Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas Eve- A long standing tradition of some fabulous lasagna

Since I was a baby, we have always spent Christmas Eve at my Oma and Opa's house. In fact, we have celebrated December 24 in Trinity for 33 out of my 34 Christmas's (only one we had to slide a day over due to Eric's travel plans). Not a bad streak. :-)

Brooklyn and her American Girl came fully dressed for the occasion.

The girls...

And guys...

Oma and Opa with all their grandkids and great- grandkids.

And the guest of honor, Oma's lasagna.
Seriously the best lasagna one will ever, ever eat.

The kids made themselves comfortable.

Pretending to be "rocks" in the living room.

One of Jake's most favorite gifts, Art from Monsters U.

Oh, I cannot wait for next December 24th- that lasagna is calling my name!

Monday, December 30, 2013

It's a mini reunion!

I have to backtrack just a bit to mention a very special breakfast that I had on Monday morning before my family's Christmas.

First, let me introduce you to three very special girls.

Before the Carolina Girls, there were Stacey, Heidi, and Katie.

These were my high school best friends. Katie and I actually have been friends since about 7th grade when her family moved to Greensboro. And Heidi, as some of you can figure out, also crosses over to Carolina Girl status, as she went on from high school friend to 4-year college roomie.

Unfortunately, Heidi came down sick in Charlotte the night before our breakfast and had to miss, but I was able to see Katie, Stacey, and Stacey's baby boy, Max, that morning.

He was pretty cute. :-)

I have been always blessed in my life with fantastic girlfriends. It was so great to catch up with Katie and Stacey (and hear about their siblings and parents, too!). As I told them when I Facebook messaged the idea a few weeks before, "Facebook is great and all, but nothing beats an in-person meal and meeting."

And yeah, I was right. It was pretty awesome. Can't wait to plan our next one.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas 2.0- Uncle Pookie is Home!

We were sooooo excited when my brother and sister-in-law arrived into town Sunday evening after church. We met them at Moe's for dinner and I swear, I don't think Santa himself with a sleigh-ful of toys would have gotten a better greeting from Jake and Brooklyn.

We do get very excited when we see them...

Very excited...

So, Monday the 23rd, we had Christmas with my side of the family and it was a great, laidback day with a yummy lunch of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, presents, and then a VERY yummy turkey dinner.

I was super excited to find this outdoor life ring sign for dad's pool- Pappy's Paradise.

We also entertained ourselves watching some family movies from the late 80's. Crazy how much Brooklyn and Jake resemble my brother and I at around the same ages.
Some Hungry Hippos was also played.

Caroline puts a lot of love in making her turkey. And it definitely pays off.

Caroline's sister, brother-in-law, and adorable nephew joined us for dinner.

So, we captured a group shot of Uncle Eric, Aunt Caroline, and their babies.

Kinda-Cousins. :-)

And a great family shot.

We, again, were so blessed with some great gifts for all 4 of us. But I have to tell you that Eric and Caroline could not the get the kids anything, and it wouldn't matter. For only seeing them twice a year, the kids have such an incredible bond with their aunt and uncle. It's like no time passes between visits. And, I am quite certain that Uncle Eric and Aunt Caroline are extremely exhausted after visiting with us. The kids keep them very busy. :-)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Kicking off Christmas...

Our Christmas kicked off last Saturday with a brunch with Chad's family, including cousins, and then a date night with our brother/sister-in-law in Winston.

We ate at this fabulous Thai place that was super delicious.
Not what Molly and I thought we were ordering but it wasn't terrible...

Some of the most delicious Pad Thai I've ever eaten...

On Sunday, December 22, we had our family Christmas with Chad's side of the family. Yummy chili, salad, corn bread, and an awesome blueberry "dump cake" that Molly made.

And of course lunch was followed by presents...

And lots of baby Claire snuggling.

Jake tried his hand at taking pictures....at least I am starting to get in some of them. :-)

Gramma and her grandbabies.

Claire caught on the present-thing pretty quickly.

And I was so happy she liked the doll we bought her!

I got so many great things, but I did especially love the jacket my brother-in-law and sister-in-law got me.
You're welcome for the selfie pic in the bathroom mirror. Classy, I know.

We are so blessed with not only the material items we received that day, but also with a family that truly enjoys being around one another. It was a great day that ended with our Lessons & Carols service at Shout that night. Definitely a perfect way to kick off our Christmas Week!


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