|Laurel and her roommate, Madelyn, arriving at the Nashville airport from Austria!|
Sadly for Laurel, her Christmas break began with getting her wisdom teeth removed. Our oldest decided he needed some sympathy, too, so he got 12 stitches as a result of a sword fight with his roommate. Don't ask. They're 20-somethings.
We had all kinds of fun with friends and family before Christmas, including a "60-16-50" party (right corner) to celebrate a friend turning 60 on Dec. 24, Duncan turning 16 on Dec. 15, and Randy turning 50 on Dec. 26. It seemed essential to mark this occasion with friends!
Christmas itself was wonderful. I just sometimes can't even believe I get to have all these wonderful human beings in my life. Laurel brought us all kinds of amazing gifts from her travels, which was kind of the highlight of our gifts.
|A few examples of Laurel's travel gifts: pasta bowl from Italy, Opa and Oma mugs from Berlin, scarf from Prague|
My kids were extremely cooperative, letting me do a photo shoot even though Jesse had been at work since 4 a.m. and really just wanted a nap.
In our family, Christmas lasts until 5 p.m.— and then it's Duncan's birthday. He turned 16, got his license a couple days later, and then inherited Laurel's car. The bottom pic shows him driving off on his first solo errand!
A few days after Christmas, we headed down to Charlotte for our annual Christmas/New Year's celebration with Randy's brother and sister-in-law. This time, however, we made a stop at the Biltmore in Asheville. We all gifted Randy's mom with a Christmas-at-Biltmore tour. It was beautifully decorated!
Randy's brother and his wife are the most wonderful, gracious people. We love to celebrate together, and this year was especially momentous because Randy, the little brother, turned 50. In his honor, Greg prepared an all-black meal.
Well, the potatoes came out lavender, but you get the idea! We always have a relaxing few days filled with lots of good food and laughter in Charlotte. It's a great way to end the year and bring in a new one.
And so 2017 is here and our lovely winter break is nearly over. Laurel heads back to college in Nashville tomorrow. We splurged today and got pedicures. It's lovely to have pretty feet on a cold and dreary day!
She's packing, and Duncan is enjoying his last day of freedom before all his classes begin again. He's taking all the same things as last semester: chemistry, world literature, world geography, trig, and Appalachian studies. We've also added in a world cultures class, which will fit nicely with his literature and geography classes. And probably the two biggest things for Duncan this semester will be taking the ACT for the first time AND… doing his Eagle Scout project. He's had his project plan approved and is now gearing up to actually schedule work days. His project will be creating a map of the veterans' graves and a large cemetery where his troop always places flags on the graves on Memorial Day. I'm exited for him as he begins!
And now… let the new year begin!
Linked up with the Weekly Wrap-Up