It is SO good to be here, and as beautiful and wonderful as Charleston truly is, nothing beats the upstate. Honestly.
We rolled into town Wednesday evening around 10 o'clock and we parked the Penske truck because after 3 hours of loading, we just didn't have the energy to unload in the same day!! We made it back safely; it was a pretty uneventful trip with no major problems. Jonathan's mom and dad have a basement room with all the furnishings -shower, kitchen area, sleeping area- so that is where we are staying for the 3 or so weeks that we are here. It's a pretty good set-up and functions pretty much as our very own house. It's very private, and sometimes I forget that we're adjacent to the rest of the house!!! We are very thankful that we could have it to stay in (I think it could possibly be the same size as our house in Charleston, ha!!), and they worked so hard to get it ready and make it "homey." It looks great and we are so appreciative!!
Jonathan spent all of Thursday, along with the help of his dad (I snuck out to do wedding things with Bekah.....we had a GREAT time and I'm even more pumped about this wedding now!!), unloading everything in my parents' storage unit, his parents' attic, and the basement room. I was very thankful that they did this and I didn't even have to lift a finger!! :) So as of right now, there are tubs and all sorts of things taking up space in our living area (mainly lots of clothes), but only because we've got to sort through it to decide what needs to be kept out for Italy. Oh boy.
But the main thing is, we're settled in. In familiar surroundings, with family and friends, for the Holidays. And we're oh SO very excited!!! :)
Speaking of the Holidays, we had our 1st Family Christmas get together last night. It was the Mauldin get together, which is all of Jonathan's mom's immediate family (about 13 of us) and we had the best time, but even better, the BEST food!! Jonathan's Grandmother can COOK!!!! Whew baby!! Plus, we let the kids have their time opening presents (ages 12, 8, and 8) and that is always priceless. I love it.
I was also able to get some time in to visit Calhoun yesterday with the most fabulous Jennifer Turner, and it was AWESOME to see all those bright, smiling familiar faces. I was reminded of why I adore that school so much. I loved getting to see everyone, especially some of my babies from last year!!! Incredible. Jennifer and I grabbed lunch together at Fatz Cafe afterwards, and she treated me, which was not necessary, but VERY sweet of her!! :) The conversation was awesome and encouraging -as it always is with J.Turner- and we had such a great time!! She is a true friend, and I am so thankful for her!! As far as I'm concerned, everyone should have a Jennifer Turner!!!
So now, I am officially in the Christmas mood....officially!!! My favorite cousin, Shannon arrives from Texas today and I cannot wait. Both sets of parents' houses are decorated so beautifully for Christmas, and of course, the first time I headed over to the my parents' house, mama was baking poppyseed bread so even the aroma filling the house was so fitting!! We've got just a few more Christmas gifts to get for family and another family get together tonight which will be followed by many more!! And the Larges will get into town Wednesday night and I cannot wait!! :)
So being in this Christmas spirit, I wanted to leave you with something to help get you in the holiday spirit if you're not already. One is a video of a remake of the song, "Singing in the Rain" originally sung by Gene Kelly, but in this instance, sung by Usher. "Singing in the Rain" is a favorite of mine as far as regular music is concerned because I wish I could live every day to the lyrics of that song. We saw this on a Christmas special last holiday season, and it was amazing. So amazing that I think everyone needs to see it so I'm sharing it!! The other 2 are Christmas songs. Two songs that are probably on my list of top 5 Christmas songs of all time. The first is "Jesus, Oh What a Wonderful Child," sung by John Legend. It's currently my Christmas ringtone for whenever anyone calls, and it's just got so much soul. In a very uplifting way, it reminds you of what this time of year is really about. I love it!!! The second one is probably my #1 most favorite Christmas song, EVER. It's "Baby it's Cold Outside," sung by Dolly Parton and Rod Stewart. As many of you know, this song has been sung by various artists, but this version truly is the best. Hands down. I love, love, love this song. I've been listening to the Christmas music non-stop, as I'm sure many of you have, and this one is the one that I play over and over and over.
If this video and songs doesn't get you into the Christmas spirit, I don't know what will. Enjoy!!
Usher....singing in the rain!!!
John Legend...."Jesus, What a Wonderful Child"
And my ALL TIME fav.....Dolly and Rod with "Baby, it's Cold Outside!!"