Christmas 2013

We have always had wonderful holiday celebrations, but this year was hands-down the best holiday season yet. As you might have guessed, this had everything to do with George and nothing to do with material items.

It may sound cliche, but the greatest gift I received this year was George. Being a mother has been challenging, yet exciting, and I feel blessed to be able to call George my own.

MGJ Collage

To kick-off the holidays, John’s parents visited us the weekend before Christmas. We had a really casual visit and had a nice family meal one evening. We invited my entire immediate family over and celebrated with New Mexican food favorites — tamales, red chile and green chile casserole. I also added my bean casserole, green chile queso and green chile dip to round things out. For dessert, I made chocolate chip cookie brownie pie and Julie brought mini cheesecakes. Delicious!

ArnoldVisit Collage

We celebrated Christmas Eve at Julie and Ian’s with posole and trays of appetizers and desserts. Yum!

For Christmas, John and I had a leisurely morning with George. We opened gifts, watched a rebroadcast of midnight mass at the Vatican, and ate a breakfast casserole that I prepped the night before. For anyone that is curious, John and I kicked off what we hope is a measured gift-giving practice for George. While it is easy to get carried away with gift-giving, we hope to do our best not to spoil George. We gave him four gifts this year – something to wear (clothes from JCrew Baby), something to read (we had a personalized book created for him), something he wants (an activity push cart for learning to walk…clearly we will give him something HE wants as he gets older) and something he needs (we made a contribution to his college fund). Additionally, Santa left George a sack full of some small gifts — a stuffed Fox, a luggage tag (for his new suitcase!), a few bath toys and a soft-sided book.

Tree Fave

We met Julie and Ian at my parent’s house for Christmas lunch and a casual afternoon. We opened gifts and spent time lounging around the house. Everything was perfect except for the absence of Nelda and Zach. Even though we know they were having fun with Zach’s family, we still missed them dearly.


We plan to spend the next few days lounging and taking things easy around Cliffwood. As you might imagine, we are having a great time with George! I hope you are enjoying the holidays with your family and friends!

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