome experiences and family time, and we had an absolute blast along the way. I'm definitely looking forward to our next visit home in April for Vida's wedding!!

Now we're on our way to ring in the New Year with great friends in West Virginia. Cheers to 2014, ya'll!

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