Christmas Recap!

Christmas was so good this year!

Christmas eve we always spend at Joe’s Grandma’s house.  We have a nice dinner with aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.  The kids love going there!

 

 

Christmas morning Santa has come and all of the presents are stacked under the tree.

I just love our tree- the colored lights remind me so much of when I was a kid, it’s so fun to see all of my kids artwork too.

After we exchanged just us 4 Christmas morning, my family came over to enjoy some food and gifts.  We had quite the spread!

Smoked bacon wrapped scallops & shrimp—hubby does them so good!

Standard Cranberry muffins from the box, paying tribute to my grams.

My friend Amie recommended this simple (and amazing) appetizer!  It was Tieghan Gerard’s 3 Ingredient Blue Cheese Bites.  Even my sis who hates blue cheese said they were good! *warning, you’ll want to eat the entire thing yourself.

My step mom brought this delightful fruit, cream cheese & croissant bake! It was the perfect mix of sweet and decadent.

These were the biggest hit with –including the kids!! It calls for a bourbon but I just used maple syrup…  Maple Sausage Crescent Rolls

One of the coolest (thoughtful) gifts was from my sister Bri!  She saw me tag Joe on Facebook about this bubbly.  She totally got it for us!  We are hoping to sip it during the Super Bowl Win! #goniners

My sister and I.

I won a pair of these fun jammies from my girl Katie at Thrifty Cactus, aren’t they adorable?!

Last minute decision to spoil the stinky big dog Bailey…

The aftermath…

Little man and mama played some Nintendo in the basement.

It always goes by so quick, but I do enjoy the memories!

Weekending

I figured I would back it up to last week–holidays make me get my days ALL confused!  Joe was super busy working and I was super busy working, so we were SUPER excited to get out on an impromptu date night Wednesday night.  I brought the kids to my dad and step-mom’s, and thought Joe would have to work late, but we were pleasantly surprised when he was finished in time for a dinner date!  We went to a local restaurant and dined on delicious fish meals, shared oysters & bacon wrapped shrimp.

Thursday we were going to go hunting, I had all my clothes ready to go washed in the “dirt soap”!  However, mother nature was not playing.  It was really windy and pouring at 5am when we would be gettin ready to go. So we had a rather chill morning. I had time to do hair and makeup uninterrupted! I even had the Macy’s Day Parade on…it was nice to not have to rush and get everyone ready and take my time.

We drove to my dad’s and were more than ready to see everyone!

The turkey was on point!  They brined it over night and it was just perfect.  I think it rang in around 19/20 lbs?!

We enjoyed all the sides, pies, drinks and things.  We were all in bed by 9 pm, which seems to be fairly normal around here.  #IamOld.

Friday I checked in here and there on some Black Friday deals, but I had ZERO desire to go out and fight crowds.  I did however have this insane urge to clean and purge all the things!! It would start in one room and then take me to another–I have bags and boxes to donate (toys from when they were wee babes!) and the play room is cleaned for our upcoming cookie party.  The kids also helped vacuum and wash the windows.  They wanted to to decorate but I wouldn’t let us until we cleaned and took care of our current situation.

Saturday we cleaned some more!  Laundry, tidying and organizing, along with a huge grocery shop, by the afternoon we were ready to hang up some holiday decor.  For dinner I made Chicken French for the very first time! (It’s one of my favorite meals!) I have been intimidated by it, not sure why, but our sitter Keegan made this before for us after returning home from a trip.  Her recipe was simple and not complex whatsoever. It was delish! I even did some artichoke hearts as well.  Kids love their butter noodles.

Sunday Joe’s alarm went off at 4:30 to go hunting.  I decided to stay up after making him breakfast and work on the blog.

After hunting, we shopped for our tree!

The weather was ice/rain/snow and we were grateful to grab a tree and go!

Getting a tree has always been one of my favorite traditions, even when I was a kid.  If it snowed on the day we were getting our tree, I always loved it just a little more!  It was a perfect day for it.

After watching the 49ers vs the Ravens Game (still not talking about it) I decided to start some holiday baking!

Joe wanted to make his famous Roast Beef (I call it that, not him haha!) and who am I to deny my man to cook for me? It came out just delicious and we had that with some steamed broccoli and I threw some biscuits in for the kids & Joe.

Somehow we still managed to decorate the entire tree before 8pm. The kids really had fun (mostly Brooke) hanging the ornaments.  Bradley loves just staring at it and dancing/running around of course.

And that takes us to Sunday night where I’m currently sitting by the fire, typing this here blog post.  I am excited for a busy and fun week ahead!

How was your weekend?

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas…

Holidays can be so wonderful!! I also know that they can be stressful and bring up hard emotions for people as well.  I try to focus on all the good things and stay positive! It’s important to know we are all on this journey of life and none of us really know what tomorrow brings. This holiday season I had so many memories throughout the years pop into my mind.  All great! I think it’s because the kids are getting older and we are way out of the baby season and full throttle into the magic, mystery and wonder that is Christmas, Santa, Rudolph, Elves, Frosty…

I have always loved Christmas and all that comes along with it. It was an interesting month juggling all that I did, but we made it!  Bailey the pup always keeps it extra around these parts.

Now that I survived the hustle and bustle of the week prior, (moms of school aged kids, can I get an AMEN!?) I’ve had a few days to wind down, enjoy some quiet time with my little family, and even watch a Hallmark movie!!

We also decided to change things up and not travel all around on Christmas Day so I’m looking forward to some breakfast casseroles, a day in our pjs and really enjoying the day at home.

Some things that helped me get through the crazy lead up to Christmas…

It’s just a day.  Make it your main goal to make memories of happiness and the true meaning of Christmas.  Don’t try to get to everyone’s house on Christmas day; take time to enjoy different friends and family throughout the week.  People need to understand it’s impossible to e-n-j-o-y if you’re stressed.

Communication. Talk to your family and friends about how to make it less stressful.  Everyone is in a different stage of their lives.  Some of us have little kids, some have grown kids, some are traveling…just talk it through and be open-minded!

Build in down time. We had some unexpected kid free time last weekend and it really helped break up the chaos.  It was so nice to squeeze in extra date nights and alone time for Joe & I!

Let go of expectations. This seems to be a recurring theme in my world.  The more I let go and let God, the better off I am.  I used to try to control everything and have it all in my head exactly how something would play out, only to be mad, disappointed and upset that “it did not go the way I planned.” Newsflash–nothing goes the way you think it should, it goes the way God intends.

Include one or two old traditions, but make new ones too. I stopped putting pressure on myself to try and do a whole bucket list of things.  Reality is, the kids get so much from outside activities, school, and us I don’t have to do it all.  It’s refreshing! I have one thing scheduled for sure on our Christmas break and it’s lots of snuggling time!

Don’t try to be a Pinterest anything…just be present. Don’t get caught up in the illusion of perfect; I’ve talked about it so may times, but seriously. We all have our strengths and we all have our weaknesses.  Don’t compare yourself and try to be something you’re not.  Just do your best and have fun with whatever you chose to spend your time on.

When in doubt, always have an extra bottle of vino on hand! I don’t think this needs much explanation. But seriously, cheers to Christmas and all the fun that awaits!