“I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, he is the Messiah, the Lord.” – Luke 2:10-11
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!! This holiday was special in that it was our first Christmas as a married couple. While I had been eagerly anticipating our first Christmas together, I was surprised by just how homesick I became a few weeks before Christmas. This was my first year being away from my family for the holidays, and despite being excited for Chip and I to create our own Christmas traditions together, I was sad to not be with my family during this special time of the year. I am so thankful for Chip who was very understanding and loving while I struggled through being away from my family for the holidays. Overall, while I was a little down during these weeks, we still had a special first Christmas together, with some key highlights:
- Decorating our own Christmas ornaments at Clay Casa.
- Getting a real Christmas tree and enjoying homemade lasagna with wine while we decorated the tree (with Elf on in the background of course!)
- Baking holiday breads for family and friends here in town
- Walking along the RiverWalk, enjoying all the beautiful Christmas lights along the river
While it was a little strange to not be in Arizona for the holidays, we were both excited to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning in our home. Our friends Matt and Haley were also in town for Christmas Eve, so the four of us planned a special Christmas Eve-evening together. We had dinner at our house, went to a Christmas Eve church service together and then ended the night with drinks and desserts at their house. Growing up we always had a HoneyBaked Ham for Christmas Eve dinner and I felt like I was completing some right of passage when purchasing the ham myself this year :) As always, there was a really long line at the HoneyBaked Ham store (even on a Thursday afternoon at 3:00!), but the wait was worth it! The rest of dinner consisted of salad, bread rolls, green bean casserole and a potato au gratin dish. For dessert, we had a rich, delicious chocolate torte Haley made and a toffee apple cheese pie. Yum!!
We were both looking forward to Christmas morning and exchanging our gifts for each other. Both of us had been hiding our gifts leading up until Christmas, so we each took turns bringing out our presents from undisclosed locations in the house. Once we got the Christmas music playing (courtesy of non-stop Christmas music from 101.9!), it was time to open our gifts. We let Wrigley go first because we knew he would be so entertaining to watch as he tore apart his gifts and this would also keep him busy and away from us while we opened our own gifts. As we had predicted, Wrigley was a blur of destruction once we placed our gift bag in front of him. All of the toys were a success!
Now as you might know, I have really enjoyed baking a lot since we got married. So my big Christmas gift from Chip was….
… my very own KitchenAid Mixer!! Now, I’ve been wanting one of these babies for a long time. We registered for one before our wedding, but it was one of the items that wasn’t purchased and something we didn’t want to use our precious gift cards on right away as we were moving into our new home. So I was content to bide my time, thinking it would come a couple of years or so down the road. In the meantime, I had been using my trusty hand-held beater…which was a gift my parents had received at their own wedding 25 years ago. Needless to say, it is a quality piece of machinery! While I have some clear emotional attachment to this hand-held beater, I am SO excited about this beautiful, cinnamon red KitchenAid Mixer. I’ve already put it to use on some doggie biscuits for Wrigley, which will be a separate post. :)
Now, Chip has been dropping hints for months about how awesome blu-ray players are. We had also registered for one of these, but didn’t get it for our wedding, so like my KitchenAid, it was something we decided we would get on our own later. Knowing how much Chip liked these for their multi-purpose functionality (they can also stream online content, like Netflix), I kept an eye out for any and all sales for one of these. In the end, I ordered him a PS3 from Best Buy on Cyber Monday. The gift was a success and Chip quickly got it set up that morning!
After we opened our gifts, Chip made us a great breakfast of egg sandwiches with some of our leftover ham from Christmas Eve. We then went to our Sunday church service, came back home to pack up and get Wrigley and then drove to Corpus Christi to spend the rest of the day and Monday with Chip’s mom. We had a great time there and were excited to see his mom, stepdad, brother (who dominated a dance game on the Wii!) and stepbrother’s family, including their super smart almost four-year old daughter. We were so happy we got to see all of them and hope to see them again soon!