Christmas and NYE recap

Last year’s Christmas build-up and celebration were a bit of a blur, as these things tend to be the older we get.  While I don’t aspire to be one of those women who are finished shopping by Dec. 1, I do dream of a day I’m not racing around Christmas Eve morning running errands.  There’s always next year…

As usual, Andrew and I hosted our annual Christmas Eve party at the house.  I made my usual spread of cookies (this year was a bang-up year; two from scratch and two from the store), veggie tray (note the broccoli-and-cauliflower-Christmas tree), hot pepper jelly (thanks, Mom!) and chili.  And, AS USUAL, we failed to go to church, again.  We had high hopes of making it to an 11 p.m. candlelight service here in the village, but we were way too pooped to leave the house after cleaning up from the party.  Next year, we’re going to our own church’s afternoon Christmas Eve service if it KILLS us!  We did, however, spend time reading about the birth of Jesus in Luke (a longtime family tradition of mine), exchange our new jammies, and even incorporated this Advent devotional.  Next year, we plan to do it the entire month of December. (Insert fingers-crossed emoji.)

Andrew and I haven’t quite finished the built-in cabinet project that we, I mean I, started a month or so ago.  It’s coming together and we’ve made great progress in the last couple weeks.  Andrew busted his butt for two days before the party working on electrical and getting the sides up so we’d have something to show everyone.  I threw on some decorations and called it fine.

Our party was enjoyable, filled with good conversation with friends and family, and games before the last ones left.

The next morning, we packed everything up and drove a mile across town to Andrew’s parents’ house.  Both Andrew’s sisters and their families were there, which is always nice.  Carolyn (center, below) gifted me with matching ornament leggings!

We enjoyed opening presents with the whole fam (an all-day affair), then popped home for a quick nap (Andrew), walk (me) and to take care of the dog before we went back for Christmas dinner.

A couple days later, we drove south to DC with a lunchtime stop in State College!  Andrew gifted me with a pair of paw-print earrings from one of the College Avenue jewelers that I’d been wanting, we stocked up on new Penn State attire, then hit the road for the rest of the trip.

Along the way, we saw two sets of friends in Alexandria!  We stopped for dinner and visited with my college bestie, Betsy and her family, including her parents.  Such a nice time catching up!  Then, we drove just a few miles to the house of friends of ours’ from Ohio, the Simone family.  We hadn’t seem them since 2011, and it had been far too long.  We enjoyed getting to know their kiddos (two new ones!) over family breakfast the next morning.

We finally reached my parents’ house in time for lunch.  The visit was the perfect mix of relaxing and the usual hustle-and-bustle of DC-driving, errand-running and house prep.  My mom threw an ‘open house’ so that family in our area could visit all of us non-locals, especially Andrew, who doesn’t make it down nearly enough.

We snapped our best family photo on New Year’s Eve, just before an M. Night Shyamalan movie marathon, featuring first The Village, and then The Sixth Sense.  We had some youngsters who hadn’t seen them before!

We caught the ball drop just as our second movie ended, then headed to bed.  The younger siblings left at the crack of dawn the next morning, Aaron back to Atlanta and Josh and Hannah to Florida, and Andrew and I headed out later that afternoon.  The drive home always seems longer than the drive there!

Happiest of (belated) New Years and best wishes to you all in 2019!



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