Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas 2015

Happy Monday!  I hope you all had the best Christmas weekend… we most definitely did!  Everyone was well, we got to spend lots of time with everyone that we love near and far, and we ate way too many delicious Christmas dishes and treats.  It was a whirlwind, but it was the perfect long weekend celebrating. 

On Christmas Eve Eve, my boss let us leave a little early, so I immediately went home, put on some festive PJs, hubs picked up some takeout, and we spent the evening soaking up the calm before the Christmas chaos.  We watched The Santa Clause with the kiddos and then Brian and I watched Serendipity after the kiddos went to bed.  Both of these movies are just so magical and they put me right into the perfect frame of mind for Christmas.

Christmas Eve, I spent the morning baking.  I made my first cheesecake, a Candy Cane Oreo Cheesecake, and it turned out amazing!!  I also made a pie, and garlic whipped potatoes for Christmas Eve dinner with my family.  I was so busy being in the moment that I failed to take pictures of the finished cheesecake or pie or the epic dinner spread.  #BloggerFail

We headed to the children’s mass at our church at 4, and boy, was it wiggly.  I should also point out that there was a full moon so it was even more chaotic than usual.  Haha.  It was really sweet hearing the children sing, though, and it’s always my favorite mass of the entire year.

After mass, we headed home to change, grab food and presents, and then we headed over to my parents’ house to spend the evening with my family.  My brother and sister-in-law are home from Texas so it was extra special this year because everybody was all under one roof.  We spent the evening eating, drinking wine, opening presents, watching Home Alone (duh) and generally goofing off as we always do when we’re all together.  We stayed out way past the kids’ bedtime, and we made it home in time to sprinkle some reindeer food on the lawn and tuck the babies into bed just after eleven. 

Once the kids were asleep, Brian and I settled in to exchange gifts.  We have been exchanging gifts on Christmas Eve night ever since we’ve been together, and even though we now have kids, we have continued the tradition because it gives us a chance to have some quiet time, just the two of us.   

My big gift from Brian was a 28 inch computer monitor.  Now that I’m blogging and editing pictures every day, I wanted something large as my old monitor and laptop screen are just too small to look at for hours on end.  Now I feel like I don’t have to squint and lean into the monitor anymore as I’m typing.  Haha.    Well done, hubs. 

My gift to Brian was a portable digital recorder.  I actually already had something else for him, but a few days before Christmas he casually mentioned that he was wanting a digital recorder and that he’d found the exact one that he wanted.  I brushed him off and changed the subject to make it seem as if I wasn’t interested, then I snuck into his Amazon wish list, snatched one up, and surprised him with it on Christmas Eve.  As he was opening it, he looked at me, bewildered, and said, “Is this really what I think it is?!  How did you know??”   

I was so pleased with myself for being sneaky.  And now I already have his birthday gift lined up for February since I didn’t use it for Christmas.  Win win.  

After we exchanged gifts and opened our stockings from one another, we set up for Christmas morning, and then passed out around 1 AM.  

On Christmas morning, Jacob awoke around 8:15 (which is pretty late by his standards), and we had to go wake Olivia.  The three of us waited at the top of the stairs (just like we used to at my parents’ house when I was a little girl) while Brian went down and turned on the Christmas lights, and then we all ran down.  Jacob was thrilled to see his Hotwheels Garage, and Olivia was thrilled to see four tubes of Frozen chap stick.  Haha.  I seriously think that was her favorite gift.  They both loved everything, though. 

We played and opened gifts from each other and then played some more, and then around 9:45 Brian and I started preparing brunch.  We made eggs, grits, bacon, and homemade waffles (our traditional Christmas morning breakfast) and my parents, brother, and uncle came over to feast with us.   

We spent the rest of the day playing, being lazy, and listening to Christmas music.  I colored some in my adult coloring book (I’m really loving those things) and then it was time to prepare for Christmas dinner. 

Christmas dinner was at my aunt and uncle’s house and my mom’s entire family was there, all 37 of us!  My cousins and their families came in from NYC, LA, Atlanta, and Texas, so everyone was together.  We feasted on ham, potatoes, squash casserole, green bean casserole, mac n cheese, sweet potato soufflé – all of the Christmas dinner staples. 

The drinks were flowing, and we had good conversation as well as a little live music when my aunt, uncle, and cousin brought out their guitars.  My cousin, who is a very talented musician, had written a song about my grandfather's death because this was our first Christmas without him.  I’m sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the room when it was over.   

It was a perfect night with everyone that we loved and I know that my grandfather was there with us in spirit.  I still miss him terribly. 

Saturday we were lazy all day – the kids spent the day playing with all of their new toys and I tried (and failed) to clean up and organize some of toy explosion that had taken place in our living room.  And did I mention that it was literally 80 degrees the entire weekend?  Not very Christmasy, weather.  Not very Christmasy.

Saturday afternoon we got ready and headed over to Brian’s dad’s house for Christmas round four.  We had another delicious dinner, opened more gifts, and spent more time just hanging out and being with family that we hadn’t gotten to see in quite some time.  And again, I was so caught up in the moment that I forgot to take any pictures.  I’m really on a roll, huh?

Brian’s dad’s girlfriend made a Brussel sprouts dish that was to die for, so I’m hoping to get the recipe from her to share with all of you eventually.  Y’all, it was so good. 

Sunday morning we went to Brian’s mom and step dad’s house for our fifth and final Christmas celebration.  We had another feast (I think I gained ten pounds this weekend), opened more presents (we were completely spoiled this weekend), and spent more time with everyone who we love.  I did manage to snap a few pics over there, but again, I was too busy visiting than to take pictures.  

One of my favorite gifts of the whole weekend?  This darling handmade peacock dress for Olivia that my sister-in-law made.  I absolutely cannot wait to play dress up with her!!

I think this was possibly my favorite Christmas ever!  They just keep getting better and better!  Until next year.  

“A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices 
For yonder breaks a new glorious morn
Fall on your knees
O hear the angels’ voices
O night divine
O night when Christ was born
O night divine
O night
O night divine”

*Linking up with B Loved Boston for Weekending


  1. Your Christmas celebrations sound wonderful! I can't believe how many times you celebrate, I thought we did a lot, LOL. Don't you wish Christmas Eve and Day could always fall on Thurs/Fri!?

    1. Lol, I know, it's ridiculous how many times we celebrate!! And YES, it is soooo nice to have two whole days off after Christmas Day. And it works well for incorporating all of our celebrations! Lol.

  2. What a fantastic Christmas! I love your Christmas Eve shirt! And too funny that Olivia loved the chapstick the most!!

  3. Your Christmas sounds just magical! You all look so happy!

  4. Love all your outfits. Looks like your Christmas was truly amazing!! Happy New Year!
    XO Ellen from Ask Away

  5. It looks like you had an amazing Christmas(es). Thanks for sharing. Loving all of Olivias outfits too.

  6. So many Christmas guys had a FULL few days! Everything sounds like it was so much fun, the company, food and presents!

  7. I have so much to say about this post!!! Ahhhhh!! I'll just say that it looks like you guys had a blast! Thanks for sharing. Your pictures are awesome!

    1. Thanks, Marie! Happy New Year to you and your sweet little fam!


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