Now onto the good stuff (although, quite late)!
After celebrating an early Christmas together in Alexandria, we packed up and headed home for the holidays. It was a grueling 11 hour drive through the night (normally 13 hours, but we've both got lead feet) to get to Champaign, Illinois. Here, we stopped at Cracker Barrel for breakfast before heading into 4 hours worth of apartment hunting. Our search started off pretty bumpy with an appointment with a terribly unprofessional real estate company (who shall remain nameless) and dumpy properties. Blech!
Thankfully, the second appointment went rather well. We were scheduled to see 3 properties with our "agent", but 2 of them had already resigned the lease for 2012, so those were out. I was a little bummed at first, but God always has his reasons, and Property #3 was definitely a good reason. ;) The second we walked in, we each felt an overwhelming sense that this was our new home. So, just like with our first home in Alexandria, we signed the papers the very same day and walked away with great peace of mind.
|Welcome to our new home!|
It was so great to see our families! The last time we'd seen anyone was in April, right before I moved to Virginia, so hugs were shared (and my mother even cried - love her) for what seemed like hours. We settled down for the night and laid out our plans for the next two weeks of our "vacation."
On Christmas Eve, we did exactly what we did last year - attended the Candlelight Service at our church, looked at lights in downtown Naperville, and stopped at our favorite spot, West & Jefferson to recreate the proposal scene from exactly one year before (down to the minute, I might add). This time, my parents joined us since they'd never seen "our corner." It was magical...magically awkward, but magical nonetheless.
|"Proposing" again. This time, without 3 feet of snow under his knees. :)|
|My mom's lovely Christmas tree.|
|Dad loved that we brought the Kinect. ;)|
|Josh and I stuffed my dad's shoes (his gift) with bows. Haha!|
|My mommy and I. :)|
|Josh's favorite present!|
|Christmas with the in laws! Meet my FIL.|
|Josh and his best friend, Matt trying out "The Man Chair."|