“Christmas” Vacation in Atlanta for New Years

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A couple of my siblings have work schedules that make vacation time around Christmas a little difficult so sometimes we can’t all get together until the first week of January.  This was one of those years.  Since my parents moved to Atlanta 10 years ago, we usually change where we go for “Christmas” each year.  Some years we have done destination locations, but most of the time we go to someone’s house, since we are all spread out across the country.  We have actually come to Seattle more than any other location.  This year we decided to go to my parent’s house in Atlanta, since this is the last Christmas they will spend there before they retire and move to Seattle this summer/fall.  (Yay!!!!!)  It was Vu’s first time going to Atlanta, and it’s a good thing he made it before they left, as both my mother and his mother like to point out.  We flew nonstop from Seattle to Atlanta on Friday and UW was playing in the final four the next day in Atlanta, so there was a lot of UW spirit on the plane, including a tailgate party at the gate before boarding and a camera crew talking to fans as they boarded.  I think 80% of the passengers were in purple.

We had a relaxing week, hanging out and playing lots of games.  We got Chick-fil-a as much as possible since they are everywhere in Georgia, and I am still waiting for the one and only one we have in Bellevue to not have a huge line.  Probably not going to happen.

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We had a pretty low key New Year’s Eve.  Rachel and Andrew went to the UW football game.  We slept in (hello West Coast time and recovering from colds that unpleasantly messed up our heads all week thanks to the flight), watched “The Lord of the Rings” and played games until we watched the ball drop with some sparkling cider.  It was my first New Years actually spent on the East Coast.

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Christmas Advent Video

Christmas is my favorite time of year and I love all of the different advent activities to do to make the whole month of December feel festive.  For some reason Advent seems to be one of those things that most people just do with kids, but I love finding ways to celebrate my favorite holiday.  🙂  I designed some advent magnets for my scrabble quote board that I love and it was a very meaningful Christmas this year as we tried to find ways to serve to “Light the World.”  I have found that it can be a little difficult to find advent activities for every day that are for adults so if you are like me and looking for inspiration here is a list of the activities we did this year.

Dec 1 – Ward Relief Society Christmas Dinner, the perfect start to the month, hearing about how to make Christ the center of Christmas and “Let Him In”

Dec 2 – Bellevue Festival of the Nativities, this is one of my favorites every year, since I collect nativities from around the world I love seeing hundreds from all over as well as the Christ room beautifully depicting the life of Christ

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Dec 3 – Girls Christmas Craft Night

Dec 4 – Hang ornaments on the tree and watch the 1st Presidency Christmas Devotional

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Dec 5 – Build Christmas Lego’s, it also snowed all this week which was so beautiful, I have really missed the Utah snow

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Europe: Aggstein, Vienna and Budapest + a video

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On Thursday morning we were planning on driving straight to Vienna, but after seeing the castles and pretty drive along the river the night before we decided to drive back along in the daylight and stop at Castle Aggstein.  I am so glad we did this, the castle was one of my favorite things.  It is maintained in a sort of crumbling state, and I love castle ruins.  It is also built up on the top of one of the hills and right into a rock.  We had so much fun exploring the castle ruins.

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Video: Our Trip to Orlando

For Christmas Vu bought me a new camera and one of the features it has is video.  I was so excited about this because I have been interested in taking video’s of our vacations and things for a few years now.  I was able to try it out on our trip to Orlando and then I spent the last 2 weeks figuring out how to get the footage that I had taken into a video I could share.  I have really enjoyed learning about this.  However, I am very, very aware that I have A LOT to learn.  Despite the very obvious flaws I can see in this video I still really love it, it is so fun to be able to relive our vacation a little bit.  And I can’t wait to continue to improve my skills.  Especially for my trip to Europe in May. 🙂

You can tell I really love fireworks too! 🙂 For the ones at Epcot (with the lake), the spot we were watching them from had a firework go off right in front of us.  It really surprised me the first time.  You can see it a couple of times in the video.

Also, I didn’t learn how to choose the quality of image recorded until after I got back… so yeah… that could be better.  Next time!