Fried Catfish at Empire State South

Jes and I truly hope that everyone’s Christmas was as wonderful and enjoyable as ours was. As we said last week, we are in the midst of a couple of weeks off of work thanks to the beauty of the IT calendar, and we are doing everything in our power to fill it up. Saturday night we went to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s A Very Merry Pops performance and had the best seats in the house. The performance was amazing for both Jes and I, as I think there was something that the ASO put in just for each of us. For me it was the full orchestral performance of the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas, which has always been some of my favorite music. For Jes it was the performance of a couple of songs from Anastasia – performed by the woman who did the actual singing parts for the movie. Anastasia has always been one of Jes’ favorite movies, so I wish I could say that I planned that surprise for her, but it was a very welcome treat nonetheless. Oh and the food beforehand was to die for! We went to Empire State South and both had the most wonderfully prepared fried catfish that I’ve ever had. It’s certainly not an “every night” type of restaurant, but we will definitely be going back the next time we are looking for a restaurant in that area.

Sunday evening we were originally planning to go to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens Garden Lights Holiday Nights with Jes’ parents, but the weather did not cooperate at all. Undeterred by the rain, we still had Jes’ parents over for dinner and Jes prepared an amazing rosemary chicken lasagna dish for the four of us. Maybe one day I will be able to do it justice in pictures and we can put the recipe up on Mint for Two, but I can promise you it was delicious. After dinner we went to a more rain friendly event by going to see Saving Mr. Banks at our local theater. Jes’ family has always had a fascination with all things Disney, especially from the earlier years, since Jes’ great-uncle Al (the same great-uncle that did the Last Supper mosaic from a previous post) very nearly worked for Walt Disney himself as one of the first animators. For those of you that haven’t seen the movie, it was very well done and I would recommend it to anyone who might be interested.

Monday morning we packed up what seemed like our entire condo and headed up to Lawrenceville to spend the next 4 days with Jes’ parents. Those four days seem like a blur to me now, but we could not have asked for a better stay-cation. The four puppies always get along wonderfully, the food was impeccable as always, and the company was superb. On Christmas Eve we headed back down to Atlanta to attend Christmas Eve service at Peachtree United Methodist Church and then got all tucked in for Santa’s visit that night.

After Santa’s Visit

Christmas morning was long anticipated for both Jes and I – as we both had a pretty good idea of what the other one was up to. I want to thank everyone who helped contribute to my new camera lens, it is something that I have ogled for over a year, but never could muster up the courage to spend that much money. I know it was a team effort by a lot of folks, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. The early results of the new lens are incredible, and it has already helped me learn to utilize my other lenses better as well. As for Jes, she completed quite the haul of fitness related items to help her efforts there. She got a Nike GPS running watch, an iPod nano, and a FitBit One. Combined, these three items will allow her to leave her phone behind during workouts,which has been something she has wanted to do for a long time. Perhaps her gift that I am most excited about is the new iPhone case I gave her that can hold her ID and credit cards in the back of the case. I am hoping it put an end to always searching for her ID and credit card before we step out the door.

After a very relaxing day after Christmas, we headed back to Atlanta because we had an appointment for our crown molding installation. Yep – remember that bathroom we decided to redo a couple of months ago? Well my travel schedule in the months of November and December didn’t allowed us to get any work done recently. All of that changed yesterday as we got the crown molding installed, got 2 coats of primer and sealer on the new paneling and 1 coat of waterproofing membrane on the shower area. We could not have done all that so quickly without the wonderful Home Depot gift card that we received from Aunt Dot and Uncle Hank, so thank you both for your contributions to our bathroom! From here on out we will be constructing, instead of destructing, and that will help keep us motivated. The goal is to be 100% done (and back to 2 working bathrooms) before we head back to work on January 6th, and there is no reason we can’t accomplish that. Once it is done we will put up pictures of the new bathroom for all to see.

If you made it this far I am very impressed with your dedication. I will reward you with the link to all of our Christmas time images that I put up here. See if you can tell which images were created after learning some new stuff about the camera and which ones were before, and I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year.


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