December has been such a whirl-wind of a month for the two of us. That being said, all the running around, late nights baking cookies and many hours logged on the highway have been completely worth it. This year’s Christmas has been one of the most special, albeit different, holidays our family has ever had. It was our first Christmas as a married couple, which alone brought a lot of changes: our own Christmas tree, budgeting and picking out gifts for both sides of the family and celebrating Christmas not once, not twice, but many times over. In fact, we’re still not done!
On the 16th we headed to Ft. Mitchell to celebrate Christmas with my Mom and Dad. We also brought Theo along and were so excited to show off our newest family member. Mom and Dad, thank you both so much for welcoming Theo with open arms and letting him run wild around the house. We know the cats were temporarily traumatized and hope they’re starting to act normal again 😉 Saturday night we had our traditional Christmas dinner of duck with plum sauce with sautéed green beans and wild rice. Later we exchanged gifts and also celebrated Mom’s birthday, which just so happens to be Christmas Day. They always joke that I manage to stretch my birthday out for a week; guess the same can now be said for Mom 😉 Drew and I felt so blessed for all we received, and we enjoyed watching Mom and Dad open their gifts from us.
The next day we headed to Louisville for our “family Christmas” with all the aunts, uncles, and cousins. It was great getting to see everyone; even though it’d only been a few weeks since we got together at Thanksgiving, I’m cherishing the time we spend together even more now that I live 6 hours away. Once again, we had a great meal, opened gifts, and celebrated Mom’s birthday (ahem, see what I mean?) with Aunt Dawn’s Italian cream cake. The baskets with all the homemade goodies we made for everyone were a hit! The great thing about our family get-togethers is that there’s never a shortage of dessert: three kinds of fudge, chocolate covered pretzels, spiced nuts, cookies and cake…yes, we definitely eat well.
While Drew worked remotely from his laptop, Mom and I spent the next few days going to the gym (working off all that fudge!) and doing some last-minute shopping. I was so happy Mom had that week off from school so we could spend time together, just like the old days. To me, that quality mother/daughter time is better than any gift wrapped in ribbons and bows. Even though Dad had to work a lot, the homecooked dinners (Mom’s shrimp and grits are delicious!) and nights we spent together those few days were absolutely perfect. Drew has really taken a liking to the new red wines he tries whenever we’re there, and I know Dad is thrilled his son-in-law is a red wine drinker (since his daughter is most definitely not!) Monday night Drew and I opened our stockings. As we did, Mom and Dad told us that they’d sneakily been getting gift cards and all the places we took them to eat when they visited us in Atlanta back in November. We can’t wait to treat ourselves to several dinners out at our favorite Atlanta restaurants-thanks you two!
All in all, it was a great couple of days. As we had to strategically arrange the trunk of our car like a Tetris puzzle in order for everything to fit, we realized just how blessed and fortunate we are to be able to celebrate Christmas as elaborately as we do. We were also extremely lucky to have been able to take such an extended vacation from our offices. On Wednesday afternoon, the three of us headed to Owensboro for Part 2 of our Christmas celebrations…