It's a Wrap!

WHEW! It's over. Christmas Day, anyway. The season continues until January 6th, so my tree & decorations will stay up until at least then. I usually keep the decorations up until the weekend after Epiphany. Growing up, Daddy wanted everything back to normal by New Year's. I didn't take my school decorations down before I left for break. We have a couple of Admin. Days next week, so I'll take care of it then. I always think it's a little sad to take those decorations down before Christmas actually happens.
CH & I went for a ride in the mountains on Saturday. I have to tell you, it definitely cures what ails you! I felt revitalized after watching the swollen river (from all of the rains we've had) and all of the waterfalls. The air was so crisp and clean; it definitely gave me new life!
I got to play around with some tricks I learned from my photography class I took last summer, too. I'm definitely going to get some of these pictures printed & framed!
 I like how the following one is an optical illusion: It looks like I'm at the top looking down (except the water would be flowing the wrong way!) when I'm really at the bottom looking up.
 The water was really up on Saturday. We saw a few paddlers with their kayaks:

 I loved the fallen mossy tree in the middle of this cascade:

 OS said this was his favorite picture:

 When we went up to the same spot this summer, all of the rocks were visible.

 I tried something new as we were leaving the area:
Laika had a good time stretching her long legs:
 And taking in the fresh mountain air:
So...favorite presents this year. 
Hands down, this is my favorite. This is a present from my SIL who went to Ireland a few months ago. She visited Knock and brought back Holy Water from the Shrine, as well as a beautiful runner:
 The gift we get from CH's Uncle & H never, ever disappoints. 
 I didn't check the mailbox on Christmas Eve. If I had, I would have found this:
I don't know who it's from (although I have a pretty good idea!), but it was so incredibly thoughtful! The "Comfort Cross" will stay with me (at least until I find that someone needs it worse than I do), and the bracelet is just beautiful with crosses around it. 
CH renewed my Amazon Prime for me, which was perfect (and just what I asked for!). Oh, how I love Amazon Prime! :)
The boys all scattered on Christmas Day to see friends or paddle. CH & I debated about whether or not to go out for dinner to support those who had to work, or to boycott the places that were open on Christmas. We decided to go out, and CH gave our server a nice tip. 
We opted to not go to The Keys this year. With the weather being so warm, I'm glad we decided not to go. The pictures on FB from our friends who went are killing me, though! Hopefully the sale for the campground won't go through & we'll have the chance to go next year. I think I'll be ready to go back then.
I hope everyone had/will have the chance to spend time with family & friends over the holidays. 


  1. I love your beautiful pictures from the mountains. So very pretty. Makes me want to go back soon. In fact, I think we may go in May.

    Glad you had such a nice Christmas. So did we.

  2. I love my Amazon Prime now that I gave in & got it... what a great gift to give someone.
    Love your pictures. I still cant believe how GREEN everything is down your way.

  3. I agree that the mountains are always a great way to get reset in life!

  4. Your photos are so beautiful. Looks like the walk was perfect. Love the gifts you received and hooray for your year of Amazon Prime. I haven't tried it yet. My decorations will be up for a couple of weeks unless the mood strikes me sooner!!!

  5. Oh Mary! Your photos are just breathtaking! Great job! You should think of enlarging or making a canvas of one or two and display those in our house :)

    Merry Christmas to you!

  6. Beautiful pictures and it seems you had a nice Christmas too ! I usually take the decoration down on January 6 at the latest, then I really have enough of Christmas decorations :) !


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