Pictionary drawing of low-rise jeans done by Ashley in a game of Cranium

Pictionary drawing of low-rise jeans done by Ashley in a game of Cranium - notice the butt cheeks sticking out.

“Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And days o’ lang syne ?”
Auld Lang Syne (that song we sing on New Year’s Eve)

After a great week of Christmas with Ashley’s family and meeting up with some college and high school friends, we headed home to Nashville last Monday. Tuesday, Ashley lounged around the house, ran some errands, and I (Jeff) did a little bit of work in the morning.

We worked out at the YMCA and saw Four Christmases in the theater. It was a great movie about the holidays and the importance of family, which was great to see in between spending time with our two families.

Wednesday, we bummed around for awhile; then, Ashley went shopping, and I worked for part of the day. For the “eve” portion of New Year’s Eve, we had a fairly low-key night, ringing in the New Year. We ended up hanging out with our Nashville wedding photographer friends Zach and Jody Gray. They’re becoming some of our favorite game-players.

We like playing guys against girls, except when the girls are really good at the game, as they were with Taboo. I think they somehow peaked at the cards while Zach and I were eating pizza or something, because they seemed to know every answer.

Pictionary drawing of head gear by Zach in a game of Cranium

Pictionary drawing of head gear by Zach in a game of Cranium

So, we were forced to school them in a game of Cranium, during which we watched the ball drop. Highlights of the game were correctly spelling difficult words backwards (I once was the 6th grade spelling bee champ, you know), drawing amusing representations of head gear and low-rise jeans, and molding Ms. Pacman in clay (great guess, Zach!).

We said “Happy New Year” to one another, drank soda out of champagne flutes, and kissed our spouses. It was an interesting night for Ashley and me, because we were also, in a way, celebrating our first year of marriage. While we won’t actually have our anniversary until January 12th, it was significant to realize how quickly this year has flown by for us.

The next morning, we woke up and left the apartment before breakfast time to head to Alabama. We were welcomed by the Goins family and a full-fledged breakfast for lunch (what some people might call “brunch”). In the afternoon, we exchanged gifts and watched a few movies.

Jeff, Patrick, and finished gingerbread house

Jeff and Patrick posing seriously before their gingerbread masterpiece

In between movies, my little brother Patrick, Ashley, and I built a gingerbread house. 

Have you ever built one of these? They’re quite easy, when you buy the kit. (If you want to do one from scratch, check out this website. We tried this once before during Thanksgiving and failed miserably.) It may be one of the most gratifying experiences one can have, even if the frosting is a little sugary (so says Ash, anyway).

After the “construction” project, we eventually did a little “demolition” with our mouths. I liked the gummy chimney and jelly bean shingles.

Jeff and Patrick celebrating their newly-constructed gingerbread house

Jeff and Patrick celebrating their newly-constructed gingerbread house

Ashley and I took my sisters (Nikki and Marissa) to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which was a little longer and less exciting as expected.

While the critics are raving about this new Brad Pitt movie, we found it strikingly similar to Forrest Gump and The Notebook. However, it did have a great message about not taking life for granted and living it to the fullest. Seeing this movie and then returning home to Patrick and our wondrous gingerbread creation really drove home the point of seeing the world through the eyes of a child.

We ate a late dinner of baked potatoes with chili, hung out just a little while longer with the family, and then hopped back into the car for the two-hour-long ride home (okay, so maybe we took another chunk off of the gingerbread house just before heading out).

We had a good ride home, and even stopped at a gas station to get soda in glass bottles (everything tastes better in a glass bottle). We crashed as soon as we got home and had a pretty lazy the next day. It was a great way to ring in the New Year.