Christmas Joy, Part II

It's official. All of our Christmas celebrations are now over. I am always amazed at how it flies by every year. As we head back to real life... See I told you I wouldn't want to leave... I feel sad, but yet so excited for the year to come.

We had an amazing time in MO & AR with our family! We headed out Monday and stopped half way in Kansas and slept for about 4 hours before heading out again on Christmas morning. We made it into Springfield by lunch in time to meet up with our amazing friends, The Adkins. So thankful they took time out if their busy day to see us! TGI Fridays was the only place open on Christmas, so there we sat, eating & catching up! We then headed to my parents house in MG... It is always SO nice to get back "home". I always feel a sense of re-balance going home, being in my home town and with my parents...my compass.
After spending a couple of days at my parents' we all jetted down to my sister's in Arkansas, aka paradise!!! The trip consists of some very curvy, but gorgeous roads! The added bonus that day was the snow! Snow had DUMPED on them a couple days prior, so the roads were fairly safe, but the scenery was still magnificent! I absolutely adore the Ozark Mountain landscape; it takes me right back to my childhood.  As we arrived at my sisters, we were the first of the family to arrive, so we got some good quality time in with my sis and her girls... just catching up and settling in.  Below you'll see the GORGEOUS lodge we were blessed to stay in on the SOTO property this trip... and our daily view of the horses.
Our whole family was able to stay in this lodge, which made for an extra fun stay!  We played a lot of games, drank a lot of coffee, sat by the fire, had a traditional Christmas morning, ate lots of goodies, and even got to helped my sister and nieces with all of the animals and even got to talk to Alex on the phone (we sure do miss him)!  The horses are by far my favorite of their animals every visit, but this year Ollie took a close second.  Over the summer, they rescued an baby deer whose mother had been hunted.  They bottle fed him and now he is such a little goof! Ollie is such a love bug, and quite frankly I don't think he knows he's a deer, ha!
The few days we had together went so quickly, and as we head back to "real life" I feel quite reluctant! In fact, I haven't stopped talking about moving out of town on a good piece of land, haha, poor Rob! ♥ We are so thankful for all of our family and the time we all make for one another during the holidays! It really helps make it the most wonderful time of the year!

As I look at the week ahead, toward our returns to work on Wednesday, I'm thankful for our lives here and how God continues to bless us continually, on a daily basis! So here we go... hello real life ♥ Happy New Year, All! Enjoy some snapshots from our time away,

Rob and Ollie ♥

right outside our lodge ♥

Abi ♥

so pretty!
Ruby love!
second annual Buttons picture ♥ He loves me LOL.
brother ♥
Ruby ♥
nephew ♥
we like food
there are no words....
the view out our bedroom window
the view coming down the stairs from our room 
Sneaking Ollie some food ♥
Ruby ♥
Goobers... they love each other, LOL. 
Katy and I ♥
& my favorite shot of Ruby and I ♥

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