1) Raleigh - We started our Christmas vacation off in Raleigh this year. We drove down last Friday after work. We only worked half a day, so we were hoping to get to Raleigh around 6. 6 turned into 9 really quick. We hit some horrible traffic! We definitely expected some, but we still underestimated. We had dinner plans that we ended up canceling. We stayed with Anna and John for 2 nights and we had a great time. We caught up, exchanged gifts, went to a basketball game, went out for dinner, and went out with friends. All the while, Bailey got to play with Carter! They were really good together, as always :-).
2) NC State Basketball - We got cheap tickets to the basketball game vs St. Bonaventure last Saturday. I've never had seats so far up in the arena, but they weren't nearly as bad as I expected. We could actually see really well. We had a good game, especially CJ Leslie, and we had a great time. It's always nice to go back to visit.
3) Dinner with Friends - We drove to Josh's mom's house Sunday morning. We caught up with her for a bit, then met some friends for dinner. We went to Carolina Ale house and enjoyed catching up. We hadn't seen Dan in well over a year I think. Time really flies!
4) Day with Natalia - We kept Natalia for the day on Christmas Eve. I tried to get her to stay the night with us, but she wasn't up for it. She changed her mind around 9:00 that night, but I told her it was too late and that we would just pick her up in the morning.
First, we went to Josh's mom's. I gave Natalia one of her gifts early and Bailey helped her open it. She got a travel, Hello Kitty version of Connect 4. We taught her how to play and played it with her a few times.
Then she played Old MacDonald for us.
Next, we went Bowling. Of course Josh won, but we still had fun too!
We played a few arcade games. She kicked my butt at this one.
Hunting with Uncle Josh.
After bowling, we got milkshakes and went back to Josh's mom's. Josh tried to teach her how to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. She wasn't interested.
After playing Connect 4 and playing the piano a little more, Natalia helped wrap Bailey's Christmas gifts.
Then, we had to take her to get ready for Santa. I would say we had a successful day :-).
5) Christmas Day - We had a wonderful Christmas day. We had 3 houses to visit, and we did it in a different order this year. It worked out so much better! We did Josh's mom's first. She cooked breakfast, then everyone opened gifts. Bailey LOVES wrapping paper.
She got a couple toys from Nana that she absolutely loves.
Then we went outside for our nephew to get his big gift.
After playing outside for a bit, we came back in to clean up. Bailey got to play a little more first though.
Next, we dropped Bailey off at my sister's house and went to Josh's Aunt Gayle's house. We got to stay there a little longer than we usually do since my sister lives right down the road from her house now. It makes life so much easier!
We went back to my sister'shouse after a few hours. None of us were hungry just yet, so we did gifts before dinner. I didn't take very many pictures.
Natalia got a LeapPad 2.
Josh and I got a custom made NC State chest, money and gift cards. I'll have to take a picture of the chest and post it at some point.
We finally had dinner a little later. We usually do the same foods for Christmas as we do for Thanksgiving. We mixed it up a little this year and had a cranberry pork loin and beef bourguignon. YUM!
We had a very busy, but still great day. We got to spend a good amount of time with everyone, which is a nice change.
6) Short Week - We only worked Thursday and Friday this week. It was really tough to get up early and go to work after having so many days off to sleep in.