This past weekend finally wrapped out our Christmas celebration extravaganza-yes, we are really good at managing to stretch the holidays out for as long as possible, even into the new year! After Part 1 and Part 2 in Kentucky, our last celebration took place a little closer to home. Drew and I both enjoyed being off work together on Friday (holiday schedules and considerable time off are one of the highlights of working in the advertising industry) and got some things done around the apartment. That evening his parents arrived and we went to Mary Mac’s for dinner. As I’ve previously blogged about, Mary Mac’s is a staple for good southern cooking (read, lots of butter). I could probably polish off their cinnamon roll bread basket by myself. I ended up ordering the grilled catfish with black-eyed peas and collard greens, all of which was absolutely delicious.
After sleeping in Saturday morning, the four of us headed to another Midtown favorite, Bakeshop, for brunch. Jim and Drew had taken Theo to the dog park earlier that morning (while I happily slept in), and said that he was making good process socializing with the bigger dogs. I have yet to go but hopefully if the weather is nice this weekend, we can take Theo on another park outing. After my enormous scone from Bakeshop (besides sharing a bite with Drew, I polished off every single morsel), we relaxed at the apartment while watching the UK/ UofL game. After a Wildcats victory (did you have any doubt?) we continued to relax until it was time for dinner. Not making a reservation on New Year’s Eve was a gamble but after a short-albeit entertaining-wait at another favorite restaurant, we were seated. The meal itself at Noodle was delicious as always, but the service left something to be desired. We were left without silverware or napkins, and as you’ll read later, apparently that was a reoccurring theme for the weekend.
With full bellies we headed back to the apartment, ready for the rest of our evening. Jim and April played babysitters to Theo while Drew and I went to our house church leader’s house for snacks, champagne and board games. We tuned in just in time to see the ball drop in Times Square, and then flipped over to another channel to watch two daredevils jump over the San Diego Bay in snowmobiles. Now that is a way to ring in 2012! We had a lot of fun with our friends, toasting the new year and playing fun new board games like Bananagrams and Quelf. Theo waited up for us and when we returned, we put him to bed and barely stayed awake long enough to brush our teeth before crashing into bed ourselves.Sunday morning came early and soon we headed off to church. My parents had visited Grace when they came to see us back in November, so it was nice to be able to take Drew’s parents as well. We stopped by Jimmy John’s for a quick bite to eat (once again sans silverware and napkins) and made a quick run to Target for a new vacuum cleaner (thanks again, Jim!)
Soon after that we piled into the car and made the short trip to Canton for Christmas celebrations with C.R. and Jackie, along with Uncle Max, Aunt Chris, Nathan and David. Before we all exchanged our Secret Santa gifts, C.R. and Jackie presented all the grandchildren with a precious Christmas keepsake-Drew and I received a Charlie Brown picture book with audio of the story read by C.R. and Jackie, with the intention of passing it down to our children and so forth. We were touched by the sweet gesture and thoughtful idea and can’t wait to share the book (and our grandparents’ voices) with our little one someday. After we all exchanged our presents, Chris pulled me aside and gave me something so special and unique–I’ll never forget the moment she and I shared. I opened the box she’d handed me to find a matching necklace and bracelet set strung with beads she’d made from our wedding ceremony program and the reception menu; I recognized the shimmery pearl paper instantly. Every time I wear them I’ll remember the most special day of my life, and Chris, I can’t thank you enough for the special reminder!
That afternoon we snacked a bit and C.R. read one of his stories before we headed to Longhorn for dinner. I know it probably sounds like all we do is eat, and well, that’s pretty much true. At dinner Drew and I split a chicken entrée and after seeing Max’s dessert order arrive on a huge platter in all its chocolate-y decadence, we knew we had to order one for dessert later that night. Sadly, we were still too stuffed once we got home to eat it, and after eating some after dinner on Monday night, we still have about half left in our refrigerator. I have plans to tackle the rest of it tomorrow night while watching Grey’s!
Like all of our previous Christmas celebrations, this weekend was another special time with family. Now that the holidays really are over (we stretched them out as long as we could!), I’m looking forward to focusing on 2012 and our first full year together as husband and wife. We already have so many exciting things planned: Valentine’s Day dinner reservations have already been made, we’re taking a trip to Gatlinburg (it’ll be my first time there!) with friends in May, and we’ve recently been entertaining the idea of flying to Chicago for a long weekend on our one year wedding anniversary. Come what may in 2012, I know it’s going to be a great one because I’ll have my new husband (and longtime best friend) by my side.