Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Weekend 2016



How blessed we truly are.  It was a beautiful Christmas weekend.  We were surrounded by those we love most and enjoyed every moment...here's a little trip through our weekend

Christmas Eve Eve
I knew it would be quiet and I knew I could have some last minute coziness with our lights, decorations and of course Hallmark.  Rob had a gig so the girls and I settled in for a cozy pre-Christmas night.

The pleasant surprise was when Lea decided to spend the evening with me last minute.  When I realized she would be coming over, I had to whip up a couple of festive apps...you know me.

We enjoyed a quiet night with some apps, LaMarca (prosecco) , and tales from Diana :)

"Relf", Our Elf, trying to get in on the action

I made Chicken, Brie and Cranberry Cups
Find the Recipe HERE

and a Crab Dip
Find the Recipe HERE 

This one...always on the phone..you think I am bad as a Recruiter...she is a Realtor...just as bad...maybe worse...wouldn't change her though...she kills me ;)

Obligatory Blurry Selfie


and Diana, so excited for Christmas, couldn't sleep so joined us and shared some tales ;)

 Christmas Eve

For the past couple of years, I have loved our routine on Christmas Eve.  I do our baking for Christmas Morning breakfast and then I prepare our "fish dish" for my Aunt's Christmas Eve party.  As many of you know, I am part of a large Italian Catholic Family and we partake in the Christmas Eve "Feast of the 7 Fishes" dinner every year at my father's sister's house.  It is one of my favorite parts of Christmas.  Eventually I would like to take over this tradition and include some of our closest friends too.  Part of me would love to stay home on Christmas Eve but I love love the tradition of it all and catching up with family that we only see 1-2 times per year.

I digress....After getting the baking and cooking done, we relax and watch some Christmas movies...there is usually a Hallmark one involved.  

Then we get ready for church and head over an hour before mass starts.  It is crazy how crowded our church gets on Christmas.  We get there an hour early to snag our usual pew.  After mass, we head down to the relatives'.

So....here is what the cherry danish Christmas tree looked like assembled, before it was baked.

and here it is after!

This was delicious- a big hit- find the Recipe HERE 

and this, the "Christmas Morning Casserole", was a flop friends.  The very center never fully cooked and despite some rescue attempts, it still failed
 not worth sharing the recipe

My Calamari with Potatoes and Peas came out great again.  In fact, this year, I think it came out better because I bought the calamari at Shyer's Lobster Pound in Salem and the package had a nice combo of both rings and tentacles.  
See my blog post with this recipe HERE 




Snuggles + Hallmark= For The Win!

Admiring Our Christmas Cards over Hot Cocoa?  Priceless




 The cards are always one of my favorite parts of this season- I love seeing everyone's beautiful families

Ally came over to sprinkle "Reindeer Food" with Diana.  The Reindeer were sure to find our home because of their work :)
Getting dressed up and heading out to mass!


This year, after mass, we went back to Cousin Donna's to hang with her, Michael and Juanita.  They love seeing the girls and we had some laughs.  
Eva loves their dog "Bandit"





and then we headed to Auntie Peggy's for the Main Event
Some scenes of the evening






and my cousin Chuck is a professional chef.  We always love when he brings one of his dishes this night.  He did an incredible baked stuffed shrimp- check it out!






Eva LOVED the pasta- "Aioli Olio"


After dinner, it was time to head home and get ready for the Big Guy- the girls headed to bed and we got to work
The final view of the evening


The big kids came in around 11pm.  Diana was still awake!  She was so revved up.  Once everyone settled in, she fell asleep.

Christmas Day

At 6:45 am, Diana woke us all up and it was time to see what Santa brought.  The girls were so excited and had a ball!  I know I will remember this forever....



Diana's favorites were her new American Girl Doll- Kit

and of course, Baby Alive (I got this doll one Christmas when I was little too!)




Eva's favorite gift was a makeup kit from Kayla- she still hasn't put it down! :)

Gram and Papa loved the pictures from the Big Kids

and we loved our Super Hero Aprons from Kayla :)
Diana made me the most precious coupon book as a gift- we cracked up at this one!

At school, they made family trees for all of the parents- Diana was so proud to present us with that gift - it is so special-we are framing it and putting it up!

Mimi's homemade cookies were epic this year!

Christmas Breakfast Cocktails in Full Effect
After presents, it was time for breakfast.
Snapped some selfies 





 At noon, we headed down to Mimi and Papa's for Christmas Part Two!  The girls were so hungry that they couldn't wait for dinner so Mimi spoiled them with her homemade meatballs!

After a crazy amount of gift exchanging, we enjoyed some apps and then an amazing dinner- Mimi outdid herself once again.  This year it was a traditional Italian feast of Antipasto, Lasagna, Meatballs, Sausages and Pork in the Gravy and my brother Matt's homemade eggplant parm. Outstanding!
My Dad's friend Mike joined us too!





Pidge LOVED her new coat from Mimi and Papa- she wanted to wear it all day! :)

 Christmas Selfie ;)

and Mission Acomplished....to all a Good Night!

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