Monday, December 31, 2012

Southern Season and Dad's New Car

Happy New Year's Eve!  As we're gearing up for a fun evening of games, old friends, and snacks, I thought I'd share one of my new favorite store experiences with you - Southern Season.  But first...

Last Saturday, we went to Raleigh to pick up my dad's newwwwww car!  He'd been looking for a new car for some time, and finally settled on the 2013 Avalon.  Toyota totally updated the body of the car - it's much sportier now - and it drives even more smoothly than his last one.  It's got lots of neat bells and whistles too, like heated seats, navigation, a bluetooth phone system that connects with your cell phone, and a "blind spot" warning system that flashes when someone may be hiding to your left or right!  So cool!

When we left the dealership, we decided to head over to Southern Season in Chapel Hill.  I've heard awesome things about this place, but had never been before, so I was excited!  

Southern Season is a huuuuuuge store full of specialty food, wines, kitchen gadgets, home decor, coffee and name it!  Apparently their restaurant is delicious too, but we weren't able to stay for dinner.

The perimeter of the store had different shops - a coffee bar, candy shop, old-timey ice cream store, a bakery & cheese shop, and a prepared food bar (which I literally had to drag husband away from).  

The center of the huge warehouse is sectioned off into different categories.  We started in the kitchen gadgets and then wove through every section, eyeing all the goodies.  Being December, there were lots of really cute Christmas things I wanted.  The thought of having to haul everything back to Boston was enough of a deterrent to keep me from buying everything in sight, though.  :)

We went home with some chocolate truffles for dad (which were devoured on Christmas day), some Angry Bird gummy candies for Mark's stocking, some crazy NC pickles for Trav's composition teacher (a pickle fanatic), and a North Carolina-shaped cheese board for me! 

If you're in the Raleigh area, this is a must-see.  So much fun!

Southern Season on Urbanspoon

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Photo Dump

We've had such a good time running from here to there the last week and a half, and have taken tons of random pictures along the way.  Here are a few things we've done so far.

We admired mamma's Christmas decorations and played with the puppies.  We had a full house this year - mom and dad's two dachshunds (Riley and Chloe), our dachshund (Toby), and Mark's big guy (Dexter).

Chloe, Toby, Riley and Dexter (behind the little guys)


Trav's parents' church has a Christmas talent show/party every year.  This year I decorated 4 dozen cupcakes for the party.  Most of them had buttercream Christmas wreathes with little red bows!

Wallace Edwards and his nine grandchildren sing every year.  So cute!
Telling the Christmas story.
 We hunted Christmas lights and found some doozies...

This tree is taller than the three-story house it's beside!

Saw the "Tire Tree" on 301 that ended up on Jeff Foxworthy's facebook page...

 Had family friends over for a Christmas dinner...

This morning, we're heading to Virginia for Jenny's family's Christmas get together - always the Saturday after Christmas!  I'm excited to see everyone since I missed last year, but it will be bittersweet since after lunch/presents, we're having a Memorial Service for Travis' sweet uncle.

Wanna see more pictures from our Christmas vacation so far?  Check out what we did on Christmas Day and the Chrismon ornaments I love so much!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Eve and Day

Whew...where did the week go?

If a normal Christmas isn't crazy enough, this year I spent the week heavily medicated and trying to get over a sinus infection that turned into a terrible cough.  A typical Christmas Eve/Day consists of a lot of driving and many parties - brunch with the Knott's in Smithfield, Alford family party in Spring Hope (45 min away), back to Smithfield for the Christmas Eve service in Smithfield...then back to Spring Hope to spend the night.  Christmas day begins in Spring Hope (super early)...then we head back to Smithfield at noon with my family, and top off the evening with Pope, Faye, and Thad (our adopted family).

This year, being sick, I missed brunch and the Alford party, and had to sit on the back row for the Christmas Eve service, so there are no pictures (oops).  I only did an ok job capturing Christmas day too, as you'll see below.  It's probably a good sign when you're having too much fun to take many pictures, right?  :)

Stockings started immediately at the Alfords', as Toby remembered that these little socks held fun toys (such a smart little dog).  He couldn't wait to get to his!

Funny Terry (Trav's dad) and his (gl)ass wipes.  

After opening stockings, I took a nap while Terry and Jenny cooked "Ho-ho-ho"bos (scrambled eggs and sausage) and "Ho-ho-ho"cake (like a big flat delicious biscuit).  During breakfast, we opened the rest of the presents.

When we got to my parent's house we decided to give the dogs their toys so they'd leave us alone while we opened ours.  I'd found some hilarious squeaky toys at TJ Maxx for each of the pups, but of course they all wanted to play with the same one.

Handing out the presents 

Mark got his dog (Dexter - the big guy) a huge bone.  They were all VERY interested in it!

Then we opened presents, played our yearly "new game", and about 100 games of cards (it's what we DO)!

Every holiday (for the last 10 or so years), I've given my brother a ridiculous hat.  This year, I'd found a huge squid hat, complete with bulging eyes and tentacles that hang to your shoulders.  It was a pretty good one!  Can't you tell he loves it?  (haha)

This year, he decided to start his own silly tradition this year with funny slippers.  This year, however, backfired on him because I LOVED the slippers.  I think you'll see why!

Cutest dachshund slippers!!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas too!