You know that day sometime after Christmas when you start to get cabin fever, your Christmas decorations begin to close in on you, and your family creeps in on your nerves and personal space, making you want to run and hide in your closet? Yeeeahhh, I think we all know that day. Well that day is definitely today for me. Love my family, love Christmas, love being home, but today, it’s all starting to drive me a little batty. This is a signal to me, I need to start packing up Christmas (both mentally and literally) and get ready for a fresh new year. Since this day will officially start tomorrow, I thought I’d take today to blog about how wonderfully delightful this Christmas was. Not only was it Matt and I’s first Christmas together as husband and wifey (I hate the way “wife” sounds, so old lady and not me, so I pretend wifey is somehow better), but it was also our first Christmas in a few years with my parents back in the States. Although I missed being in London, being back in Houston was kind of nice, as it gave Matt and I a few days to recover from finals before the Christmas festivities began instead of immediately hopping on a plane and enduring the nine hour flight to Heathrow. Christmas present number one of the year :) So if you care to see what our family does this time of year and what kind of goodies Santa brought us this year, read on…
Finals wrapped up for Matt and I last week, but we stayed and worked until Wednesday morning and then hit the road headed towards Houston. I was beyond ready to get home and start celebrating with my family. How do we kick off Christmas week in Texas? Fried pickles at Willie’s….helllll yeah :)
Please excuse the frizzy mess of hair on my right shoulder, I should’ve done a more thorough pre-picture prep.
That night my parents hosted their annual Christmas party for our Houstonian family friends, neighbors, etc. They started this tradition in London, and I strongly encouraged them to keep it going in Houston. Like good parents, they listened, and the party was a big success! I contributed to the spread with my famous pinwheels and peppermint bark, and enjoyed a few too many glasses of my mom’s yummy mulled wine. Ooopsie :)
Party prep was a team effort…
…minus one person who was too busy posing to help :)
We got caught up during the party and forgot to take pictures, which ended up being a good thing because I think I might repeat my dress for New Years and wouldn’t want to be photographed in the same dress for two occasions so close together (oh the horror!) but we did manage to snap one of the dining room table. Oh how yummy that food looks now as I type this right now on an empty stomach.
Christmas Eve day got off to a fairly lazy start, and I spent part of the afternoon in the kitchen working on some cookies to take to our neighbors’ party that night. Listen to these easy delights…get some sort of break and bake or boxed chocolate chocolate chip cookie dough (the actual dough needs to be chocolate.) Bake the cookies as instructed, take them out, and set an unwrapped Andes mint on top. After five or seven minutes, take the back side of a spoon and swirl the melty, minty chocolate on the top of the cookie. Cool then enjoy with one hand while you fight off the rest of your family with the other hand.
Our first Christmas as a married couple (awwwww…)
Sweet Ry, me, and my favorite Anthropologie necklace before heading to church.
…and chic Toby :)
After opening our Christmas Eve pajamas before reading our traditional Christmas tales.
Even at our age, we still leave milk and cookies out for Santa.
Christmas morning…Matt opening his gift from my parents. A Kindle! I’ve never seen so much excitement from him (not kidding!)
My dad as we revealed his big gift, a 50 inch plasma TV!
My mom excited about her new iPod. Sadly, the next night we played Trivial Pursuit, and when my mom got the one point question, “What company makes the iPod?” she hesitated and said MICROSOFT. Lol, wow…
Not sure why on Earth I’m awkwardly posing like this, but I try to remain behind the camera on Christmas morning (not exactly looking my best at 7:00 am.) I was beyond blessed this year from Santa, my family, and Matt. I’ve also figured out a nifty little secret to getting lots of great treasures for holidays…feature them on your blog! Lol, I saw all sorts of treasures that I’ve featured on my blog this year including these treasures from Sprout Studio and the Kate Spade “Say Yes” necklace featured in this post. Clever and sneaky loved ones I have :)
Getting ready for Christmas dinner with Matt :)
My cousins came in later that night and we played this ingenious game where we all fight furiously to unwrap twelve nesting boxes with a special prize in the middle. To make the task more difficult, we had to wear gloves. I will blog about this game in more detail next year, but it was a BLAST (so much so that we played twice this past week.)
I also spent three hours clutching phone on Christmas because I knew that my best friend’s boyfriend was going to propose to her Christmas evening (not to be confused with Christmas eve). Jordan (featured here on Thankful Thursday) has been my best friend for over ten years, and I am so so so thrilled for her and Ricky. Here we are at our wedding with Jordan and Ricky where they caught both the bouquet and the garter. We are heading to Dallas for New Years to see them and I can’t wait to scream and hug her!
The day after Christmas, we headed to the best BBQ in Texas, County Line to celebrate my uncles birthday. County Line = pure Texas yumminess :)
Two of my favorite people in the whoooooooooole world looking very handsome if I do say so myself :)
On the way home from dinner, we drove past this house in our neighborhood. It was SO AWESOME! Check it out, and crank up the volume on your computer!
The next day after several hours of DJ Hero (my new favorite game), we gathered for a family dinner, and then went for the wishbone from the Christmas turkey. Some people might say my brother won, but I like to think it was a “tie.” Translation, I pretty much lost :)
And this morning, I whipped up a couple batches of these lovely treats. I usually make cinnamon rolls straight out of the Pillsbury tube, but in the Christmas spirit, I baked these from scratch (ok, well not entirely from scratch since the dough was frozen, buuuuut you get the point.) The family seemed pretty impressed, so I was happy. Check out the recipe here on Clover Lane.
We also spent a TON of time partaking in some after Christmas shopping. The morning after Christmas, we were out the front door by 7:00 am and before long, we’d wiped out Macy’s, Kohl’s, Garden Ridge, JC Penney, Kirklands, Hallmark, Bed Bath & Beyond, Steinmart, Aaron Brothers, and The Container Store. I got some delightful Christmas decorations and treasures for 50-75 percent off that I can’t wait to showcase next year on my blog :) This Christmas was special for so many reasons, and at the top of the list, was the fact that I got to spend it with the people I love most. I am so blessed and beyond grateful for the blessings I’ve been given this Christmas and always!