Since Jonathan and I and the kiddos weren't able to make it back down to New Orleans for Christmas, New Orleans came to us! Sort of. My parents and two sisters made the long drive up from Louisiana to Knoxville to spend a few days with us. It meant so much that they came all this way, and we had such a great visit. Jonathan's parents opened up their home to my family, so we really had the best of both worlds. Everyone hung out together, my parents stayed with Jonathan's folks, and my sisters actually stayed over at Jonathan's sister Amy's house. (Unfortunately, we don't have any spare rooms for guests anymore.)
The fam arrived on Sunday, December 27th around suppertime. We picked up Famous Dave's bbq for dinner (my dad's favorite up here) and sat around our kitchen table for a while eating ribs and catching up on the holidays. After supper, we exchanged Christmas gifts with them. Nora got a "Fancy Nancy" doll and some "Fancy Nancy" books from my momma. I had no idea who Fancy Nancy was, but now that I know, she is so cute! She is a book character who uses "fancy" words in her books, then she explains what the "fancy" words mean. For example, Fancy Nancy might say, "I went to the garden to pick a bouquet of daisies. 'Bouquet' is just a fancy word for a bunch of flowers." She helps little readers increase their vocabulary. Not that Nora's reading or even close to it, but we all know how much my girl loves her books, so she totally loved her gift from Nana and Grandpa!
I was so surprised and excited by my gift from my parents. I got two new lenses for my camera. I got a 50 mm lens that I have really been wanting to get, and I got a 50 mm/2.5 macro lens. I don't really know what to do with that one yet, so I need to take some time to play with it and research what all it is capable of. I am so excited! I have been using my 50 mm fixed lens like crazy!
Finally, we got everyone situated where they were going to be staying the night. Early Monday morning, we all met up at the Bradshaws' house for breakfast, and then while Jonathan worked, the rest of us took my sister Emily shopping for some winter gear since she lives in NYC and was desperately in need of some new shoes, gloves, scarves, etc. New Orleans doesn't have a big assortment down there since it's basically summer all the time.
Monday evening, Ms. Joyce made a big pot of soup, I made dessert, Emily made her famous guacamole, and everyone else pitched in on salads and other yumminess. We had a big ole soup and salad night which was perfect because the weather was freeeezzzzing! (So Emily works at a Mexican/Italian restaurant (???? what does that mean exactly ????) in Brooklyn where she makes homemade guacamole table-side when it is ordered. She makes the most AMAZING guacamole I had ever had. I need to get the exact recipe from her, but I think she just sort of does it).
Tuesday, the family came over to our house. We went out to lunch, then came back to the house so the kiddos could nap. Jonathan and my dad graciously relaxed at the house on the sofa watching some TV so that my momma, Hillary, Emily, and I could do a bit more shopping and get our toes done! Lots of girlie time! We ended that wondrous day off by taking them to eat at our favorite......Casa! My family LOVES Mexican food, just like Jonathan and I, so they were thrilled with our choice. Jonathan, my dad, and my sisters left from the restaurant to go see the new Sherlock Holmes movie, while my mom and I got the kids ready for bed, ate a cupcake, and relaxed on the sofa to watch some episodes of The Closer. (Have I mentioned that I love that show?)
Wednesday morning, my sister Emily flew back to NYC. We spent the remainder of the day hanging out at the Bradshaw's house. We sat by the fire, relaxed, and ate a chili supper. After dinner, we loaded up the kids, said our sad goodbye to my parents, and went home. They left before we even woke up on Thursday morning to make the drive home to New Orleans. We had such a great visit. Even though most of our time was spent hanging out at home or at the Bradshaws' caring for and playing with the kids, we got lots of quality time and had so much fun. I love, love, love my family and miss them so much!
Unfortunately, even though I had two new lenses, I didn't take too many pictures of their visit. I guess I was too busy shopping because it feels like that is what we did mostly. Here are a few:
Nora and Nana, reading books
Trying out my new lens
My dad wanted a picture of all of his girls. Nora wouldn't have anything to do with this, and my sisters weren't cooperating very well either.
P.S. No, I don't have make up on. I know, I should have thought about fixing that.