Happy 2015, Pals!
OK, so I guess the fact that it’s a new year is kind of old news by now. But we all know it takes me a little while to get back into the swing of things. I can’t start blogging in the New Year without a little holiday recap, though, so here it is!
Christmas was wonderful (even though it ended up being GREEN! ugh!!) Christmas Eve was a little quieter than we were used to, what with a change in traditions for our family, but I was still surrounded by loved ones, still sang “Silent Night” by candlelight at church with magic and anticipation swirling all around me, still ate bacon-wrapped water chestnuts (I love you, Donna K!!) amongst other wonderful treats, and it was all good. It was more than good. It was… Christmas.
Danica & Kara in their Christmas Eve finest!
My three favourites – Danica, Caden & Neve (next Christmas, there will be FOUR in this picture!! So excited!!)
Christmas morning was full of excitement, as Caden and Danica rolled out of their beds shortly after 7 AM, and giddy Auntie Jilly was already up and waiting on the couch for them! The magic of Santa is still alive and well for these two… It was so much fun to see how excited & surprised they were by the pile of gifts beneath the tree. We STILL can’t figure out how the big lad gets this done, with me sleeping on the couch only a few feet away – and I never hear him!!
A Christmas morning PJ selfie!
Caden & Danica with the gifts I gave them – he got the board game Labyrinth, and she got an Olaf cuddle pillow :) (Olaf was a regular fixture at Dan’s side over the holidays. When they slept over at my house, I gave them cheesies, and then told her Olaf should sit somewhere else. She gave a big sigh and said, “Nobody ever lets me eat with Olaf.”)
Dan and her new puppy, who she does not want to put batteries in. Go figure.
After a delicious breakfast of sticky buns and gift opening, Kara, Chris and the kids went to the Provosts’, while Mom and I tidied up from the Christmas morning storm, then relaxed for a bit. We headed to the Provosts’ as well closer to dinner time, and we were so thankful to them for opening their doors and inviting us to join them. We had a wonderful time, and returned home stuffed and ready for bed!
On Boxing Day, Luke, Amanda, and Neve joined us at Mom’s again, and of course there were MORE gifts, and another fabulous turkey dinner!
I love Nevie’s expression of pure wonder and joy in this photo. For the record, she doesn’t even know what she just pulled out of her stocking. Daddy said, “I think it’s candy.” Jilly said, “It’s stuff to turn the bath water colours. Please don’t feed them to her.”
Another favourite – I took about 20 selfies with Neve and she wouldn’t look at the camera. She’d say cheese, but then I’d glance at the pic and see she wasn’t looking. It wasn’t until closer inspection that I realized she was admiring my earrings. lol!
The Boxing Day Mini Light Mission: Luke discovered on Christmas Eve that half of Mom’s lights on her tree weren’t working (how the rest of us never noticed, I do not know.) They were brand new, so she was not impressed. On Boxing Day, Luke & Chris were determined to find the faulty bulb, and spent forever checking each of them. They never did find it, either.
Another Christmas tradition: Riced potatoes! Mom always tries to talk me out of it - “We can just mash them, can’t we?” Um… NO. Get out the damn ricer!!! (I thought everyone knew about riced potatioes, but this photo sparked interest on FB – some people had never heard of riced potatoes, others declared their love for them, and it even inspired on of my FB friends to dig out her ricer for the first time and try them. Have you ever had riced potatoes?!)
Post-turkey – Chris, Kara, Neve, and Danica
The beautiful, glowing momma-to-be Amanda… and Luke
^ This is what happens when you ask a six-year-old to take your picture…
It just isn’t Christmas without a few Cracker Crowns!
Pure Christmas magic, I tell you. Pure Christmas magic.
The holidays were full of wonderful moments. My Secret Santa this year was my brother-in-law Chris, and a terrific Secret Santa he was – I received The Big Bang Theory Season 7 on DVD, the new Emily Giffin novel “The One & Only”, a food processor, and a new travel mug – as well as a stocking stuffed with essentials and treats (plus lots and lots of deodorant… apparently I stink.) My mom gifted each of us a homemade afghan, though mine is still “a work in progress” – but I absolutely love it and can’t wait to be able to bring it home! I also received a lovely bottle of perfume from the kids. And Caden once again charmed us with his thoughtfulness, as he made each of us a bracelet with his Rainbow Loom. (I think Danica’s reaction to finding one in her stocking was the best. Apparently she knew what he’d been working on, and he told her she wasn’t getting one. When she found hers, her mouth dropped open. “Caden! You DID make me one!!”)
I had the kids for a sleepover one night, and we went to see Annie at the theater. Mom and I also took them skating, since friends of ours had rented the ice for an hour and invited us to come. On New Year’s Eve, we once again enjoyed a spread of yummy snacks while we rang in 2015 and celebrated my sister’s birthday. New Year’s Day was more celebrating, with one of my favourite meals: Tourtiere, ham, hashbrown casserole, homemade baked beans, coleslaw, and buns… mmmmm!!! Instead of birthday cake, Mom made Kara a Black Forest Trifle (or “rifle”, as Caden called it), and it was delicious too.
I so enjoyed the sleeping in, and the treats and chocolates, the naps, the movies, the binge-watching TV (yes, Criminal Minds, again)…
And now, it’s 2015.
Of course, my return to work yesterday coincided with our first deep-freeze of the winter, and there’s even an Extreme Cold Warning today. Brrrrr. But at least it snowed again on the weekend, so things are pretty again.
Cheers, everyone! :)