Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas To All...

Hello from Pensacola, Florida!

<Insert happy dance!>

Luckily the World didn't end on Friday, so my vacation kicked off at 5PM. I came home to my Secret Santa gift from the AMAZING Kristine, and let me tell was SO worth the wait.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

See those headbands? She makes those. Super cute, I know ;)
I love, love, LOVE ya guuuuurl!

I am so happy that I started packing on Wednesday because packing two people up for eleven days is ROUGH. Thank goodness I have a system and I was down to the little things on Saturday, so that we could do last minute shopping and dinner that evening.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

It was aptly named My Big Fat Greek Restaurant, and it is now added to our favorites list. Everything tasted amazing and it was practically cheap. Three adults with an app, meals, drinks, and dessert for $84 + TIP is a steal for a Saturday night out.


Now that the Christmas shopping is done, the journey is over, and the family is all together, it is time for the real fun to begin. Although, I have been looking forward to Christmas for months and now that it's here, I don't want it to end! I hope that you are all having a fabulous holiday so far, and enjoying every second.
I also hope that you will take one minute to think of the soldiers that cannot be with their family.

'Twas The Night Before Christmas,
He Lived All Alone,
In A One Bedroom House
Made Of Plaster And Stone.

I Had Come Down The Chimney
With Presents To Give,
And To See Just Who
In This Home Did Live.

I Looked All About,
A Strange Sight I Did See,
No Tinsel, No Presents,
Not Even A Tree.

No Stocking By Mantle,
Just Boots Filled With Sand,
On The Wall Hung Pictures
Of Far Distant Lands.

With Medals And Badges,
Awards Of All Kinds,
A Sober Thought
Came Through My Mind.

For This House Was Different,
It Was Dark And Dreary,
I Found The Home Of A Soldier,
Once I Could See Clearly.

The Soldier Lay Sleeping,
Silent, Alone,
Curled Up On The Floor
In This One Bedroom Home.

The Face Was So Gentle,
The Room In Such Disorder,
Not How I Pictured
A United States Soldier.

Was This The Hero
Of Whom I'd Just Read?
Curled Up On A Poncho,
The Floor For A Bed?

I Realized The Families
That I Saw This Night,
Owed Their Lives To These Soldiers
Who Were Willing To Fight.

Soon Round The World,
The Children Would Play,
And Grownups Would Celebrate
A Bright Christmas Day.

They All Enjoyed Freedom
Each Month Of The Year,
Because Of The Soldiers,
Like The One Lying Here.

I Couldn't Help Wonder
How Many Lay Alone,
On A Cold Christmas Eve
In A Land Far From Home.

The Very Thought
Brought A Tear To My Eye,
I Dropped To My Knees
And Started To Cry.

The Soldier Awakened
And I Heard A Rough Voice,
"Santa Don't Cry,
This Life Is My Choice;

I Fight For Freedom,
I Don't Ask For More,
My Life Is My God,
My Country, My Corps."

The Soldier Rolled Over
And Drifted To Sleep,
I Couldn't Control It,
I Continued To Weep.

I Kept Watch For Hours,
So Silent And Still
And We Both Shivered
From The Cold Night's Chill.

I Didn't Want To Leave
On That Cold, Dark, Night,
This Guardian Of Honor
So Willing To Fight.

Then The Soldier Rolled Over,
With A Voice Soft And Pure,
Whispered, "Carry On Santa,
It's Christmas Day, All Is Secure."

One Look At My Watch,
And I Knew He Was Right.
"Merry Christmas My Friend,
And To All A Good Night."

Written by Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt in 1986. Printed in Leatherneck (The Magazines for the Marines) in December 1991.

Source: via Janna on Pinterest

To all soldiers, past, present, and future...You are not forgotten.
Merry Christmas, everyone!


Jesslyn Amber said...

Your secret Santa gift is so cute!!! I also love the poem! :)

Sam said...

What a great poem. Love the gift! Merry Christmas, Janna!

Morgan Neal said...

Thanks for sharing! Merry Christmas! So glad your hubs is home!

P!nky said...

Love the Secret Santa stuff :)!

Glad you are with your family and WILL!

I love that poem, I try and read it every year!


Rebecca said...

What a great secret Santa gift, I love the owl.
Thank you for sharing the poem, it brought tears to my eyes. I'll be reading the original tonight, my auntie bought it me when I was 4 and I still read it every Christmas eve.
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy your time with your family.

♥ ♥ Just a Girl in Love w/ a Soldier ♥ ♥ said...

So happy to hear your enjoying your trip!!! You made out on your secret santa gift!! Cute goodies!!!

Beth Lane said...

I love that poem!

Helene said...

Your secret santa outdid herself! that is awesome.

i love the poem, so heartfelt.

Nicole said...

Merry Christmas! I love that poem. I read it a few years ago. I also have a Soldier's Twas the night before Christmas book that is extremely precious!

Jen said...

I love that Greek Restaurant!!! They are sooo good. :) Merry Christmas!

Hilary said...

So so true. They are not forgotten this Christmas!

Merry Christmas LOVE!

becca said...

secret santa did good and beautiful poem

Kathryn B said...

Merry Christmas! I hope you have a great trip in Florida!!!!
I love that poem! I think it shows what our soliders really go through during the holidays and that they are not to be forgotten!

Jean said...

yum! love greek food, too!

great gifts from your secret santa! also think it's cool she added gifts she made! :)

merry christmas!!!

Jess Casey said...

Listen up! I just sobbed reading this version! I hope that you have a fabulous holiday from one military family to another!

Jess Casey said...

Listen up! I just sobbed reading this version! I hope that you have a fabulous holiday from one military family to another!

Jess Casey said...

Listen up! I just sobbed reading this version! I hope that you have a fabulous holiday from one military family to another!

Melissa McCoy said...

Wow, that food looks amazing! My mother is greek, but I don't know how to cook any greek dishes, I am drooling! Merry Christmas!
The Real McCoy(s)

ifs ands Butts said...

That greek food looks and sounds outstanding!


Ashleigh Nichole said...

Merry Christmas! & I love the poem it has been one of my favorite for several years ever since I found it during high school. It without a doubt makes me remember to be very grateful for my life & such each time this year!

Kelly said...

I just balled my eyes out! That poem is so touching. Hope you have the best time down in Pensacola with your family. Merry Christmas!


Anonymous said...

Wow! You got such wonderful gifts!
I hope you and Will have a very Merry Christmas :D

Amber said...

All that food looks so yummy, especially the chicken pesto!!

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas!

Heather K. said...

Merry Christmas, Janna!

Rach @ This Italian Family said...

Merry Christmas, sweet friend! So glad your sweet husband was home for this year! :)

Sippy Cups and Pearls said...

Wow that chicken pesto looks amazing - wonder if I can find a recipe online similar?! great poem, too! so glad you shared! just found your blog from over at Jessica Who's page! I'm excited to be following along! I love your little intro under your picture when I first came to your site - isn't it funny that someone decides to follow your blog within SECONDS of visiting. ha. excited to be one of those new followers! ha

Kristine Foley said...

Tears!! That poem is beautiful! So happy you liked your goods! So fun to put it together for you! Xoxoxo

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