My soon-to-be husband purchased a new car (Toyota Yaris, now there is 2 in our garage! Luckily NOT matching.......because that would obviously be lame) This was not a completely voluntary action. It was necessary after his dinosaur from 1993 pooped the bed for the very last time.......THE MONDAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS. With our job locations and schedules, there is no possible way to operate with one vehicle in the family. And I just had a quick deja-vu of last Christmas/Winter when 3 of his 4 tires POPPED within the span of two weeks.....and I had AAA on speed dial and was approaching stalker status with our tow truck guy. WE WERE OVER IT.
It happened like magic, browsed local listings online, printed out the one he wanted, went to the dealership and within a few hours he DROVE OFF THE LOT in it :-) JUST BEAUTIFUL......and meant to be. 2:30pm he's calling me in a ferociously bad mood.......8pm same day he's shreiking in excitement driving his new car off the lot. Best (& worst) day ever? Life can be so low....and turn so high at the drop of a hat.
As expected, the holidays (and in-turn, VACATION) has blurred by in a flash, I've been back at work for 3 days, wondering where the time went and wishing it could have lasted much much longer. Now that I have to be GETTING MARRRIED (!!!) it was our first official Christmas ON ROTATION.
This year was Christmas in New York, and next year will be with my family here in New Hampshire.......continue the pattern. Which I am happy for! I love visiting New York, seeing all of his family and friends, and MY friends who I still keep in touch from my time living there.
We celebrated almost a week early with my father.
Then the issue is - my mother's BIRTHDAY is CHRISTMAS EVE! How amazing yet terrible is that. I took her out to lunch to her favorite place - TOKYO STEAK HOUSE - where they cook on the table right in front of you :-) THEN later that night we went to her house for a yummo Christmas Eve dinner (yummo obviously because I MADE IT.........big lasagna!)
I have to see my mom on the double-whammy of special days.....so we ended up LEAVING to drive down to New York past 1am - on Christmas MORNING.
Didn't arrive in New York until 5:30am.....luckily my love DROVE......while I attempted sleep. I was going on a string of sleepless nights - staying up to get all of my big home made GIFT BASKETS together and all of my cooking/baking & wrapping.
I only got a picture of the CRANBERRY ORANGE WALNUT BISCOTTI I made :-) This is before cutting into diagonal slices and baking once again for the crispness. And here is the final PRODUCTS!!!
A SAVORY basket containing:
Whole Wheat Pasta,
Champagne (some baskets had wine),
cheddar popcorn, and a small photo album of pictures from the last year.
A SWEET basket containing:
Homemade Peanut Butter Balls (PB, sugar, rice krispy balls, dipped in melted chocolate!)
Homemade 7 Layer Bars (graham cracker, chocholate chips, coconut flakes, sweetened condensed milk)
Homemade Cranberry Orange Walnut Biscotti
Homemade Peppermint Bark
Jar of Sugar Free Jam, for those wanting sweet without the fat!
These are........TERRIBLE photos. However, I WAS IN THE BLUR!
ANYWAYS........we arrived in New York at 5:30am Christmas Morning......and walked into a CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND. SO MAGICAL. Sean's mother seriously goes ALL out with her decor for the holidays, lights & garland strung everywhere, over doorways, on staircases, on the mantle, just everywhere (inside AND outside), the tree is always lovely, and there is no detail overlooked. She had left all of the lights on inside so when we walked in we would see - and be entranced. It was such a special moment.....gorgeous.
After admiring all of the decorations we immediately fell into bed and furiously tried to get as much sleep as possible before waking up for the big day! Before we knew it our noses woke us up.......to the smell of YUMMYNESS cooking in the kitchen! Eggs, bacon, pancakes, cinnamon rolls, coffee, orance juice........mmmmmm. And of course THIS is the scene we stumble upon when walking out to the living room.
LOVELY. It was a perfect morning, visiting and catching up with Sean's parents, and his brother and brother's wife - who came over for the morning. SOOO. PERFECT.
Perfect company, perfect setting, and such thoughtful cards and gifts were exchanged. This was to us from Sean's parents:
Since we've moved to New Hampshire, Sean has been wanting to snowboard. We worked as a sneaky team and got Sean everything he needs! Snowboarding Jacket, Snowboarding Pants......and of course an ACTUAL snowboard!!
I got an amazingly stocked CRAFT organizer with a craft-lover's DREAM ASSORTMENT of items! Tons of designer papers, professional cutters, designer scissors, punches, stamps, stickers. You name it, it was in there. And to top it all off.......my large gift was a NEW SEWING MACHINE..........I still interally scream inside when I talk about it. I've been wanting my own sewing machine for the longest time. Because......I DONT know how to sew. But I've ALWAYS wanted to learn. I even saved a big bag of old clothes (with sweet PRINTS that I still loved) so that I could cut them up and sew them into something new and useful. Needless to say I got some time earlier this week to sit down, read the entire handbook, and TEACH myself how to get going.........and I MADE A HEADBAND. Which was so exciting to me, people were probably worried something is off in my brain.
Christmas Morning was simply lovely. The doggie lay nearby staring out the window as we tore everything open.
THEN, Sean's brother and sister-in-law went back to their house to prepare a LARGE YUMMO CHRISTMAS DINNER -- we'd re-convene that night at their house, which was equally GORGEOUS and decorated to the NINES. In the meantime, we cleaned up, got showered and dressed up pretty, dabbled with our gifts, and had some delightful conversation. OH, and me and my Mommy #2 decorated a GINGER BREAD BOY.
We drive over to Sean's brother's house................walk in......and THIS. IS. THEIR. TREE.
We all sat down to eat dinner, and the table was covered in jewel-tones feather trees.
ATE a delicious meal......and like any other holiday, wanted to immediately roll over and lay down. My love.....
Before we had to drive back home to New Hampshire I got to see my bestesttttttttt friend from college, MELISSA. We lived across the hall from each other in the dorms in college, we went to school together, we worked together at the mall (Williams-Sonoma!) -- so we were always together. Living, working, school. She's one in a MILLION!
We sadly had to come home......hard to say goodbye to all of our loved ones in New York. However we were brought some MAJOR JOY with the task of DOG-SITTING for my cousin! Her mostttttttttttttttttt adorably amazing MALTI-POO, named Rags. He melted ALL OF OUR HEARTS.
And now I'm trying to savor the last days of having OUR OWN decorations up in our house :-) OUR FIRST CHRISTMAS IN OUR FIRST HOUSE! Soaking it up......
This is going to be QUITE the year.