Sunday, December 28, 2008

Back From A Break

The past few days have been filled with holidays, family, eating way too much delicious food, late night board game playing, seeing friends I haven't seen in ages and a lovely winter wedding. I hadn't intended on taking a blogging break, but somehow it just happened.

Christmas Eve found me at my grandparents house creating new memories, getting some great gifts and having fun with my aunts, cousins, and grandparents. The evening served as a reminder that my little cousins aren't quite so little anymore. They are growing up, entering their teenage years and starting to become pretty cool people. They are starting to push boundaries, realize that their opinions don't necessarily have to fall in line with their parents and that all of that is ok. After dinner has been finished, presents have been opened, we grandchildren usually take over the dining room table to play board games. Its a fairly new tradition that is fun and we look forward to it every year.

Long gone are the Christmases where my brother and I awake before dawn eagerly anticipating the presents that await us under the Christmas tree. Nowadays we sleep in until 9:30 or so then enjoy a leisurely breakfast casserole that has cooked all night in a slow cooker. We take turn opening presents and literally spend the rest of the day lounging around until my grandparents come in the late afternoon. In the evening I head out to a friends house for more Christmas fun (and by fun I mean copious amounts of wine combined with a few cut throat games of Scrabble).

Friday found me having brunch and spending a few hours with a great friend I hadn't seen in way to long. I hate that life so easily gets in the way of seeing some of the people most important to me, but we agreed to try to not let so many months go by before we get together again. I spent the rest of Friday with my best friend who was in from Columbus. We shopped, ate, drank, and laughed all the while talking about this past year and our hopes for 2009.

Saturday led me on a roadtrip to a cousins wedding about three hours away. I initially hadn't planned on going. After three family gatherings in one week I figured that another two days of togetherness with the fam would be pushing my "quality family time" boundary, especially when it involved six hours in a little over 24 hour time span with my mom and stepdad. I wanted to see my extended family -- the family that I tend to only see at the yearly family reunion. Because there are so many of us we only tend to get together for weddings and funerals. Fortunately there haven't been any funerals in the past few years and the last family wedding was a good 5 or 6 years ago, so we were long overdue for a good party. In the end, I am so glad that I went!

The wedding itself was beautiful and I may or may not have felt a few tears fall as the bride (my lovely cousin Tory) was walked down the aisle by her father to the enchanting sounds of a pipe organ resonating through the church (yes, I Mandy, was in a church twice in a six day span). The church was decorated with literally hundreds of poinsettias, yards of pine, and an enormous Christmas tree decorated with white and silver ornaments. It was the perfect backdrop for my cousin and her now husband. The weather was absolutely balmy for Northern Ohio in December (in the upper 60's) which meant that there was even more people there than anticipated--the brides mother is Canadian, so several of her family members were able to come share their special day.

Once at the reception the heels came off, the hair went into a ponytail and the drinking began. I caught up with the family members I literally hadn't seen in years, drank more than I should have (as pointed out by my 13 year old cousin who took it upon herself to count how many cans of beer I went through), decorated way too many sugar cookies (there was a whole decorating station set up alongside the hors d'oeuvres for the little kids and honestly for us 20 somethings it was more fun, who would have thought right?), and danced my ass off. The northern more liberal branch of my family knows how to throw one hell of a party which even got the more conservative southern family members up on the dance floor busting a move to Flo Rida's Low. Believe it or not, my aunt and uncle actually have pictures of my grandmother grooving and shaking her booty. We partied until the wee hours of the morning, so much so that moving this morning was physically painful but the party wasn't over yet. There was a huge brunch this morning for everyone who had stayed overnight with even more yummy goodness (and lots of black coffee for the majority of us dealing with major hangovers). While I usually tend to dislike weddings, this one definitely ranks up there as probably the second best wedding ever. Surprisingly, not one remark was thrown my way about being single or "finding someone and settling down." After further investigation, another single 20 something cousin escaped the criticism as well. Either the older great aunts who wear their silver hair up in braided buns have accepted the fact that we are happily single or more than likely, they have given up hope and put us in the "old maid" category.

