Christmas break 2013 - started by picking up Colton around noon on Friday and heading out to Georgia. It was a long drive, but we kept each other awake and made it to my parents' house around 3:00am on Saturday.
After a few hours of sleep, we had a leisurely morning at the house, followed by three competitive games of bowling. Dad, Colton, and I each bowled a turkey - Dad actually bowled two turkeys in the same game! Here were are, the 3 turkeys!
On Sunday, Mom, Ben, Colton and I packed up and headed to Augusta to Kathy and David's house. They took their beloved dog, Abby, to the emergency vet in the middle of the night and so most of our visit they were going back and forth to the vet or talking to the doctor. I can't imagine the pain they were feeling - they ended up having to put her down on Christmas day. So so sad!
In the meantime, we did manage to have some holiday fun. When we arrived in Augusta, Layton was in rare form, in a good way. He was being so hilarious and was hamming it up for the camera. We had such a good time with him the whole week. We went over to Aunt Patty's and took pictures of Lacey and Amber's new baby, Wyatt, as well. I had a blast trying out all sorts of hats and outfits on them.
Christmas Eve was a relatively low-key day. That night I brought out my fun photo-booth props and we all enjoyed being silly and taking pictures with them. Then we did our annual ornament exchange, with the added element of a modified "Night Before Christmas" read by Dad. It was a lot of fun with lots of laughs.
On Christmas morning, Mom had to wake Ben up because Layton was ready to come see what Santa brought. He was thrilled to see his new train table. After he played for a little while, we exchanged gifts and ate our traditional breakfast of Krispy Kreme donuts. My big gift was money for my vacation (to Sydney, hopefully!) this summer. Ben got a tablet. Ben and I gave Mom a custom case for her iPad, and I gave Holley a pillow of Layton that I had made through Shutterfly. Layton also really liked the bulldog slippers I gave him.
On the day after Christmas, Dad and David worked out building windows for the porch while the rest of us did a little post-Christmas shopping. I found all sorts of goodies at Pier1, my favorite store for after-Christmas sales. I got several gifts for next year, as well as a few decorations for my own tree. That night we ventured out to Lights of the South, a spectacular light display. It was really cold out, but we braved it and took the hayride through the display rather than trying to walk it with two three-year-olds and an infant. Our trailer got stuck twice on the ride, though, and each time we had to unload, wait a few minutes, and reload. Crazy! The lights were gorgeous though, and we capped off the evening by letting the kids run off some energy on the playground while we sipped hot chocolate.
That night, Mom ended up really sick, throwing up all night long. Dad and Kathy took her to the hospital early in the morning thinking she had pancreatitis again, but it turns out she just had a nasty virus. While she attempted to recover at Kathy's, Ben and I drove back home to pick up the dogs from the boarders and take care of the neighbor dogs. I sent Mom this picture, saying "these three boys really want you to feel better and come home!" Mom and Dad came home on Saturday, but Mom wasn't really back to normal until New Year's Eve.
Between Mom's sickness and worry/sadness about Abby, it was a really different Christmas break. But we enjoyed a lot of time with family and that's the most important thing.