Friday, December 26, 2008

Family and Friends

Christmas Eve we spent with my sister and her family at their house. We had pizza, salad, english toffee, and spiced wine. Yummy and easy. We exchanged gifts and it was so sweet to see Justinbustin's presents for them. He had a budget of $50 for his two cousins, and the three of us and he bought the sweetest presents! A kitchen knife for my chef nephew - his cousin, a car magazine for his car enthusiast cousin, a video game magazine and a ornament coke bottle for Brando, two Pokemon toys for Shawners, and a pyramid of Ferrero Rochers for me. I think he even had money left over! My middle nephew's sweet gift to us was a special time with him going wherever they want, and a few nights of babysitting for us! It was a special time spending Christmas Eve with my sis and her family, and a special new tradition we've begun for the last two years.

Christmas day the boys woke up and we all opened our stockings on Brando's and my bed. Then they brought the gifts from under the tree two by two and we spent the next hour and a half opening all our gifts on our bed, starting with Santa gifts. Shawners got a plethora of Pokemon toys, cards, and movies - exactly what he asked for. And Justinbustin got a huge Star Wars lego set that he has spent eight hours working on putting together since. He's almost done! He actually asked for a PSP or an iTouch but was reminded Santa doesn't do that expensive of gifts. Star Wars lego set was stretching it as it was!! My mom bought the boys remote control trucks which reminds me of Christmas mornings in SC, driving around and seeing all the remote control cars out on the streets from being opened that morning for Christmas. Santa did good this year, and all the gifts from our family were so sweet and thoughtful.

I made a baked frittata and raspberry crepes for breakfast and our neighbors, aka Justinbustin's substitute teacher and her hubby and two boys, came over for breakfast. They stayed for about three hours drinking mimosa's and coffee and visiting while the four boys played together. We've never had people over for Christmas before and it was a total blast. I can't wait to do it again!

We spent the afternoon brushing Brownie with her new furminator. We ended up with a pile of fur about a foot by a foot big!! It was AMAZING! I can actually pet her now without her fur flying all over the place or walking away with fur all over my clothing.

For dinner I made garlic and thyme crusted prime rib, mashed potatoes with au jus gravy, cranberry & feta salad, while KT joined us for Christmas dinner and brought an Alabama specialty - turnips and macaroni and cheese (she made it healthy by making it whole wheat). She also brought a DELICIOUS super soft bread from Whole Foods - yum!! I gave her the new Brittney Spears CD, Circus, a few days ago when we went shopping for Christmas because she mentioned she had wanted it a few months ago. I was so glad she hadn't got it for herself yet!! I told her she better not buy me anything in return, but she did - gorgeous silver etched earrings from Macy's that I absolutely LOVE. We had more mimosas for dinner, because she'd never had one and she hung out for about four hours. Another fun time with friends we've never experienced on Christmas before!! The kids LOVEd having their former babysitter over, and her and I sat at the table long after everyone was gone and cracked ourselves up until we were holding our stomachs and our faces were bright red from laughing too hard.

She left to go spend time with her little sister, and Brando and the boys and I settled in to watch Elf and laugh our heads off. I can't believe I hated that movie the first time I watched it!! It must've been my aversion to Will Ferrell that kept me from actually seeing the movie. Now with the boys doubting Santa's existence this year, and Santa having to write a detailed letter to Shawners explaining how he can live in the freezing Antarctic, how his reindeer can fly, how he can make it to all the houses in one night, and why he can't wake him up when he drops off the presents (last time he did that he didn't make all his deliveries and the elves made him promise not to do it again!!), I totally got into the spirit of Elf and believing in the Christmas spirit to make Santa's sleigh fly! I even sang along with Zooey Deschanel aka Emily to Santa Claus is Coming to Town!!

What a perfect way to end the evening as we finished up our movie and tucked the boys in bed. Shawners cuddling with his teddy bear in a sweater that Gma gave him, dressed in his moose pajama pants that I gave him to match the ones I gave Brando and Justinbustin (mine are pink with owls in scarves and hats and white pine trees - so cute!!), and Justinbustin big man stretched all over his bed that he is almost as big as.

Brando and I fell asleep to Fred Clause, and I savored the thing that I enjoyed most about Christmas this year. The fact that we are together, and happy. After hearing about my friend's husband moving out last week, it struck me how shallow I had been with gifts and realized I could have returned them all and been happy just having my family with me and being happy together with having friends there as a sweet added bonus.



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