Highlights of the holidays...

Wow... time flies when you're having fun! Below are the highlights of our whirlwind holiday travels to see family and friends. We put on more than 2500 miles on our car... and it was worth every mile. We miss everyone already.

December 22 - we officially settled on a name for the puppy... Tank. AND, I got to sing on the Opry at the Ryman with Lee Roy and the band. It was an incredible way to start the holiday fun. I can't even describe what it felt like to perform on the stage of the "mother church'. Many thanks to Lee Roy for including me, once again.

December 23 - We hit the road to see my family in Nebraska. Johnny, Tank and I drove across TN, KY, IL & MO to Kansas City where we stayed overnight with John's Aunt Carol and Kim. There was about 6 inches of snow on the ground... and Tank loved it! Carol and Kim took us out for some Mexican... and then we promptly collapsed. Heh.

December 24 - On the road by 8 a.m. to finish our trek to the Cornhusker State through Kansas and Nebraska. Arrived at the Petersen homestead in NE Nebraska at around 3:30 p.m. Mom had soup and fixin's ready... soon everyone was there... Tony, Brenda, Cassy, AJ, Katie, Jim, Sarah, Madisen and Cierra along with Mom, Dad, John and me. So great to see everyone!

December 25 - Christmas Lunch at my Mom & Dad's. It snowed all day. 6 - 8 inches fell, making it a perfectly white Christmas. We all had a blast... Mom made the infamous tomato gravy to go with our baked potatoes, ham, fruit salad, deviled eggs, rolls and four kinds of pie: Cherry pudding, pumpkin, buffaloberry and butterscotch. After lunch, it was present mayhem... paper was flying everywhere. The kids were a riot... and they've grown-up soooo much! We had a blast catching up, playing Scene It TV and watching the more agile members of the family play Twister. Heh.

December 26 - We loaded up and headed for Sioux Falls, SD to see friends. Denice, Britt, Tessa, Jeremy, John and I all met at Champps for Buffalo wings and pasta. We laughed and laughed and laughed. It was a good time. I miss Denice... and all our peeps.

December 27 - Change in travel itinerary. We were planning to go back to Nebraska for another day to see my family, but the weather had other ideas. A snow storm was brewing in Colorado... and forecasted to move through Nebraska, South Dakota and Iowa on Friday. So, in an effort to avoid driving in blowing snow all day Friday, we opt'd to make our way towards Iowa from Sioux Falls. Tony, Brenda, AJ & Katie met us in Sioux City for lunch... and by 7 p.m. on Thursday, we were hanging out at Tom & Minnies in Oskaloosa with a good portion of the Richardson clan helping Grace celebrate her birthday.

December 28 - And... it snowed. In Sigourney, IA, about 8 - 10 inches fell before noon. We were so glad that we'd come a day early. Tom (John's Dad), Bernie (Gertie's sister) John and I went to visit Grandma Rosemary and Grandma Eloise. It was sooooo good to see them and visit a while. Then, while Gertie was at work, Bernie and I got everything ready for our Christmas supper than night. Soup and dip and cheese and crackers. That night we had a packed house of seventeen people. Good times. Good times. We ate, laughed, opened presents and then played the annual "Richardson Trivia" created by John's brother, Tommy. It was a blast.

December 29 - More fun with the Richardson's. Everyone paid a visit to Rosemary and Eloise at the care center in Sigourney. Stephanie, John's cousin, played piano for the residents and the Grandma's. Later that day, we also took Tank in to meet / greet everyone. That night, we had another big family supper at Tom & Gertie's. Kim brought fixin's to make pizza... so we went to town creating six kinds of pizza pies for "Gertie's Pizzeria". The best was the "Grand Poo Bah Hah" with everything on it that Caitlin made... and the Double Decker that Cody made. After, we watched football... or rather... I fell asleep on the floor while everyone else watched football. Heh.

December 30 - Snow was in the forecast for Monday... So, John and I decided to hit the road for Nashville a day early. It was hard to leave everyone... but so good to see our families. By St. Louis, we were no longer seeing snow on the ground and Tank was loving the grass when we stopped at Culver's for crinkle fries and a pork tenderloin sandwich. We arrived back in Nashvegas around 6:30... had a couple hot dogs and went to bed. Zzzzzzzzzzz.

December 31 - I had good intentions to go into work and save a vacation day... but alas... the travel tired's had caught up with both John and me. I slept in until 9 a.m. Made some potato soup for lunch... and then John and I took a nap. It felt so good. For New Year's Eve, we went out for supper at Royal Thai and then headed over to F Scott's to see Charles perform with the Michael Fair Quartet. At around 10, we headed down to Franklin for a New Year's gathering at the West's. The time flew by... soon it was midnight. We all tosted to 2008 and then proceeded to swap songs until 2:30 a.m. What a great way to start the new year! (Good thing we took a nap.)

January 1 - John and I slept in until 9 a.m. Then we went to Lowe's to investigate fence options for our new little addition. After lunch, John and I took a nap... again. Wow. But, it sure felt good. Then, we headed over to Chip Greene's for a little New Year's gathering. Chip made some incredible homemade lasagna and then... John and I turned into pumpkin's at 9 p.m.

January 2 - Back at work... missed everyone at cabedge. Feels good to be back on schedule and trucking forward. Time to hit the ground running with all the carrots here in the cabedge patch.


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