Thats my holiday in a nutshell. This week I plan on relaxing, reading, and enjoying some alone time. How was your holiday? Have you given any thought to what you are doing for NYE?


Auburn Kat said...

You've been one busy gal! It sounds like you had a wonderful time!!! =)

michellewoo said...

Sounds like an amazing holiday. I love all these stories of leisure and relaxation. We all deserve it!

alexa @clevelandsaplum said...

my family does the crowns too! glad you had fun at the wedding :)

LBluca77 said...

Sounds like a great family holiday weekend. How fun and romantic to get married in December.

Rachel said...

Wow, that sounds like an unforgettable holiday! The bride looks lovely.

kc mom said...

Church twice in 6 days and NO lightening??? I can't believe it??!!! You MUST be doing something right.
I am glad you had a great time---sounds like so much fun.
Again---you are gorgeous in every single picture!! I can't take it.
So glad more memories were added to the "bank"!!!!!

Frank said...

That sounds like an amazing way to spend the past few days.

For New Year's, I plan on drinking an entire bottle of champagne and passing out by 10. That's the way it happens most years.

MeLaNiE said...

I'm glad you had fun at the wedding & a great Christmas! Enjoy your week off!

Stacy said...

thinking about NYE kind of makes my head spin!! Glad you had fun over the holiday weekend :)

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

Looks like a really wonderful time spent with family! And what better way to celebrate the holidays than to have fun at a wedding?!?!? Nice you could combine both into the same trip!

Little Fish said...

Your holiday weekend sounds so fun!

Do you have more pics of the wedding? I want to see the beautiful decorations in the church and the sugar cookie sation. What a fun idea?

Anonymous said...

Busy busy! It appears as though your holiday was lovely.

Cherrie said...

Man, I was tired just reading about your holidays!!

You look marvelous...


Bayjb said...

Glad you had a great holiday and survived the wedding. i was thinking of you as we were driving out to ours :) The bride looks lovely!

Andy said...

My holiday... You'll hear about it tomorrow. It was tiring and necessary. It was a nice break.

NYE? Uh, I plan on going PARTY-ING all night long.

Anonymous said...

sounds like it was all good. :)

NYE is going to be more food than you can shake a stick at and board games galore at our house. and possibly some of that wine that didn't fit in M's wine rack. Or, you know, all of it. :)

Mandy said...

Auburn Kat--it really was a wonderful time.

michellewoo--I am enjoying everyones stories as well.

Alexa-- I had never been to a wedding with crowns before, they were a lot of fun!

Lblua77--it was very fitting for my cousin to get married this time of year.

Rachel--it was!

kcmom--yes, church twice in 6 days after a several year hiatus AND I lived to tell about it, amazing right?

Frank--you don't even make it to see the ball drop?

Melanie--thanks I will! You enjoy yours too--only one more semester to go!

Stacy--yours and mine both. I am aiming for low key.

Nilsa--I was glad to combine the two as well. It really was a great weekend.

Little Fish--sadly I completely dropped the ball this entire holiday with the picture taking. I do have a few pics on Facebook, but none of the church or the cookie station. As soon as my cousin posts some of her I will share more.

mycynicalpov--it was and I had a hard time remembering what day it was.

Cherrie--it was tiring and my sleep schedule is wayyyy off!

Babyjb--I was thinking about you on Saturday headed to your wedding as well! I was looking forward to reading your recap.

Andy--party while you are young! When you get old, well it sucks and the recovery time is longer.

bigskygirl--sounds like a fun NYE and can I get a hell yeah for new kitchenaids!!

Unknown said...

Your holidya and mine sound freakishly similar. Isn't it surprising how much fun family can be sometimes? Especially when alcohol, board games and dancing are involved?

I'm gonna need that slow cooker breakfast casserole recipe, please!

Lauren Elizabeth said...

You look gorgeous! Glad you had a great holiday!