Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas, 2010

OK, OK, sooooo – better late than never, right?  RIGHT? 
This holiday season came and went so, so fast.  I really wanted to enjoy the holidays and since I didn’t have school as a distraction, I had grand plans of making lots of cookies, decorating the hell out of the house, enjoying some quiet time with the family and really just soaking in the season.

For the most part, I did and it was the best Christmas ever…

Since my camera apparently has made up with my computer (although the computer still has trouble recognizing him sometimes, which makes downloading pictures take  FOR-EV-ER) let’s begin with that holiday tradition that always starts the Christmas season for us – the girls’ Christmas trees from Judi and Ted!!

Olivia’s tree

The girls trees seem to out do the last ones every year. 
And this year was no exception.

Sydney’s tree

It’s a tradition that Judi & Ted started when the girls were little (read about the past two years here and here) and the girls look forward to receiving them every year. 


This year, we put the trees by the fireplace so the girls could see them every time they walked from the kitchen to the family room.  I’ll admit, I selfishly wanted them there too, so we could all enjoy them and so that all of our guests at the MANY holiday parties we hosted this year could enjoy them as well. 



Gratuitous pictures of my boy Baxter – the morning after our biggest holiday party (hence the 20 coolers in the background that we had just brought in from their spot outside the back door.  People, I have three refrigerators and they couldn’t handle the amount of food and beer/wine/liquor that we had that night.  Yes, I’m still recovering from that one)


Another tradition in our house is to open one present on Christmas Eve.  And it’s always matching Christmas jammies for the girls (which were surprisingly hard to find this year!)

My babies, getting ready for Santa!!

Once the girls went to bed, it was time to load in the presents!


Santa added a little bling to the stockings this year with these ornaments.


Apparently he couldn’t find an “O” for Olivia, so he went with the “L” for Livvie”. 


And then came the presents.


We finally got to bed at 1:30 a.m.  For the third night in a row. YAWN.

The girls didn’t get us up until 8:00 so we were at least conscious in the morning.  I should tell you that my kids are not allowed to go downstairs until they come and get us – AND they have to wait for me to go down, start the coffee and turn on the tree, etc., before they can come down.  So they stand at the top of the stairs yelling

Can we come down yet?



Usually I take a long time just to torture them…..

Chauncey and Baxter enjoyed their Christmas bones.


As you can see, Chauncey REALLY enjoyed his.

That night I hosted Christmas dinner for 12 people. 


On the menu:

Fresh clams
Fresh mussels in garlic and white wine
Homemade scalloped potatoes
Homemade mushroom stuffing
(with crimini mushrooms, heavy cream and brandy)
Fresh asparagus
Green Bean Casserole
Roasted tenderloin
(with herbed red wine sauce and/or herbed horseradish sauce)
Chocolate Pie
Blueberry Pie
Homemade cookies


I bought some clear glass ornaments and wrote everyone’s name on them with puffy paint, put on some curly ribbon and placed them in glass tea light holders as place settings.


I loved the way it looked….


And here was the surprise of Christmas for me…


A beautiful blue topaz necklace from Brian.  We rarely exchange gifts for any holiday and if we do, they’re small.  But he told me he wanted to get me something special to celebrate our marriage.

And he wanted something that would go with my blue eyes.

I cried. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ho Ho Hiatus....

The holidays are sneaking up on me (OK, actually, the holidays have come barreling full force upon me like a WWF wrestler).

I am going to take the next week or so and enjoy my family and relish in the first holiday season since my children have been born that I don't have final exams, major projects or a thesis to worry about.

I'll be back soon after Christmas - and I have TONS of projects to tell you all about and parties to fill you in on.

To all my blogger friends, I wish you a very Merry Christmas. May your holiday be filled with family, friends, laughter, love and peace.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Ready, Set, PARTY!

Tomorrow night is our annual "get together" for the holidays. The house will be filled with friends, family, children, food (TONS of food), and that festive Holiday spirit :)

I am SO ready!

Well, actually, the house has to be cleaned, the decorations finished, the food prepared, and the baking done, but whatever.

Mentally, I'm ready.

We then have another party on Sunday (not here), then we're hoisting Christmas dinner on Christmas Day and the Hopkins Family (my side) annual Christmas get together on the day after Christmas.

So, in lieu of cleaning and prepping I'll be out shopping tonight to TRY and finish up so I can wrap next week, since I haven't even touched a roll of paper or ribbon yet.

That's a plan that makes sense right? RIGHT?

And since my camera and my computer have apparently had a lover's quarrel, I am having trouble loading pictures. Hopefully she (the computer) will recognize his (the camera) device and things will be back to normal.

(Tons of jokes running through my head right now with the words "device" and "unload", but I'll refrain. You're welcome.)

And hopefully, Brian will clean the house tonight while I'm out - ha!!

Monday, December 13, 2010


**NOTE: I accidentally hit "publish" rather than "save post" at first, so if you read this between 9:00 and 9:20, it likely made NO sense, there were a ton of misspelled words, and you wondered what the hell I was doing. Sorry. There may have been wine involved.....***

So, in honor of the FREEZING weather we’re experiencing, Brian and I took the kids to the Gaylord ICE show this weekend.

Since it’s REALLY cold at the display, I dug out all the hats, gloves, and scarves I could find.

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As you can see, I couldn’t find the girls hats. Luckily I have a plethora of Santa hats.

So that's what they wore.

The theme was “The Grinch that Stole Christmas”.

As you are herded in (kinda like an amusement park) there are walls and walls of Dr. Seuss lithographs, poems, and other artwork.

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Horton Hears A Who – My favorite :)

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Then there were plaques about how the display is made…

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Seriously – I never imagined it was this complicated…

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My little Eskimo.


Even though we had winter jackets, gloves, hats and scarves, they provide you with these beautiful blue parkas.

We wore them over what we already had on.

And we STILL froze….


And now, I’ll let the pictures talk.

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Everything you see is carved from ice….


Except these.


But these are!

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Yes, that’s a fake, fur, black hat standing high above my head.

Don’t judge.


I was the warmest one there.

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The highlight – the ICE slide – So. Fun.



Liv coming down.


Look how big her parka was!


Sydney. She wasn’t in a picture taking mood.




Very cool ice tunnel we had to walk through….

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Again – no judging about the hat.

Or the fact that with 10 layers I look like the Michelin Snow Tire man.


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A gorgeous Nativity scene we saw once we got through the Seussification…

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My gorgeous, VERY BUNDLED UP, girls....


And an entire tree – made of PEEPS!!!

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Can I get one of these???

We got lost in DC as we left (stupid GPS). So Liv took the camera….

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Not quite as pretty.

This is “Foxy” – Sydney’s beloved Fox stuffed animal.


She also has a “Kitty”, a “Jaguar” and a “Pup”.

She’s very original. I can envision my grandchildren in the future:

“Girl” and “Boy”.

We had a great time and the girls loved it (once we thawed out and had some Mexican food for dinner)