you know the feeling when you've been driving on nearly empty/empty/gas light on/GET GAS NOW because you've been waiting until you find a cheap enough gas station to warrant filling up your tank and thus are cruising around with the gnawing fear of puttering out of gas on a busy road? and then you finally see a station selling gas for 4 cents cheaper than anything else around, so you fill 'er up, and suddenly, you feel free, like you could drive anywhere in the world? 

that's how i feel today: surprised i've made it this far, but unbelievably excited for the places i'll go next. 
the fam on christmas morning (note: becky's curious george hat!)

Christmas Eve in the city

i spent christmas morning with my immediate family, as we exchanged gifts and had an amazing breakfast, but i spent the rest of christmas day with devin's family. when i arrived at his house, it was a frenzy of unwrapping--not the open-one-gift-at-a-time that my family does!--and i had already acquired quite the stack of gifts, waiting to be opened.  for dinner, devin's maternal grandparents came over to enjoy devin's mother's incredible cooking (gosh darnit, she set the standard too high, how will i ever make food for dev like she does?!) and we sat around, laughing and talking, for hours. exhibit A of hilarity is grandpop's storytelling.

grandpop: one time, i was going down to maryland with you-know-you....
grandmom: nooo, we don't know who!
grandpop: you know, my old girlfriend...?
grandmom: ohhhh! SLIPPERY LIPS?! i called her "old slippery lips"

and it's about that time that we lost it. completely lost it. he never finished his story. 

on new years day, devin will come to my family christmas with all my relatives, which is conveniently celebrated every year on new year's day. 

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