We were totally blessed this weekend to have [late] Christmas with JB's parents, as they stopped here on their way down to FL for the winter. I hate to call it "late", b/c actually it was PERFECT!!! Of course, Christmas in December is fabulous...but it can also be #1 overwhelming and #2 depressing when it's over. This Christmas-in-January business has happily rocked my world! No one on either side had to make ourselves crazy trying to cram in extra-long or double the holiday travel right around December 25th; we had a precious time with my NC fam, while JB's parents celebrated with their other son/JB's brother's fam, who only live about an hour away from them. Now this January, we had this whole weekend to not only have a super relaxed time together w/o anyone having to rush off to other obligations, but the children also appreciated their 2nd round of Christmas gifts so much more than when they get them all in the span of less than a week. Plus, we've all been looking forward to this for a month - it made December's Christmas being over not feel depressing! No January blahs here, b/c we had such a great occasion to look forward to! [OK, yeah - of course temps in the 60's & 70's on top of ZERO threat of snow totally helped in that department, too. ;-)]
We did the whole holiday redux right: Friday night was just like Christmas Eve - Grandma & Grandpa had "talked to Santa and told him this was the night to come back", so we had our stockings ready, the kids wrote letters, and we left carrots & apples for the reindeer & a sweet treat for Santa. [PS - this was the *VERY FIRST* Santa-visit we have EVER had in a house in which we have lived with the kids! We are always at a grandparent's house for Dec. 25th - which is really a lot of fun!!! - but for the kids to KNOW now that Santa knows where they *really* live? It was magical. :-) PPS - using our stockings & tree felt so productive! :-D :-P]
The kids woke up at the crack of dawn on Saturday for Christmas Day. We did present-opening my FAVORITE way: going around in a circle, one person opening one gift at a time, so everyone can see what everyone else got and really appreciate them. (I *hate* "everyone tear 'em open ASAP!" It's so embarrassing to have to ask, "Um, did you see what I got you?" And even more so when the giftee says, "Um, what was that, again?" I don't want anyone who's bought me something to think I don't appreciate it! I want everyone's hard-earned money & sweet sentiments to get individual attention. That speaks love to me. :-) Plus, I love how long the present circle takes! Why would you want it over so fast?) We were all blessed beyond measure with bountiful boxes! I had made a couple etched glass gifts for JB's parents with my Silhouette, Will & Sis picked out several gifts for them on their own, and - of course - lots of photo presents. :-) Will was thrilled with a giant Hotwheels track and Lego fun. Annelise reveled in tons of Tangled stuff and can't get enough of her new bike. JB opened his #1 wish gift first and said the rest of the morning felt like gravy. :-D Y'all know how excited I get for things that I love, so of course I have to share a few of my highlights, too! ;-)
The dreamy Lollia "Relax" Eau de Parfum that I discovered at several Southern gift shops this last year! It smells like the beach to me...not that our beach smells like lavender & honey, but there is just some scent-memory connection there that's the ultimate in comforting:
This FABULOUSLY PERFECT "The South" definition sign that I've been crazy about since seeing it on Pinterest last summer:
Gelish "June Bride" polish - a light pink glitter with larger holographic circles! So excited for it - the most glitter-bomb Gelish I've seen:
Through the Year with Jimmy Carter: 366 Daily Meditations from the 39th President by Jimmy Carter - how perfect since we live so close to Plains, and a devo is the perfect style book for me!
And ZUMBAWEAR!!!!!!!!!! Winter Samba Cargo Pants and racerback tank!!! So beyond excited to wear these to teach!!! I can hardly wait to look 100% official!!!
JB & I made a proper holiday feast - Haricots Verts (thin French green beans - just steamed w/ garlic & salt), Yukon Gold mashed potatoes (with Smart Balance butter & milk), noodles cooked in turkey stock, rolls, broccoli salad, cranberry sauce (jelly in a can - mmmmm!), and a 10 lb. turkey, using Alton Brown's recipe. [We went back to it after other recipes this holiday season. You cannot beat how flavorful it is with NO basting every hour or any of that fuss. Plus, it cooks SO MUCH FASTER: 10 lbs totally cooked in 1 hour!!!]
The rest of the day found Will & Sis racing around our secluded neighborhood on their bikes and trying to calm down enough to lounge occasionally in their sleeping bags...but never being able to actually stop moving. :-P They rocked Wii Just Dance 3 & MarioKart (courtesy of Daddy! :-)), and Grandma helped Annelise sew an American Girl coin purse ("sew" perfect, as she has gotten really into the idea of sewing lately!) in between braiding Rapunzel's hair & dressing up. We couldn't stand being inside for such a beautiful day, but with our feast, we didn't need to go out to eat; so we went out for ice cream! :-D It was almost 80° with 70's forecast all this coming week - open windows, and we even had a big THUNDER storm last night at sundown, which sealed the deal on a dreamy day for me. (I am in total heaven living here...:-))
Merry Christmas, y'all!!! And *now* we can bring on Mardi Gras! :-D
[PS - Who wants to come take the ornaments off my tree now & pack them carefully for me? I'll pay you in baked goods! Or a Gelish application!]