Home for the Holidays

One of the best things about the holidays are being with family and friends. I am so fortunate to have a loving, close-knit family and friends who are like sisters and aunts/uncles, etc. This year was a little bit different… we have a lot of big things coming up in the next year:

  • My parents put our house on the market, so this is probably the last holiday we will spend in our house -which is bittersweet. While I am happy for my parents to take the next steps into retiring, I am still a little sad because of all the amazing memories we have made there.
  • My brother is GETTING MARRIED! In June, and in Denver and I am SO excited to add another sister to our family πŸ™‚
  • My sister is GRADUATING COLLEGE and starting pharmacy school -she has always been super smart and ambitious and I am so excited for her to start this new journey where I know she will ROCK!

So I think there will be a lot changes goingΒ on in this upcoming year! This holiday weekend was the perfect way to celebrate all of the changes, reminisce and catch up with each other. After getting home late Wednesday night, my sister and I woke up early Thursday to go to the mall and do some last minute shopping. (Yes we are crazy and we braved the crowds). Once we were done, we indulged in some pampering and my mom, sister, grandma and I went to get our nails done.

Josh got in late Thursday night and of course we had to indulge in a game of cards.

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Friday was our Christmas cookie day! Every year we make these adorable Santa Claus cookies. It’s a tradition that my mom did as a kid with her family and it has been passed on to us kids. We definitely made a mess in the kitchen, but it was so worth it! Everyone loves these cookies and how can you resist they are just so cute! Definitely a lot of work but after doing this for the past few years we have it down to a fool-proof routine.

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Christmas Eve morning we all had a big breakfast and helped my mom get ready for Christmas Eve dinner. The kitchen and dining room was a mad house -cooking and rearranging tables, chairs and making sure the place settings were perfect. Overall it turned out pretty nice – I think. My mom is always such a good host and the food did not disappoint.

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We always have our good family friends over for Christmas Eve dinner before we go to church. This year there were 12 of us so we had a big table setting which my mom did such a nice job on… one day I hope to be half the hostess she is!

Before everyone came over for dinner we did some gift exchanging (we always open 1 present on Christmas Eve) and this year we let my parents in on the tradition.

So my mom spent ALL summer working on these Santa Claus cross-stitch ornaments and they turned out so great! It was such a thoughtful and sentimental gift knowing she put in all that time and effort and I will truly cherish it.

We also decided to get my parents a wine cooler! They LOVED it! My dad has a big bar he put in our basement and my mom loves wine so this gift was perfect for them… I am actually surprised that they never had one before.

Then of course before church (and thankfully before dinner, where I stuffed my face) we took our traditional family pictures in front of the fire place. (It’s a growing joke between friends and family that you are really important if you get to take a picture in front of our fireplace).

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After the candlelight church service we came back home and our family friends also came back for some desserts and spirits (my dad always makes a special holiday drink). Then the anticipation for Christmas morning set in!

I am so grateful that our family is able to have a nice Christmas. As I have gotten older, the presents aren’t as important -but it is still nice that we are able to do nice things for each other. Before opening any presents, we always have to take our annual “sitting on the stairs” picture… it’s funny how much those pictures have change over the years (we all used to be able to fit on one step).

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One of my favorite gifts that I gave this year was a hand painted picture of our house to our parents. Since this was likely our last Christmas there, I wanted to give something to my parents to take a piece of our home with them wherever they go. This was such a beautiful painting -my friends did an amazing job from the 3 pictures that I sent her and I know my parents really appreciated it. (My mom did get a little teary eyed, which you can kind of see in the picture -sorry mom)!

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Overall we had a great day and a great weekend. I am so happy my entire family was able to make it home safely so we could all celebrate together. It’s also great to always have my grandma there too! Grandparents are such a precious gift and mine is no exception! She always makes our day just a little bit sweeter πŸ™‚

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I hope everyone else had a healthy and happy holiday spend with lots of love, laughter and food! And cheers to a happy New Year!

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