Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Recap

This was our second Christmas in our new house and the second Justin and I have had the privilege to host the annual Christmas Eve Open House my parents started over 20 years ago.
Our house was decorated and I am a little sad to see all the festive sparkly decorations down after having them up for nearly a month.
IMG_4889 IMG_4899
Because it was so warm on Christmas, we weren’t able to have a nice cozy fire going in our fireplace so I dressed it up with these adorable mercury glass votives and tea light holders I got at Dollar Tree. The whole set up was $20 and I am very impressed with the quality of the glass.
We had enough food to feed an army. I am quite proud of the spread. We even put out the train set Aunt Faye gave us around the food table. It wouldn’t quite stay right on the tracks so we didn’t want to risk a derailment and food catastrophe so we didn’t having it running.
IMG_4919 IMG_4921 IMG_4922 
Sami got some great shots as usual and I really love this one of me holding Pax when he was opening his present from Aunt CAT.
 IMG_5004 IMG_5005 
We were missing Liam since he was at his mama’s house, but Pax and Wyatt looked awfully cute in their matching Snoopy Christmas jammies.
After everyone left, Wyatt left out egg nog and cookies for Santa and went right off to bed.
Santa was rather busy this year. Wyatt really only asked for tennis shoes, a ceiling fan, and a toy camper. He got all that and more. We turned his Hot Wheels car table into a farm table and he got a big red barn, some hunting figurines, and tons of animals. Of course he got the three things he asked for too.
IMG_4946 IMG_4951
IMG_4957 IMG_4963 IMG_4969 
Justin and I really had fun with his gifts this year. I think one of the things Justin and Wyatt have had the most fun with is his bow and arrow set.
Dollar Tree was the best place for stocking stuffers this year. They usually have a good bit of licensed character merchandise around Christmas time and I was able to stuff his stocking FULL for $14!
Justin was so good with my presents this year. He got me three big Georgia Grown signs for my office and even made me a coat hook from old railroad spikes. I got a Mexican sugar mold candle and a really cool Georgia cast iron sign.
Amanda was pretty crafty this year too. She hand embroidered a family tree for Mrs. Desiree (with two extra branches for Justin and me to fill up with future babies!), a Dawg House sign for Justin (finished up with minutes to spare on Christmas morning), and these mason jar wall sconces for me. I am a big fan of homemade gifts and my whole family is just so talented!
IMG_4980 IMG_4981 IMG_5051
Wyatt got a few gift cards from out of town family and he had a really good time picking out his own presents. I have been so blessed with a giving family but I really think a sweet, loving, only half-nuts family is the best gift ever!
IMG_5011 IMG_5017

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

UGA Masters Graduation

I (FINALLY!) graduated from UGA on December 19. It was a whirlwind day.
We headed up to Athens first thing that morning and had lunch with a family friend that just moved up there at DePalma’s. It was a delicious Italian meal and it was really nice to catch up with Mrs. Gloria. We head over to Stegman Coliseum and I lined up with my fellow graduates. Interestingly enough, I was the only person there graduating with a Masters in Agricultural Leadership. I am thankful Sami was there to capture some awesome shots.
 IMG_5029 IMG_5034 IMG_5026
After graduation, I had all intentions of getting my photos done at the UGA arch but the line was wrapped around the block and Mama and Daddy had to get back to Ashburn. Justin, Wyatt, and I went through Atlanta to meet up with a friend and we finally made it home around 10:30 that night.
I am so thankful for three supportive bosses who encouraged me to go back and get my degree, allowed me time off from work and graduation, and encouragement along the way. I couldn’t have done it without Justin’s support or our parents’ support every weeknight they kept Wyatt for me to be in class or work on my thesis. I have made several great friends through this program and I’m still not finished. Although my degree work is technically over, my major professor and colleague is getting me prepared to publish my work in professional journals and preparing it for popular press. I focused my research on agritourism in Georgia (admittedly because of my career and involvement with the industry) and hope that it will be helpful to grow agritourism in Georgia.
We finished up the ceremony changing “GOOOOO DAWGS! SIC ‘EM!” and a big streamer cannon. Whoo hoo! I did it!

Friday, December 26, 2014

AWC Christmas Bash

The Ashburn Women’s Club recently hosted a Frozen Christmas Bash. We wanted kids of all ages to come out and have some fun. We got a much bigger response than we had ever imagined. We counted 200 tickets before we were all too tired and decided to get full report at our meeting after Christmas. We have a great group of ladies and despite several who couldn’t make it due to sick children or other commitments, we did an awesome job. We ran out of all of our snacks and even went through two whole makings of reindeer food for the kids. We did face painting, nail painting, glitter sticker jewelry, pin the nose on Olaf, reindeer food to be scattered in the yard for Christmas Eve, coloring sheets, door prizes, and dancing, and we even had Elsa and Ana live in person. It all turned out so well!
IMG_4813 IMG_4814 IMG_4816 IMG_4817
IMG_4818 IMG_4819 IMG_4826 IMG_4827
IMG_4828 IMG_4829 IMG_4830 IMG_4833
 IMG_4838 IMG_4839 IMG_4842
IMG_4848 IMG_4858

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hometown Holidays

Last weekend, Wyatt stayed with Mrs. Desiree and Mr. Sheldon while Justin and I dabbled around the house wrapping presents and little things around the yard. May was so happy that she went for two swims in the 40- and 50-degree weather.
Our winter garden is coming along. The broccoli and cabbage heads are starting to form. We have seen wild rabbits out there twice at night in the past week.
 IMG_4592 IMG_4593
Doc Bunny (our pet rabbit) especially enjoyed the turnips from the garden. She munched happily in the sunshine all day. We have her in the carport to block the cold winds from her right now and I think she enjoyed the warm weather.
We burned off our burn pile where we left all the fallen branches and yard debris. These old bushes Justin ripped out a few months ago must have been properly dried because they went up very quickly. I told him I felt like Moses with the burning bush.
Saturday night we had the Ashburn Christmas Parade. This year’s theme was a patriotic Christmas. We had World War II veterans as grand marshals.
Amanda’s Arts Council float won best civic organization! We are using those silver trees for another project coming soon. Can’t wait to see them all dec’d out again.
After the parade, we went to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Wyatt was enamored and he didn’t want to leave Santa’s lap, which is a huge difference from this Christmas two years ago (terrible pic because I snapped it from a video):
I snagged this vintage Turner County ornament that night too. It’s only one year younger than I am!
Sunday, I finished up my thesis (PRAISE!) while Mimi and Wyatt hung out together. He was the tape-master of the Christmas present marathon wrapping session.