Sunday, November 25, 2012

here we go...

 ...barrelling full force into the holiday season.  The semester speeds up, the weeks fly by and the stores sell my favorite holiday treats.  I've had a couple of boxes of white chocolate covered oreos already and even though I'm not drinking much of the carbonated juices lately, I'll take a glass bottle coke any day of the week.

 So Thanksgiving break came.  Blue and I spent Wednesday grading tons of sculpture projects and doing yard work.  Don't worry, I did most of the grading and he did most of the yard work.  Then we settled in with the rest of the family to watch Charlie Brown.

 Thursday morning I met brother Daniel at USC Upstate for our second running of the Gobble Your Giblets 5K.  I got lucky and won my age group but I also got beat badly by a girl with one shoe and a dog.  Seriously.  This one young lady literally ran out of her shoe at the second mile marker and was apparently going so fast she couldn't stop in time to find it.  She finished the last mile with one shoe and a sock and still beat me so bad she had time to catch her breath and get cold before I finished.  Of course, she beat most everyone else too, so I don't feel too terrible about it.  The dog also beat almost everyone else.  I knew he was going to be trouble when he showed up not dressed as a turkey, but wearing a racing bib.  Yes, the dog was wearing a racing bib.  I just feel bad for the guy who had to keep up with him to hold his leash.

 There are a lot of kids on the McAbee side of the family.  The fooseball game was paused to capture them all.  We had the Thanksgiving meal with the McAbees...

 ...and still made the coast before all the light had faded.  Then we headed out to TFI Fridays for our smaller and less traditional Thanksgiving meal.

 Black Friday started with coffee.  Relax, it's chocolate milk, but Violet was pretending to have coffee with me.  I'm sure there are great deals to be found if you venture out to shop on Black Friday but when you have an entire family of people who do not like crowds,

 there's a great alternative called Beach Friday.  After breakfast we mixed our summer and winter wardrobes and headed out to the sand to play.  These kids either have saltwater or sand in their veins.  They love the beach.  Blue drew pictures in the sand and was 90% wet by the time we went inside. 

 Violet was 50% wet but what wasn't wet was covered in sand.  It warmed up nicely and it was an absolutely beautiful day.

 The kids wanted to jump in the waves like we do when it's warmer.  Blue ran in with me but made a quick exit when the first small wave hit.  Violet made me carry her so that only one of us would have to feel the pain of the cold water.  My feet were numb the moment the water touched me.  It was worth it.

 Then we gave thanks at Russell's. 

 Russell wasn't there but everyone else was.  The hostess has been greeting us pretty much since she was a child.  We've been going there quite a while.  Best seafood in the Grand Strand area.

 And you get to enjoy the beauty of the inlet while you're there.

 If there are more beautiful spots, I haven't seen them.

 Oh, and we tried to see Santa's big arrival at the Market Common.  We waited in the cold for a long time and endured several local talent acts as we waited.  This somehow led to us accidentally seeing most of the Nutcracker ballet before we couldn't keep the kids still any longer and had to bail.  But it turned out great for us.  We had ice cream and coffee and then found Santa waiting on us by the tree.

Before we headed home we let Blue demonstrate his powerful lungs.  He nearly blew this tree out of the ground.

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