Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Simple Holiday Moments

Sometimes it's the simple moments surrounded by family or friends that make the holiday season most special.  Here are a few of the moments that I most enjoyed and cherished during the past week.

A Christmas cookie exchange hosted by a friend in Charlotte.  

Running the Atlanta Christmas 5K with Dad, Mom, and Bailey

Bailey took off straight to the front of the pack, and with a time of 21 minutes, 
earned 1st place in the dog division.

After finishing the race with me, she proudly brought Dad across the finish line.

 Breakfast at Highland Bakery following the race is becoming an annual tradition.

This year's breakfast choices were The Highland Light Breakfast, Cilantro Corn Pancakes, and The Rustic Italian.  A few of their famous sweet potato biscuits also managed to make a trip home to Charlotte.  No idea how that happened . . . 

No Christmas is complete without an evening at Grandpa and Grandma's for dinner, conversation, and a gift exchange.  Grandma has a delicately decorated tree with ornaments from multiple generations.

Mom appears happy with her new scarf and matching gloves.

Grandpa and Grandma also celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary just a few days later.  
Quite a fine looking couple!

We ventured to Turner Field to check out Downtown Winter Wonderland - promoted to be a festival of  elaborate displays of lanterns, cultural foods, and entertainment.   The lanterns were the highlight of the night, but couldn't surpass the pathetic Chinese acrobatic show, fried versions of most any unhealthy food imaginable, and a cheesy carnival-like atmosphere.  Nonetheless, we all left laughing about the experience and are sure we will talk about it for years to come!

The annual AJC "Mammoth Crossword" provided a wordy challenge for several days.  
With a team effort we nearly reached completion.

Rainy day entertainment included burning off the dog's energy with some time on the treadmill.

A caramel brûlée soy latte, a good novel, and a lazy day on the couch.  Blissful!

Several mornings and evenings spent basking in front of the fireplace.  
You just have to fight Bailey for the front row spot that she so adores.

A post-hike lunch of BLT sandwiches, butternut squash soup, apple slices, and grapes.

Another comforting meal of soup, goat cheese and fig bruschetta, salad, and oranges.

Arriving home to several Christmas cards in the mailbox from family and friends.  

And finally, as 2014 approaches, a meal to bring a year of good luck and fortune.
Black eyed peas, greens, corn bread, roasted okra, tomato slices, and avocado.

What simple moments did you most enjoy over the holidays?

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