Cheesy, I know, but I can't help it, as this is honestly one of the most wonderful sounds that I heard this past week. If you know me, you'll know that I'm quite a talker, and as hard as it may be to imagine, my entire family is the exact same way--everyone talks nonstop (!)--so there is a LOT of noise, laughter, and craziness at home. But, as I've mentioned many times before, there's just nothing like spending time with loved ones, and this year felt like a very important Christmas, as it marked out first Christmas without Anita (who was quite the Christmas girl), our first Christmas as a new married couple, and one of the only holidays in recent history that we were all together at once--all of the siblings, all of the siblings' significant others, and all of the family. It was a wonderful holiday.
See: Django Unchained and Lincoln
Remember when I said that I wanted to see more movies in the next year of my life? Well guess what? I've already done so! Yay! Over the past few days we saw Django Unchained AND Lincoln, both of which were amazing movies. They were also extremely interesting films to see back-t0-back, since they tackle similar subject matter in completely opposite ways. And honestly, I'm surprised that I'm saying it, but I think I liked Django Unchained better--despite all of the crazy violence. Two down, many more fabulous movies to go!
Every time that we go home, we have a little Atlanta restaurant route that we take. We MUST eat at each of our favorite spots before heading back to DC, and sometimes, we even eat at each of these places multiple times during the trip (if you know Ben, you won't be surprised by this at all!). Here are the places we always visit:
- Everybody's Pizza in Emory Village (best salads ever!)
- The Flying Biscuit Cafe in Candler Park
- Farm Burger in Downtown Decatur
If you go to Atlanta anytime soon and have a chance, I highly recommend eating at one of these spots. YUM!
As much as I adore our sweet little mini Christmas tree at home, there's nothing like a big tree (or even two!) to get you into the holiday mood. One of the most wonderful parts of being back in GA was looking at all of the old family ornaments (and thus, memories) and enjoying the look, scent, and feel of a real, life-sized Christmas tree. Similarly, we were able to enjoy a couple of nights by the fireplace at both houses, and it was such a soothing, relaxing, and enjoyable part of being away. I'd forgotten how much I love sitting by the fire, and how easy it is to dose off when doing so (Yes! I took a nap this week! It was divine!). These are the moments that make it truly feel like the holidays to me :)
I gave Ben one of the biggest surprises of his life (at least, in recent history!) by COMPLETELY surprising him with a new iPad on Christmas morning. I've become one of those people who gets way too excited about surprising others with unexpected gifts (I just LOVE it!!!!), and this surprise gift was definitely my crowning achievement of 2012--I just wish I'd gotten a picture of his face when he opened it. I did the old wrapped-box-inside-of-a-bigger-wrapped-box trick, just to throw him off of the scent, and it totally worked. It's been wonderful watching him play with this new "toy" that he's been wanting for so long, and I look forward to getting to use it a lot, too ;) Such a luxury item, but my sweet new husband totally deserves it!
As we head home today, I'm going to try and hold onto these small, but joyful moments from the past week. Similarly, as we move into a new year, I think it's SUPER important to feel a sense of gratitude for everything that we were able to enjoy--no matter how small--over the past 365 days. Hmmm...maybe next year I'll put together a "Simple Joys of the Year" list? Now that would be hard!!
Have a wonderful weekend! Don't forget to pause and enjoy the simple pleasures...