I want to first say that I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas Holiday and New Year! I normally fill my blog posts with photos. This is not one of those posts, but it does have video. Good video too. Not artistic, but emotional, and meaningful. I know Christmas has past and I am sorry it comes a few days late, but I think it does a great job of illustrating what is important during the holidays….at least to our family.
A couple of weeks ago, Allison’s Stepdad (Jim) asked her if we would be willing to come home (Oklahoma City) for Christmas in a secret plan to surprise her Mom (Roxie) as a Christmas gift if he were to purchase our airline tickets with his airline miles. We had originally decided not to go home for Christmas because of the cost of tickets and me having to take time off from work so close to my separation date from the Air Force. However, we really thought it was such a good idea that we couldn’t say no. Not to mention the fact that he was covering our plane tickets.
I checked with work to ensure I could take off some more days besides the ones I already had off and everything seemed to line up just perfectly. Jim scheduled our outgoing flight on CHRISTMAS EVE! It was very exciting to think that we were going to show up on Roxie’s doorstep at the last minute on Christmas Eve without her knowing at all. I could only imagine how she would react. Knowing Roxie, I knew it would be good because she is quite sentimental.
We packed up our bags on Friday, I went to work until 9pm, came home and jumped in bed, and prepared for our EARLY flight at 6am. We woke up at 4am, fed ANT, and screamed to the airport only to find out that all the 1st and 2nd long term parking lots were full! We had to drive a few miles from the airport to a remote parking lot and take a shuttle. This was very stressful and we feared we would only barely make our flight. That was not the case however, and we made it to our connecting destination of Denver uneventfully. HOWEVER, landing at gate 1 in Denver and needing to get to gate 88 in 10 minutes did prove to be a VERY stressful and exhausting endeavor. We made it….BARELY. After a short flight, we were back in Oklahoma.
We were greeted by Jim at the airport and hurried to the house, ready to surprise Mom! It was actually pretty funny, because Jim almost slipped the day before when he asked Roxie if “Jason and Allison” would want to go to an OKC Thunder game. LOL! She responded with “Jason and Allison?!”. “Oh my God! I meant Brian and Missy (Allison’s brother and sister-in-law). I’m losing my mind”. He he. Close call, but she still had no idea. I think the following video proves that.
I love how she thought something was wrong. “What’s wrong? What’s wrong?”.
Surprising Roxie was only part of the fun. Allison’s Dad (Rob), Stepmother (Joette), and Brothers (Brian & Andy) also were completely unaware we were in town as a surprise. It was hard to do, but we decided to keep the secret from them for just a little while longer. On Christmas morning everyone was meeting up at Rob’s house for Christmas breakfast, a pretty traditional event. We thought it would be perfect to just show up for breakfast in the morning like everything was normal. While on the way to the house I called Rob and told him to let me know when everyone arrived and we could Skype together. He was extremely excited about the idea of somewhat having everyone together on Christmas, even if it was on the computer. We pulled up, got ANT out of the car, and strolled in like we always do. Here is the video of their reactions.
All in all, it was an extremely warming holiday for us. It had been 3 years since everyone was home together for the holidays. There were also two new editions to the family (Adelynn & Jaxon). We were all able to eat in excess, joke, laugh, and catch up in person…which was quite nice for a change. We love our Skype, but being able to hug each other and sit in each other’s presence is something that cannot be replaced.
As a little bonus, our flight through Houston on the way home was delayed and this allowed us to stay a night in my hometown for New Years. It worked out because it gave us an opportunity to see some of my family as well on this trip. I was able to hang with my Uncle Kevin, Aunt Beth, Cousins Paige, Weston, and Abby, and ring in the New Year with them during their HUGE New Year’s party. I kept the drinking to a minimum to allow a smooth flight home at 9am.
Merry Christmas to everyone, and I hope 2012 is an amazing year for all of you!
Las Vegas Photographer / Southern New Mexico Photographer: Jason Talley / 405-414-7563 / www.exposurebyjtalley.com