I just have to post the photos from our Christmas and New Years or else did it really even happen? This year I was so into Christmas prep, shopping for gifts was fun (I even crafted a couple!) and I listened to Christmas music nonstop from Black Friday through Christmas day on the radio. Usually I burn out sometime in mid December. The Spirit was Strong! The kids had their Christmas Concert at school...
...which is a packed house that can be a little claustrophobic, but in the end, it's a cute performance. We went to Mass on Christmas Eve at 4 pm, and I think because the Patriots game was still finishing up when people would have had to leave their houses, it wasn't as crowded as years past. Winner! (As were the Pats!) We had to take our traditional After Christmas Mass Family Photo, and I should probably set up a little gallery wall with all these photos through the years, they're my favorites.
We returned home to have a nice family dinner, then went downstairs to celebrate Jesus' birthday with my parents and sisters' families. On Britt's recommendation, I had made a Salted Caramel Chocolate Whisky Cake (a little too strong! But Phil loved it!) and we had ice cream with hot fudge. HBD Jesus!
And then it was Christmas morning....
Oops, we forgot the dog...LUCY!!!
That's better :)
The calm before the storm....
...and here comes the Seven Kids Storm. I'll let the pictures do the talking. Most gifts are on my big list right here if you're nosy like me :)
We went up to my sister's house near Boston for dinner with my whole side of the family, and it was so much fun!
Some highlights from Christmas Day include:
Huey, my sister's dog on the left of the photo, was put to sleep the day after Christmas and it was so nice to spend his last day with him.
John-Paul, who is normally a quiet guy, was humming/singing Christmas carols all morning as we opened gifts. Teenagers are the best.
Andrew and Eamon's face when they opened up their Celtics tickets was amazing. Looking forward to that game in February!
Maggie was thrilled with the ice skates and hasn't stopped asking to go since (we did take her!)
We make our kids open gifts individually, and when they all had one left, I said "OK, this is your last one!" And Xander yelled out "Oh I hope it's a trumpet! Please be a trumpet!!" (It was indeed, a trumpet.)
Declan was soooooo happy for everything he received and told everybody after Christmas that he got "Everyfing I ever wanted!" with a dramatic sweep of his hands.
I always make homemade cinnamon rolls on Christmas Eve and we bake them on Christmas morning. This year as I was making the dough, it was dry, so I added more milk and then looked over and saw that I had forgotten to add the eggs! I tried to mix them into the dough with no luck, and just threw it all out. My mom had a frozen coffee cake that we defrosted and ate instead and I didn't have to spend my night and morning fussing with the rolls!
I got an Instant pot and need your fave recipes! Quick tale of the Instant Pot. Phil has a hard time buying me presents without me seeing the receipt/charge because I pay all the bills. So he ordered me this gift from Walmart.com knowing I would just see a Walmart charge on the credit card bill and not think too much about it. Smart. But Walmart never delivered the gift. He made phone calls (all in secret) and FedEx had to get involved and finally after weeks, they decided to just refund him. On that same day, the package was delivered. He called them up again (honest Abe) and told them he finally got it and so they recharged the card. He asked for some sort of discount for all the trouble he'd been through (I've trained him well) and they gave him a good discount on the already good sale price, so it makes me even more happy to own my 8 Qt. beauty! I love me a bargain and a money-saving hubby!
I gave Phil a few things, but the most heartfelt (read: not something he needed!) was a bracelet with the coordinates on it from where we first met - Gaming, Austria. The Wanderer Bracelets are made by people in Bali and the whole idea was really sweet. He loves it and I got a matching one. All together say Awwwww :) If Valentine's gifts are hard to think of, this would be a good one! Bonus - you can get $5 off when you click through this link!
Lucy, the Goldendoodle, ate a piece of chocolate cake and didn't die and didn't get sick. Phew!
On New Year's, we made S'mores (inspired by a neighbor's gift), drank sparkling apple cider and played family board games to celebrate. The 5 Second Rule game was a quick fave.
The S'mores maker ended up not working, but the gas stove came in handy!
And just like that we are back to school today with the hope of having the next two days off for a nasty winter storm headed our way. See you on the other side of the blizzard!