Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's a Christmas Miracle!

As per usual, it was a Christmas holiday filled with tons of family, friends, food and fun at Andrew's parents house for the holidays.

It was a full house, with Amanda and Adam home for the holidays, and with my sister Amy and our friends Phu and Magali joining us in Plymouth for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Although we jokingly said we would all wake up at 9:14 a.m on Christmas morning (just so it wouldn't be too early), everyone surprisingly ended up rolling out of bed earlier than that.

First thing in the morning, Amanda and Adam helped A.J. get dressed:

Did someone say that Santa would make his appearance? Is it me, or does Santa look a little pissed? :) 
Then it was time to attack our Christmas stockings before breakfast:

Magali, Phu, Amy and I all received Sing-a-majigs in ou stockings. You need to see them the truly get how funny they are, but basically, they're stuffed animals with moving mouths that can sing and harmonize with each other.

Another Christmas tradition, egg casserole and coffee cake with currants (pictured below) for breakfast, yum!!

Gift unwrapping in all its glory took place in the family room this year, due to the sheer quantity of gifts:
Everyone was in good spirits and ready to tear into the pile: 

Midway through the unwrapping frenzy, everyone looked simultaneously happy with their gifts and overwhelmed by trying to keep up with what everyone else was getting: 

I'll go ahead and say it, "He went to Jared." And by he, I meant Tom bought Charlotte a lovely charm bracelet that we all admired:

Exhausted by the hours (literally) of gifts and a full breakfast, we were all ready for a nap. Adam and A.J. were especially cute, although we laughed at the fact that 1) Adam sleeps with his eyes open (not evident in this picture) and 2) A.J. and Adam kept changing positions in unison while asleep:

What do you do after a day of eating and unwrapping? Eat some more! And pause to admire Charlotte's beautifully deocrated dinner table:

One of my favorite parts of the day - Christmas dinner with turkey and a lot of the traditional trimmings:

Everone was comfortable and cozy in their pajamas from the morning:

We waited to tackle dessert until later in the evening, so we could share with my Uncle Rich and my cousins Andrew and Andrea (more "A" names to join the crowd!) - we indulged in a chocolate silk and an apple pie, a delicious cheesecake-concoction from Charlotte that included a layer of sliced bananas and a cherry/blueberry topping as well as another tradition, a Frangelico trifle (Andrew's favorite).

It all flew by too quickly, especially since Adam and Amanda ended up changing their travel plans abruptly due to the approaching blizzard and left late that evening, but it really made me realize why Christmas is such a special time of the year. Here's hoping that your holidays were just as merry!  (PS. The title of this post was a running joke for the weekend, it's not funny enough to explain but pardon me for its use!)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Decking Our Halls

It's funny, until we were homeowners, Andrew and I never paid much attention to holiday decorations.  I've always enjoyed wrapping gifts but never got into buying little decorative touches for my old place.  A $20 fake Target tree, a string of colored lights and a few ornaments, and I was good to go. 

But now that we have a house that we're proud of (ridiculously proud of, in fact) and the prospect of spending our first Christmas as a married couple (truthfully, not different from life before the wedding except the whole owning a house thing), we're inspired to make purchases like:

My first wreath ever (this is where I bring in the whole, "I grew up on an Army base overseas" thing and say that people didn't hang wreaths up in the countries I grew up in, therefore, I didn't grow up with this tradition) - this thing still smells fantastic:

Our very own stockings to hang over the mantel:

Speaking of mantels, did I mention that we finally had our chimney inspected and after a rather costly repair, we were ready to safely have our first fire in the house (and my first time living in a house with a fireplace, again, attributed to the reason mentioned above):

There were a few other purchases that I'll 'fess up to making (Christmas runner for our sideboard, Christmas kitchen towels, Christmas guest towels and Christmas soap for the guest bathroom [Sidenote: I am totally in love with Bath and Body Work's Winter Cranberry scent right now]).  This was all bought for a Christmas Adam gathering (Adam coming before Eve, December 23 coming before the 24th, it's a family term from Andrew's family) we held for our families.

The after-Christmas sales are going to be especially tempting this year. Usually, I stock up on half-off wrapping supplies but I think this year, I'm going to have my eye open for more decorative elements.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tired of Homemade Pizza Sauce?

Yeah, yeah, I know everyone is tired of staring my last post for the month and a half.

As my sister Amy and a bunch of other people pointed out, I don't have the wedding as an excuse anymore. 'Tis true, but I do have wedding wrap-up activities such as album making (one for the honeymoon, and one each for our parents, which took up many days and nights of organizing pictures) and the thank you notes (which were supposed to go out around Thanksgiving and only 1/3 are done).  Plus the holiday related prep.  Anyway, excuses, excuses.

I'm turning my attention back to the blog. One of my new year's resolutions is to focus on revamping the blog's design and focus. And also, just to get back on track with writing and posting regularly! So for now, enjoy a random hodgepodge of posts to end the year with.