Friday, January 9, 2015

How We Spent Our Christmas Vacation

Can you believe that the blog was silent for two weeks? I had plenty I could say, but not a whole lot of time to write my thoughts out. Sometimes it's just better to live life than to document it, so that's what I did.
If you follow me on social media (Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter), you know I wasn't completely silent. After all, I did share a few pictures and status updates along the way. Still, there was more going on than I even shared. Here's the rundown:


We spent the holidays with Hubby's extended family. My mother-in-law had all kinds of fun projects for us - like making a few special Christmas recipes for me and cookie decorating for Kiddo. He really loved decorating those cookies and insisted on putting a cinnamon dot or chocolate chip on every single spot where there was icing. :-)

We also went downtown to see the lights. We visited a fancy hotel in the area, famous for its huge tree and beautiful decorations. 

While there, we took some beautiful family pictures. This one of Kiddo and my niece is one of my favorites. It's so crazy to think there will be two more cousins (our baby girl and a new nephew) next Christmas!

After the hotel, we went to see some beautiful Christmas light displays. Both kids really enjoyed it, since it wasn't too cold.

Christmas Eve:

It's hubby's family tradition to bowl on the morning of Christmas Eve. It's actually a perfect time to bowl. The lanes are usually pretty empty and the bowling alley we go to donates a portion of each game fee to a charity of our choice. 

Kiddo really got into bowling this year. He wanted so badly to make the ball go fast like the grown-ups, but he didn't have the strength, even with the light kiddie ball. He much preferred using the ramp to rolling it himself, and with the bumpers up he thoroughly trounced my scores. I totally stink at bowling while a few of Hubby's family members participate in a bowling league, so I've learned to just enjoy the game and laugh off my gutter balls.

After bowling, we got together at my in-laws' house for a smorgasbord. Most of it was finger foods/apptizers, like Buffalo Chicken Dip and Shrimp Cocktail, but we also had pulled pork and chicken barbecue with Grandma's famous coleslaw. :-) I ate SO. MUCH. FOOD.

In the evening, we laid low. Kiddo and my niece each opened one present - their Christmas jammies - and my father-in-law read them a story about the first Christmas. Then it was time to put the kids to bed and finish getting the presents in the stockings and under the tree 

Christmas Day:

On Christmas morning, the kids watched a little TV while I helped my mother-in-law with Christmas breakfast and Hubby and his dad drove over to pick up Nannie to join us for the festivities. After a big breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, French Toast Casserole, fried apples, and orange rolls, it was time to open presents. My big present was a really nice lens {affiliate link} for my new camera. I can’t wait to break it in with a recipe post – now to decide which one!

Around noon, we headed over to Grandma and Pawpaw’s house for Christmas Round 2. After a yet another big, delicious meal (So. Much. Food.), it was time for the gift exchange. We each took turns revealing whose name we drew this year. We have so much fun with this, it has quickly become one of my favorite parts of our Christmas celebrations.

Between Christmas and New Year’s:

On Monday, Kiddo and I took a trip out to my parents’ house for an informal family reunion. My Grammy was staying with my parents for the Christmas holiday and all three of my aunt’s children  and their significant others were in the area, so we met together for lunch. I don’t get to see this set of cousins very often at all, so it was a real treat. I got to meet my cousin’s baby and they all got to meet Kiddo. It was a great time of family togetherness.

The Whole Crew.

We stayed overnight to get a little more time with Grammy (my last living grandparent). She really enjoyed watching him play.

Meanwhile, Hubby was hard at work putting down our new laminate flooring at our house. Since there isn’t much work for him to do at his job, Hubby always takes the week off between Christmas and New Year’s and picks a big home project to work on. Last year he painted our family room and sunroom/playroom, and this year he made steady progress toward replacing the horrible carpet in our upstairs. Can I just say that it looks fabulous? I’m so fortunate to have such a handy husband!
Kiddo loved helping his daddy measure and "cut" the flooring.

New Year’s:

While hubby was hard at work upstairs every day, I tackled the mountain of laundry leftover from our Christmas adventures and cleaned and purged in preparation for company.

We didn’t stay up to ring in the New Year, but we did toast to 2015 with sparkling cider before falling asleep in front of the fire on the sleeper sofa.

My view when I woke up on January 1st. Not bad. :-)
On Saturday, we hosted my family’s Christmas get-together. We always have a good time with my siblings and my mom’s brother's family.

All the "loot" for my family Christmas gathering, plus a toy bin.
Now that our Christmas celebrations are officially over, I hope to get back to normal. We took the tree down Sunday night and my goal was to finish taking down the decorations this week. It turns out that it hasn't happened so far - and it's Friday!

For starters, it has been so cold that I haven't had a lot of motivation to pack away all the pretty decorations. I've been doing a bunch of freezer meal prep between the ham from our Christmas gathering and some other recipes. Then Wednesday ended up being a day of unexpected running around - what a week!

In the meantime, I'm not going to complain about a little extra Christmas cheer. And I'm thankful that I didn't get too many decorations out due to A Simpler Christmas. :-)

Tell Me About You:

How did you spend the holidays? Any special traditions? Favorite gift? I would love to hear about it in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. Love the pictures and hearing about your events and outings!!


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