Well yesterday offically began the Christmas celebrations as we all gathered at my Grandma & Grandpa Smart's house for Christmas with my dad's side of the family. We have started drawing names which makes it much easier to buy for each other and we had a great time! I only have 4 first cousin's (from both sides of the family since my mom was an only child) and so we are very close. All but 1 was able to come in for Christmas and it was so wonderful to get to see everyone. My cousin Jason is the only one to have children and his little girl Allyssa is possibly the most precious little girl I've ever seen. She is 2 1/2 and is really starting to get a lot of personality. I just know Jason and his wife Michelle must be so proud. We have the same menu every year: Gulf shrimp (or ham if you don't eat shrimp), mashed potatoes, ceasar salad, bread and then rum cake for dessert with homemade whipped cream. We all eat until we can't hardly move and we laugh so hard everytime we're all together. This year the table topic at the Kid's table (yes, that's still where I sit even though we're all now over 21 and most of us are married) somehow became the cousin's reminiscing about how much trouble we had caused when we were younger. I seriously thought that some of use were going to fall out of our chairs or spit iced tea across the table from laughing so hard. I left there last night so thankful for the family that God has given me. As all of us cousins have grown up, we've obviously become more mature (except at the dinner table) and even though we all might live some very different lives or have different views on some things, we all manage to come together and enjoy each other's company if only once or twice a year. Yesterday wasn't about the present we took home or what kind of food we ate, but just that we were able to spend time together as a family and as children of God. After my dad blessed the meal, I looked up to see my Grandma with tears in her eyes and that to me truly says it all about how important we are to each other.
Tomorrow is my last day of work for the week and I'm super excited. I also get to see one of my college roommates who's flying home from Orlando for Christmas. I'm so excited to see her!
2 years ago