And…It’s a Wrap!

Happy Epiphany! (technically, it’s been moved to Sunday in the US — but for the rest of the world –Happy Epiphany!) How was your Christmas?   Mine was just what it was supposed to be — sometimes quiet, sometimes loud, sometimes chaotic, sometimes peaceful — and I wouldn’t change one second of it.

I know we’re still in the Christmas Season, but we’re slowly coming to the end, and all of us are beginning to look forward to a little more normalcy in our lives.

Even last night, I returned home from a gathering with friends after midnight — and my baby was still up!  So, though I love this time of year and all the get-togethers,  I’m really looking forward to getting back into what looks a little less like frat house living — trash everywhere, plates of food in random places, loud rowdy people, up all hours of the night — it’s time.

But it really was a lovely Christmas and New Year, so here’s my looking back in 7 Quick Takes:

~1~

Christmas Eve

I did things a little differently this year.  I actually thought ahead.  Go figure.  It was a great move.  We always have crepes stuffed with Nutella and whipped cream on Christmas Morning.  The only problem is that it takes a lot of time to make the batter and then crepes with only 2 crepe pans.  So, this year, I actually made the crepes on the afternoon of Christmas Eve.  Why had I never thought of that before?

Hey, if you’re gonna help me make the crepes — you’re gonna get a few perks.

We also ordered out.  I wanted to be more liturgically correct, so I had middle eastern food — while my family insisted that chinese would be perfect.  Yay for all of us and yay for take-out!  The only problem was that I was very self-conscious greeting people after Christmas Eve Mass because I had way too much yummy — but pungent– garlic sauce with dinner.  🙁

W.W.J.E. What would Jesus Eat? I think we all know who made the better choice.

~2~

Christmas Day

This year, we wrapped gifts a few days ahead of time, so I was really looking forward to not being exhausted on Christmas Day.  After the kids went to bed on Christmas Eve, John and I decided to pop open some Prosecco  — we talked into the wee hours of the night.  It was lovely and absolutely worth it, but still waiting for a Christmas morning were I don’t wake up feeling like I was run over by a truck — twice. 🙁

The kids actually enjoy coming down early and just looking at all the gifts — which means we get to sleep in a bit.
The Christmas Candle is lit.  A lovely gift from my sister in law last year — thanks sis!
My oldest daughter made this dessert — didn’t she do a lovely job?
Raise a glass to the saints who have gone before us!

Christmas Day was lovely and peaceful and fun!  We lit candles, listened to hours of Christmas music — Frank, Ella, Bing, Charlie Brown Christmas, all the greats — and tried to soak up every minute of everything that makes Christmas so special.

We evan managed to rally after a late night and had a couple of our nieces join us Christmas Night for lovely cocktails and fun games with everybody.

~3~

And Of Course There Were Gifts

Of course, there were gifts!  This Christmas was a technology free Christmas, with the exception of my oldest son’s programmable ball.  He was in a robotics course, and it was the educational version, so it made the cut.  But beyond that, we went with the classics — baby dolls, knitting supplies, books, board games, and a table-top ping-pong set — I sure hope my kids appreciate how much thought and effort I put into ruining their Christmas 🙁

No, actually, I think that they really liked their gifts. I’m not anti-technology or video games, but I just wanted to do something a little different this year.  It was a nice change!

I love balls, but which one do I play with first?
Yes, that was in his stocking — who doesn’t love Bourne?
One of our more resourceful children made coupon books for “foot massages” and “help with anything” and an expiration date –smart kid!

~4~

There Were Hits

Giving gifts can be a challenge.  There are always a few hits and misses.  That’s part of life, but trying to keep the focus on family and fun together sort of helps with the misses.

My little pony! My little pony! Have you ever seen anything more amazing than this?
My little pony, you are dead to me  now– now that I have discovered a baby dressed up like a lamb 🙁
This baby doll was such a hit that a day long fight ensued. 🙁
I’m gonna love you and hug you and keep you as my own. Let’s go.
Caught in the act of stealing his sister’s doll!
I hope she didn’t notice my sinister laugh. I may have gotten away with it.

~5~

And There Were Misses

One of my misses was not anticipating how incredibly irresistible a baby doll dressed up like a lamb could be 🙁  I remedied that the day after Christmas by picking up another one.  Of course, as soon as I did that, they both seemed to lose interest in their dolls — how did I not know that was going to happen. 🙁

His current favorite is the sweet little doll his godmother gave him.  Yay for godmothers!

The life of a little kid can be rough this time of year — not sleeping, too much sugar, so many exciting moments — it can be absolutely exhausting!  But I still love every moment of it all — even the crabby ones.

The life of a four year old — not liking dad’s version of this game.

But at the end of the day, when they are peacefully sleeping, you say to yourself, “This is as good as it gets”.  And you try to soak it all up, because one day they’ll be grown and you won’t be able to watch them as they sleep — well,  you could, but that would just be creepy. 🙁

But for now, pull up a chair, look at them in all their loveliness,  and thank God for the blessings of each and every one of them in your life!

 ~6~

There Were Road Trips to See Family

Yesterday I posted my thoughts on the craziness of family gatherings this time of year.  What is it about family gatherings that make all of our craziness shine?  For a laugh or two you might check it — I’m guessing you can relate.  You know what they say, “Small World, Big Dysfunctional Family”  — actually nobody says that — but no matter the craziness, I love getting together with my family!  It’s the best!

And on the way home, we met up with some family at Marshall Fields (okay Macy’s – but it will always be Marshall Field’s to me), had lunch at the Walnut Room, picked up a few ornaments for the tree, and looked at the windows.  Perfect ending to time in Chicago.

Time stops for no one — as an aside, I think I have a clock fettish 🙁
Oh the memories that this street brings up in my mind — so sweet! Despite the fact that it was a little dirtier than childhood memories. 🙁
Walnut Room Christmas Tree.
Found a few ornaments for the Christmas tree — and at 70% off — score!
“Back in my day, sonny, these windows wrapped around the building”…ignore the teenager who insists on making funny faces 😉
More windows!

~7~

Goodbye Christmas 2016

Goodbye Christmas 2016.  You were amazing!  I’m going to miss you.  Hope I keep my marbles so I can remember you for a long, long time.

Goodbye Baby Jesus, See you Next Year!
Here’s to Christmas 2016 and to a 2017 full of God’s blessings!

Linking Up With Kelly

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