December 28, 2015

Wonderful Christmastime 2015

For some reason, this Christmas went by so fast!  I feel like I blinked and it's over.  Now I am sitting here gearing up for the new year and getting ready for the daily grind again.  This is my most favorite time of year.  I love the warm glow in our home from our Christmas Tree and staircase lighted garland.  And while I know we probably should have used today to take it all down, I will be glad to have it for a little while longer.

Like every year, since we moved into our home we have celebrated Christmas Eve with my in-laws.  They come up and spend the night so that they can be here on Christmas morning to watch the boys open their gifts.  We have a nice dinner and watch the boys get their traditional Christmas Eve pajamas and get everything ready for when Santa comes to visit.  It rained again, so we are on year two without luminaries.  Hopefully next year we'll get to do them.

Ready to open their jammies!
All showered and jammied up!
Santa sent them a special Christmas email, so they took turns watching their message.

Getting a treat ready for Santa!  Hot chocolate, cookie dough truffles and carrots for the reindeer!
David wrote a note, it read:
Dear Santa,
Merry Christmas Santa! We gave you some treats.  Say hello to the Mrs. for us, say bye to Finn.
Each by signed their own name.

After we got the treats ready it was time for the traditional reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas.  This year the boys each took turns reading a page.  Evan can pick out certain sigh words so he was excited to help too!

And just like that the lights were turned down and everyone was off to bed.  Santa had come to our home and we all looked forward to morning!  But hopefully not too early!

All is calm, all is bright!
Christmas morning!  The boys are so good about making sure they don't wake anyone up until 7am!  While everyone got ready and coffee was brewed the boys posed for the traditional Christmas morning picture on the stairs!

Excited to see that Santa arrived, the boys started going through their stockings first.

David taking a quick break because we found a letter that Santa left!
So excited for his new Mandala coloring book!
Shaun's HULK buster!
Santa once again hid the boys big gift and left behind clues to find it!  They were so excited to find out what he left them in the garage!

Y Fliker Scooters!  They yelled!  They were excited!
After Santa gifts, we take a quick break to have my homemade cinnamon rolls and other breakfast munchies. Then we take our annual picture in front of the tree, and sort the rest of the gifts from the family.  The boys got lots of cool gifts including some fun activities (like tubing and Blue Man Group tickets!).  Once the kids were done, they went off to play with their new toys and games and it was time for the adults to exchange gifts.  The Doc is the most impossible person to shop for and any idea that he gives me, I immediately have to give to others in the family so I'm left to figure something out and I usually come through but he has always lacked enthusiasm.  This year he totally played up his enthusiasm. He can really be a turd!
He is SO excited!
I told him that if he didn't give me any good ideas that I would get him a snuggie. He didn't give me ideas so I got him a snuggie!
After gifts were exchanged and everyone was dressed and packed up for the road, we set up to take the annual group family portrait!  Yes.  We are outside, with no jackets, in late December, in NH.  Crazy how warm it was...there wasn't even an inkling of a white Christmas this year!

My boys are so lucky to not only have their grandparents, but to have their GG in their lives!

After a busy morning, it was time to regroup for round 2!  I put the prime rib into the oven and began prepping for my family to arrive.  For some reason this year, the prime rib cooked in record time and so it made things a little bit crazy because the timeline to prep the sides needed to change.  It all worked out in the end. And the food was all delicious!

While the prime rib rested and the baked potatoes finished cooking in the oven, we all headed outside for the traditional family portrait!
Love my crazy family!
Carving into the beast!

It's not Christmas without Prime Rib!

After dinner we gathered around the tree for the gift exchanges.  We had a few to get through but it was fun all hanging out together.

My brother had me for the secret Santa and got me a selfie stick!
Apparently Charlie asked for a tattoo of me on his buttocks.  That is the drawing he'll take to the tattoo artist!  Ha!
The gift exchange was filled with lots of laughter and then it was time for dessert.  We ended the night with a karaoke jam session.  So much fun and I'm already looking forward to next year!

The last of our Christmas celebrations took place on Cape Cod a few days after Christmas and we enjoyed the company of our extended family, watching the game (they lost) and enjoying a delicious meal of ham and mashed potatoes!  The boys opened gifts from their great Aunts and then we did a yankee swap.  The famous snuggie was regifted and somehow we ended up with it again!  I think it's destiny.
Cape Cod Christmas!

Another one for the memory books.  Until next year.  Hope your holiday was as wonderful as our was!

December 5, 2015

Trim up the Tree and all that stuff!

Just as we do every year, the day after Thanksgiving, we begin decorating for Christmas.  The tree is always the first to go up and the boys were a big help in fluffing the tree this year.

This really is my most favorite time of year and we have already crossed off a bunch of bucket list items; including lists to Santa, watching Christmas movies and going to the Christmas parade!  I am looking forward to adding to our list as well as continuing our other Christmas traditions!

Christmas lists for Santa!

I love the glow of our home when the Christmas tree is up and the garland is wrapped around the staircase!  And the outside decorations make the early darkness much more inviting!

Tree is up and decorated!
That night we accidentially found ourselves at the city tree lighting.  We had planned to get ice cream for dinner (since we had a big lunch) and realized when we saw the crowds what was happening!  After our ice cream treat we walked over to help with the count down and checking out the tree, before heading home!

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Tree Lighting!
Meeting my family at the Christmas parade is one of my favorite traditions!