Now I have the “Welcome Back, Kotter” theme song stuck in my head.  Never even watched the show, just know the song.  You’ll recognize it too if you have a listen {and hopefully it doesn’t get stuck in your head…if it does, sorry?…}. Anyway…

Welcome back!  I hope everyone had a happy, festive, and full holiday season!  I know I did.  While I had an extremely busy few days, it was full of adventure, laughter, and being with the ones I love {more to elaborate on later}…also taking time to remember the reason for the season.  Unfortunately, Jimmy was unable to make it all the way home to NY for the holidays with his family, so fortunately for the Lavery’s, he came home with me. 🙂  He was a great addition to our normal quad-some ways, and my entire family agreed this was one of the best Christmas’s to date.

Lavery Christmas tree this year

The holiday season always makes me feel so…full…I don’t know if that makes sense.  Everything is so bright, cheery, and warm {figuratively, not literally}.  Now I just feel kind of like there’s a hole in my soul as we’re starting to get back into the day to day.  Anyone else feeling this way?

After spending the morning opening stockings and gifts, {while listening to The Edge of Christmas soundtrack}, and enjoying the traditional Monkey Bread and my mom’s Christmas Breakfast Casserole, we decided to go on our {traditional} Christmas hike.  Are we noticing a theme here?

I guess I should also take this time to mention that I got a camera for Christmas!  A Canon Rebel EOS SL1, to be exact.  While I love all of my presents equally, I had a little heads up from Santa on this one {cough..Black Friday..cough}.  It got to the point where I didn’t even want to post blogs because I new of the image greatness that was to come, and my iPhone 4s was KILLING me {RIP you little white box, I also upgraded to a 5s the other day, so this blog’s picture quality is about to blow your mind}.  I decided to take my camera on the hike with us so I could get comfortable using the thing.

Located in North Durham

The Pump Station Trail got it’s name from the old Durham Pump Station ruins that lie by the river.  The structure transported water to all of North Durham from the late 1800’s to the earlier 1900’s.  I’ve been going to the trail since at least middle school, maybe earlier.  It’s not much these days, but it’s still pretty neat to stop by and explore.

And all I’m doing here is playing with the different focus’s {foci?}

Just a few shots around the trail…

My two favorite Charlotte dudes, who absolutely love taking pictures.  Brother on the left, boyfriend on the right {from your perspective}.

And then a quick little fam pic, Jimmy even got Alba to look at the camera!

When we got back, I couldn’t help but keep playing with my camera until it was time to eat.  There are so many different settings, I found every excuse to click, click, flash.

Vintage Marshall ornament {legit vintage, I’ve always remembered this on the tree}

My sweet, sweet dog Alba.  But don’t let this glamour shot fool you…

this is what she’s really like–

Some pre-Christmas dinner snacking…

And then my mom’s famous Christmas dinner- marinated flank steak, cheese potatoes, seasoned green beans {SO good}

We finished out the night playing a little {family} friendly game of Cards Against Humanity, one of my gifts to Ryan this year, followed by an outdoor movie.  We also used Ryan’s new projector {boy had a good Christmas}, while we stayed warm next to our fire pit.

Don’t forget the holiday lover’s photo by the tree.

Although it flew by, we all truly had a great Christmas, and I am so thankful that we were able to spend it together.  I know this is a little late, but I wanted to throw a last minute Christmas post in here before we got started on the new year.

How was everyone’s Christmas/Holiday Break??

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