I am so fortunate to have friends that live near me. Although I don’t see them as much as I’d like, it’s always so easy to catch up. HOWEVER, Dirty Santa always slithers into the picture, and I like it no more than I did last year. It makes me nervous, I always end up with a gift way less cool than the one I brought, and as Mandy “Dr. McHottie” Armstrong so put it, “it does not foster feelings of friendship.” The key is to get involved with a cute group of people so you’re pretty much guaranteed a good gift. Work parties are a toss-up – my advice is to scope out the cool people in your office, make note of the gifts they bring in, and go for those. Fortunately, this year I got great ones (thanks, SB and KK!). I still don’t like Dirty Santa, though.
Mile 118, December 22-24: Starkville
We loaded up the holidaymoblie with gifts, clothes, food and pet supplies and embarked on the first leg of our journey. I suppose Christmas at the Karatassos house is like any other, but it’s true – there really is no place like home for the holidays. We ate one of four Honey Baked Hams my parents got as gifts and devoured cookies, fudge, cake and other treats…that my parents got as gifts. Christmas supper at my house means breakfast food, and Santa came early so Kell and I could open presents in front of my family. I racked up this year. As far as the twins were concerned, you can see below how much they enjoyed Starkville’s new dog park – the only one in the state!
Mile 279, December 24-25: Greenville
On Christmas Eve, we were Delta-bound to enjoy even more of the holidays with the Smiths. This was my first Christmas to not be in Starkville, but I still had a great holiday. I am so fortunate to have a second family that is really fun and welcoming and likes to eat good food just like I do. We attended the candlelight Christmas Eve service at FBC Greenville and had dinner with Peggy, Laura Merrill and Jessica Alexander (LOVE these girls!) before heading back home to await Santa's arrival. Much to Peyton’s dismay, we opened gifts on the actual Christmas Day, and we were off yet again. (I don’t have a picture of Christmas with the Smiths, but Peyton’s Christmas card from 2006 will have to do.)
Mile 403, December 25: Utica
“Where is Utica?” you might ask? It’s about 40 or so miles from Jackson, sort of between the City with Soul and Vicksburg – the southwest corner of Hinds county, actually. Mom-in-law extraordinaire Lisa described growing up there as “Mayberry.” Now, who doesn’t want to live in Mayberry? Due to various issues caused by the twins, packing, etc., Kell and I arrived just before lunch – perfect timing. We enjoyed visiting with family, and the twins were even allowed to make an appearance. Again, no pictures of this day on my camera, but trust me, I was there.
Mile 448, December 25-29: Ridgeland
Home sweet home! Tree status: still up, decorated and lit.
Mile 674, December 29-30: Memphis, TN
Finally! It’s been 7 years since the Bulldogs had been to a bowl game, and the Liberty Bowl in Memphis did not disappoint. Kell and I got to stay at The Peabody (I saw the ducks for the very first time in my life), ride the team bus to the game, and successfully endured one of the more boring games I've ever watched. It was eventually worth all the suffering from boredom and low, low temps when the Bulldogs put the hurtin' on Central Florida in the fourth quarter. Give me Liberty or give me death. Tree status: still up, decorated and lit.
Mile 876, December 30: Ridgeland
Mile 906, December 31: Jackson
I've officially given up on the fancy New Year's Eve galas, minus the big annual bash at The Alluvian. I always find myself having more fun at casual get-togethers in the homes of hospitable friends. This year, Cliff and Katy (and Mo, of course) were kind enough (or crazy enough) to host a fun, eclectic group of college partiers-turned reluctant semi/pseudo-grown-ups. Even though we missed midnight once, through the magic of DVR, we were able to celebrate '08 in style. A good time was had by all, even if we didn't make it too long past midnight. Tree status: still up, decorated and lit.
Pour on the cheese: some of my fave events of 2007:
exciting overseas travel
Welcome, Olive and Charlie!