I’m finally back and refreshed surviving at work today. I had an amazing time this past week with my family. Nothing like a 15 hour roadtrip to end your Christmas vacation! We left Nashville at 7am yesterday to arrive in Durham at 8pm and then I jumped in my car and made the 2 hour trip back to Charlotte. I finally went to sleep at 11:00 last night. It was a VERY long day. I had a great time visiting with the family and seeing my grandparents. It’s nice to get life back to normal now though.

While I was home, I got a chance to take some pictures of my Mom & Dad’s house decorated. I don’t really have a home of my own to decorate yet so I always love getting to enjoy their decorations.

Here is Mom’s tree…

And here are the stockings hung by the fireplace with care. Santa had already visited my Mom’s stocking . And yes, that is a dustpan and handbroom. 🙂

Here is the piano. We always display my Mom’s knick-knack collection on here. Mostly snowmen of course. If you look close, you can see my cameo apperance…

Here is the kitchen window. It’s tough to see and a little blurry but we line the window with garland and chile pepper lights, a gift from Dad’s best friend in Texas. They are a great touch!

Our Christmas mornings have changed so much now that we are adults. We use to wake my parents up at 6am to open gifts. Now, we get up around 8 or 9, drink coffee and eat breakfast before opening gifts around 10.

Here is Audra waking up…

And here is Dad. Believe it or not, HE was the one chomping at the bit to do presents this year. He went and woke my brother up so we could get started. For those of you who know my Dad, this isn’t much of a stretch of the imagination for you I’m sure! (Just kidding, Dad!)

Here is my brother finally making an appearance. Please ignore the color swatch on the wall…my Mom is in the midst of painting the house so there are random color swatches on the walls in every room.

And here are some pictures of the unwrapping extravaganza. Notice I am always behind the camera for such photos. The morning pre-shower is not a good look for me and I prefer not to be photographed 🙂 haha

And what’s Christmas with a little friendly doggie tug-of-war with the new toy? As you can see from the pictures, I didn’t bring the Pug home for Christmas due to all the traveling. I got reports that he had a good Christmas though so that made me smile. And Gigi and Poppy got him a new bone which he is in LOVE with 🙂

After the presents, we got ready and went and did presents with my Mamaw. She loved all her gifts and we enjoyed spending time together. Unfortuantly, my picture taking ended with Christmas morning. I know, that’s bad. But I’m working on it! It just might be one of my New Years resolutions! We will get back to those tomorrow.

Overall, it was a great holiday season for me. I got to spend it with the ones I love. Even though we have tough times where we don’t always get along or we have different opinions, everyone should spend the holidays with those they love. And I’m so thankful I got to.

Now, bring on 2010!