a nashville christmas

well we got home today from nashville (franklin) after visiting lots of family and friends for an early christmas. jay has to work on christmas eve from 8-3 and i work all christmas eve night. we had this time off together and decided to take a mini-vacation to tennessee and celebrate the holidays early. dave stayed home alone (with plenty of food and water) and the dogs went to play at sparky's (just glad they don't have to dress up anymore).

we drove down on friday and got in pretty much in time for bed!

and after a good nights sleep, we started the weekend with lunch on saturday at stoveworks at the factory. it was delicious and hit the spot. jay and i ate with mom, aunt janice, and angel, our cousin. it was a bit of a "girly" lunch spot, but jay hung in there. :) jay and i spent part of the afternoon at the farm visiting with the animals. spooner has a lot more white in her face. (jay's old black lab). but she's doing well, at the ripe old age of 12.

we also met marty, jay's mom's and sister's new beagle. he's a cute little guy.

sunday was a good day as well. we met up with friends becca and brad for some afternoon coffee and catching up. then it was off to jay's mom's house to visit with her and his stepdad, paul, for a bit. then it was back to my mom's for a dennis family christmas with mom, dad, phil, samantha, and courtney! we had lots of fun watching courtney play with new toys and crawling around like such a big girl. the hat i knit her barely fit her head, so i will have to make a new one so she can finish out the winter. but we had lots of fun playing and getting reacquainted. we even had time for some pictures at grandmama's house. everyone was there for sunday night dinner and we all had a good time, while roasting until we convinced them to turn on the air conditioner. (it was 70+ degrees outside and 77 degrees inside. too hot!)
the hat just fits her. it is the first hat i have ever made so i just need to find a pattern that is big enough. we thought it was time for a good christmas picture. we are a bit casual, but it turned out well, i think. grandmama's living room is always a good place for pictures.
the dennis family at christmas time. it has been since may since we have all been together and able to get a picture taken so we took advantage had had uncle steve take our picture. and i haven't had a picture taken with courtney since she was born. well, that i was in at least. so with our rosy (sweating) cheeks all a-glow, we posed for a picture.
courtney and i had lots of fun growling at each other. she apparently learned how to growl from her schnauzer, phoebe. so we played and played and entertained each other and let phil and samantha eat a peaceful dinner with adult conversation. here are some little cousins, james (in the middle), jason (with the gold tie), and justin (in red). they are brothers ages 6, 4, and 2. they were having a good time having mom take their picture. justin didn't want to look, so james gave him a hand in turning is head.
and lindsey, regina, and haley... not sure why haley chose that moment to make such a lovely face at her mother, but at least lindsey gave a nice smile. they had come to visit here just a couple of months ago. and then monday we slept in a bit and did a bit of shopping in cool springs. then we went to see our friend amy's new house in spring hill. then jay went to study a bit and i went to visit with mandy and harrison at their house. and then it wasn't much longer and it was time for dinner with pam, paul, and erin. we had a delicious dinner at sperry's. then it was back to mom's to rest up before heading home today.
it was great having 3 whole days to spend with family and friends and not feel rushed. we couldn't believe how warm it was. it made it not feel much like christmas, but the trees and presents helped. :) but it is back to work tomorrow for jay and i will go pick up the dogs and do some grocery shopping, laundry, and a bit of cleaning. vacation never lasts long enough.