Okay, so as promised, Matthew visited my family over New Years! It was his first trip down to our place, as well as his first time visiting South Carolina. His friend, Joel, also traveled down with him. Joel lives in Florida, where Matthew will be staying the whole month of January, but he flew up to Indiana to visit his family for the holidays and then drove down with Matthew to spend New Year's with us.
Matthew was scheduled to arrive Monday afternoon. He had texted me early Monday morning and said that he would be at our place by 1:00. Needless to say, I was excited! We had everything ready for his visit, so I was pretty much ready for him to show up whenever. We went out to milk, and finished up the chores, and then I came in to get ready for the day; you know, take a shower, put on a nice outfit, fix my hair nicely, so that I would be ready when he arrived. Well, I hadn't even been inside from milking for about 10 minutes when Matthew calls me and says he's super excited and he's getting close.
Me: "How close?"
Matthew: "Really close..."
I nonchalantly asked: "So will you be here before 1:00?"
At this point I was feeling slightly panicked, but I still knew I would have time to get ready quickly. Relax Kelsey....
Matthew: "Yes, definitely before 1:00....(pause for effect) We are sitting in your driveway...."
Me: "No way."
I dashed downstairs and quickly brushed my hair and put my contacts in (I wear glasses, for those of you who didn't know that), while Mom (who knew about the whole thing, but was told not to tell), invited Matthew and Joel in. At this point, I was still in my feeding clothes, and I did not get my shower in, but I was so glad he was here, that it didn't really matter.
(You'd think that since he has surprised me by coming early already, that I would be ready for anything, but I'm still learning. Have I mentioned that he is quite the stinker?!!)
After giving him my biggest smile, he received a sock in the arm for getting one up on me again!
After being introduced to Joel, (Who we very much enjoyed visiting with over the week! Come back any time Joel!), we helped unpack their car, and showed them around the house and where they'd be sleeping, Joel, Noah, Matthew and I took a walk around the pastures. We came back to the house and while Matthew and Joel played Euchre with Savannah and Mom, I jumped in the shower to freshen up. Better late than never, right?!!
I had watched over Matthew's shoulder while he played for a little bit, he would show me his cards and which one he was planning on playing next. So when an opening became available, I filled in. Matthew asked if I wanted to be on his team. I decided that after watching him play and figuring out his strategy and thinking, I'd like to be his opponent....just to see if I could beat him, you see. So, I was Noah's partner and Matthew and Joel were partners and....Noah and I won!!! hehehehe
Since Matthew couldn't be with us for Christmas, we saved our gifts for him and Joel under the Christmas tree until they arrived, so that first afternoon we all gathered in the living room to pass out gifts. Matthew even went out and bought each member of the family a gift!
This first picture was of the bowling shoes that Matthew bought for me!!! We have talked about bowling before and I have mentioned to him my strong dislike for nasty, ugly bowling shoes. It's the only downside to the sport, but a downside it definitely is! I have had a thing against bowling shoes since I was 3 or 4. If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you'll have noticed that I always mention the horrid bowling shoes in my blog posts. Sorry, but it's a pet peeve of mine.
All that being said, I had no idea that he'd go out and buy me a beautiful pair of my very own! He's just that thoughtful!
One thing that Matthew and I had a lot of fun with is sending each other A.A. Milne quotes back and forth (or Winnie the Pooh). So I got him a picture frame with the quote,
"When I saw you I knew an adventure was going to happen."
My family bought him a sweater, for those cold Ohio winters!
Matthew is always asking me to send him the pictures that we took together so that he could get some hard copies of them. I held him off long enough to order the pictures myself and put them into photo albums for him to use as a gift. He has told me before that he isn't too fond of random gifts. He likes gifts with sentimentality behind them, so I really had to think hard of what that would be! I think he liked the photos. :)
He gave me the blanket that I'm holding on my lap! I got cold one evening when we were up at the NCFIC conference, and he felt really bad, so he's made it his goal to never let me get cold again. I tried telling him it wasn't his fault, but he still felt bad. I very much appreciate the blankets though! The one in this picture is the one that I have on my bed now. The last one that he bought me I am using as a lap blanket. They are both tremendously soft!
After opening gifts, Dad offered to take us all out for a late lunch up to the Flight Deck in Lexington, SC. (Isn't he so sweet!) The Flight Deck is a unique restaurant with good home cooking of all types of food, sandwiches, seafood, fried food, etc. The whole place has plane memorabilia with all sorts of photos centered around flying.
Joel and Matthew being...Joel and Matthew! ;-)
And since the restaurant focuses on all things flying, what better statue to have in there than....
Giving us their best Superman impressions....
He really is in South Carolina! Look at the palm trees!
On our way home from the restaurant, Dad swung by Hopeland Gardens and let us all out to walk around. It's a lovely garden full of lots of really old oak trees, reflection ponds and nice walking paths. They have a really nice Christmas light display, but we were a few days too late to enjoy that. Maybe next year!
Matthew and I...
My Dad and Mom....
Enjoying walking together!
Dad and Savannah...
A gnarly, old oak tree....
Ethan and Noah...
(Since Joel had driven most of the way down the night before, he stayed in the van and took a nap)
Ethan goofing around! What a dedicated chaperone!
How many of you remember this tree? This is where Jordan and Caleb have always gotten their picture taken in front of, since the first time the Yuck family came down for a visit!
Yuck's first visit...all the Yucks with all of the Hammonds!
During their courtship!
Their latest picture, with Victoria!
I thought it was really special to take Matthew there and get a few photos of our own!
Up in the tree!
Having fun just hanging around!
Compliments of Matthew's photo editing
Strong men! "One, Two, Tree!"
Except for Ethan; I'm going out on a limb to say that he's simply laying down on the job.
Walking around the maze....
My wonderful family!
That evening we came back to milk, eat dinner and play more games.
Our first day together down here was a lot of fun! Stay tuned for more posts!