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This holiday season I had a lot of firsts.
Some of my firsts were:

*My first Christmas away from home. I totally made it. It wasn’t too bad actually. The 23rd was hard for me…because of Gram and Christmas Eve was actually harder than Christmas day. Opening my pjs on Christmas Eve just left me bawling. Other than that…it was a lot of fun!
*I had fried turkey for the first time. Verdict? Necessary and DELICIOUS!
*My first Gingerbread House Wars competition. Sooo fun!
*Meeting Jeremy. Verdict? Love him! He’s Hallie’s husband.
*My first time making Zach’s mom’s banana bread and liking it myself. I learned the ways while home…and I also used a Kitchenaid for the first time and fell in love!
*We played Cities and Nights (a Settlers Expansion) OH MY GOODNESS! We LOVE it! LOVE it!
Except when Warren keeps winning and Suzanne is actually vengeful and gets back at me. We had some intense games. Perhaps my favorite part was Dad having us put bets on how long Zach would last before getting pissy (secretly behind his back). I had the most faith in my husband I gave him 45 minutes. I believe Hallie gave him 15…he maybe…MAYBE lasted five!
*I shot my first handgun. We totally had a redneck Christmas. Jeremy got a pistol for Christmas and some of the boys wanted to go to the shooting range and shoot. So we did…on Christmas day. We were in good company, others had the exact same idea. It is Georgia after all.
I did okay. I don’t think I ever hit our makeshift target. I told Zach’s dad that it was because the target he drew was too cute to hit..but really it’s hard. When I shot the pistol I will admit. I was terrified. Completely terrified. Almost frozen. When the gun kicked…I nearly died. Luckily, I survived and I had a pretty good time. I still have my earplugs in my coat pocket and when I reach in to grab something and feel them, it makes me smile.
There may be others but I’m just not thinking right now.
Picture warning.

Here’s my team (Zach, Amber, Miss Betty, and me) we had a trailer park house…my idea. :)

Betty’s idea was the antenna…do you love it?

Favorite quote of the night:
Zach is trying to glue the sides together for like EVER. (Remember it takes him an hour to do ANYTHING–which sometimes I love.) I was growing impatient at this particular time. I said to Zach, “Maybe married couples shouldn’t be on the same team.”
Rob says, “Married couples shouldn’t even be married.”
He goes on to say, “It should be a contract, renewable every 5 years.”
Normally I would NOT laugh at something like that even a little.
In fact I would normally state my disapproval of the statement and intently watch Zach to see if he thought it was funny. I would then interrogate Zach about the statement. “Do you agree with that? I am definitely not okay with that. Do you understand why I think that statement was out of line?” etc…Instead I laughed…A lot actually. It caught me off guard and it just flowed so perfectly with my statement.
Oh and p.s. My mom was the judge. I texted her pictures of the houses. It made me happy that they let me have my mom involved in my Christmas away from home.
She voted us: Most Original
Here is the most creative winner.
Team was: Suzanne, Rob, and Jeremy.
I accidentally just deleted the best picture. The pool. I will post it later to give proper credit to the most creative team.
Sorry for the weird pictures. My phone.

Best Overall
Can’t argue.
It’s so clean and pretty.
Team: Warren, Hallie, Bo, and Kay

I also need to include pictures of Bo’s amazing wreath he added. This house was too cute.
Apparently this team was the same last year–we draw names to decide teams–and they lost.
Warren was THRILLED to win.’
He was hilarious. All night while we waited for my mom to call with the verdict, he would say, “I’m so nervous…”
The next day he was admiring the house in the kitchen and said to me, “Yeah, your mom definitely made the right decision.” I had to laugh.
The only picture of me shooting. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if you found a video of me floating around on YouTube. Let’s just say that the gun freaked me out and I didn’t handle it too well…and the guys next to us thought it was hilarious…and apparently taped it.
Zach and Bo
I didn’t get a picture of Zach and Hallie, but I just have to say. I love my in-laws. I love Zach’s brother and sisters. I love their significant others. I love his family.
Redneck Christmas right here!

And then we went home and had fried turkey.
And it was amazing.