A Kennedy Christmas
Well, this year was pretty good as far as Christmas goes. Now if someone could just invent a reliable teleportation device, it would be perfect. I think I spent more in a car this year than I did actually being able to spend time with loved ones.
Thursday, December 21st
The trip started out a little behind schedule. Unfortunately, our friend’s father passed away on Tuesday the 19th and the funeral was on the 21st, the day we were scheduled to leave. Well, there was no way we were gonna leave town without going to the funeral. It just wouldn’t seem right. Anyway, once we left the funeral we still had to go home, finish packing, and grab the little one. We decided to grab dinner on the way. So we stopped at McDonald’s so Iliana could play on the playground and maybe wear herself out. I guess it kinda worked. We left Searcy at about 7:40 that night. Iliana fell asleep at about 8:30 or 9:00 and the rest of the drive sucked!!! It rained the whole way. Amy drove most of the way down there and almost had a nervous breakdown about 50 times because of the road and weather conditions. We got about 100 miles away from our destination (Ridgeland, MS) and I made her pull over and let me drive. It started to clear up by the end, but I’d have to say that it was the most worstest trip we have ever had to make. Once we got there, everything was great, but the trip down was a nightmare.
Friday, December 22nd
Once at my mom’s, we had a good time. We got to visit with my mom, step dad and sister. Friday for lunch, we went to the Natchez Trace Grill in Ridgeland. If you are ever in the Jackson, MS area, you gotta eat here. Best food in the area! Also, try the Bread Pudding. It’s delicious!!! Friday night, my mom took us to Canton, MS where their court square was lit up and they had a merry-go-round and carriage rides. Iliana loved the horses (huge Clydesdales) and really enjoyed running around the courthouse lawn. We had a blast. When we got back to my mom’s, Amy and I had talked about going to a movie once Iliana was asleep, but Amy was too tired and encouraged me to go. So I went to a really nice theater in Madison, MS called the Malco Grandview or something like that, and saw Rocky Balboa. It was great. Definitely, a great way to end the Rocky series.
Saturday, December 23
Saturday, we just kinda hung out at my mom’s and went to Chuck E. Cheese for lunch. Iliana had a blast. There was a little Stuart Little (Iliana’s favorite movie) car ride that we got some great pictures on. I think we all had a great time.
Sunday, December 24th, Christmas Eve
Sunday, my grandmother came for lunch and we had some great southern eats. My step dad always makes a fried turkey and I think that when I start making a turkey for holidays, I’m gonna do it that way. It was great. The best was my mom’s pecan pie. I didn’t actually get to eat it until the next day, but it’s always the best at a meal even if I don’t get to eat it right then. (That last statement made sense to me…you figure it out). We left shortly after lunch and the gift exchange. Iliana was getting cranky and we wanted to be on the road for her nap. The trip home was way better than the trip down. We got home around 7:00 and proceed to unpack and unwind. We even opened one present each. I got a really cool Bible. Now you may be thinking that getting a Bible for Christmas is kinda redundant, or a easy way out kinda gift. I mean, who is gonna complain that they got a Bible. They might not like it, but they won’t say anything because, hey, it’s a Bible. Anyway, that was far from the truth in my case. Amy got me an Archaeological Study Bible. And no, it’s not King James for all you die hard KJV folks out there. It’s NIV. It’s like Indiana Jones meets the Apostle Paul. Pretty neat. And…moving on. Once Iliana went to bed, Santa got to work assembling the toy kitchen for Iliana. It was fun for Santa. We eventually made it to bed, exhausted.
Monday, December 25th, Christmas
Well, Christmas morning was a blast. We got Iliana up and once she saw her kitchen, we couldn’t pry her away from it. We eventually got her to open her presents. We discovered that this year, we probably went a little overboard on Iliana. She got way too much stuff. Next year, I hope to implement the Jesus rule: “Three presents were good enough for Jesus, and they’ll be good enough for you.” But we still had fun. By the end of it, Iliana started to get the hang of opening the presents.
We weren’t planning on going to Amy’s family’s house for dinner, but at the last minute, decided to go. As we were leaving Searcy, I decided to get all of my “Christmas calling” done while on the road. So, I called my dad to say Merry Christmas and found out that he was on the way to see me. WWHHHAAATTTT??? I’m on the way to south of Little Rock. You see, he had called me the week before asking what we were doing Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I said that we would get back to Searcy by 8:00 Christmas Eve and we didn’t have plans for Christmas day. He said that he may stop by and see us. Well, since I didn’t see him Christmas Eve and hadn’t heard from him since, I figured he wasn’t coming. Not because he bails out on me on a regular basis, but I know that with his store, things come up and he may have to make a trip to Texas or somewhere. And when that happens I understand and tell him I’ll see him next go around. Well, I thought this was one of those times. So, since I didn’t think he was coming, we set off for Benton, AR. (More driving) Well, while we are on the phone discussing this, dad was almost in Russellville, which is less than an hour from Conway. He said that he was gonna stop there and visit a friend for a couple of minutes and then come to my house. Well, we were off and on the phone a couple of times and I told him I would just meet him in Conway. It was a little out of the way, but it was well worth it. We had a good visit, he said that he wasn’t gonna stay long anyway. We also got to see my sister Kim and BJ. Iliana loved Kim and stayed with her pretty much the whole time.
Once we left Conway, we headed to Benton. Iliana did pretty good in the car. We got to Benton just in time to eat. Amy’s cousin Michelle had it at her house and her husband, John, is an awesome cook. I had to take some of it home with me. Anyway, we had a good time visiting with Amy’s family and then got back on the road for home. While Iliana was playing with her kitchen, Amy and I took the opportunity to get a bunch of housework done so that we wouldn’t waste out one off day cleaning.
Tuesday, December 26th, Christmas +1
We really took it easy Tuesday. We went to WalMart for a few things, but basically stayed around the house. It was great.
All in all, we had a great Christmas. Next year, we are doing Christmas at our house. We are not going anywhere. Let this be fair warning to all family. IF YOU WANT TO SEE US, WE HAVE A SPARE BED!!! We love you all, but the holidays get to be a drag when you have to travel everywhere. This has really turned into a really long post. Better end it.