As we get older, it seems a bit challenging to celebrate the holidays with our families. Work schedules, family commitments (spouse’s have families too!) and the needs/schedules of new babies often lovingly complicate the scheduling of holiday festivities. That being said, we are very grateful when things work out the way they did in 2014.
After a morning of work, exercise, and chores, we were treated to a Christmas Eve visit from Sally and Chloe (the wonder dog). It’s always great to see Sally; she is one of my nearest and dearest, and I always love catching up with her. We exchanged gifts and George and Chloe got to know each other. We pretty much spent our time together laughing…loudly.
We spent the rest of the day working, packing, and cooking dinner. Before we knew it, our guests were arriving. My parents, Julie and Ian joined us for a Christmas Eve dinner. I prepared the red chile, rice and pinto beans, Whole Foods prepared the beef empanadas and Pico’s Mex Mex handled the tamales, salsas and chips. For dessert, we nibbled on biscocittos from New Mexico, glazed pecans (from Southern Candymakers in NOLA) and dark chocolate marshmallows.
We had to call it an evening early because George had to get some sleep and Julie had to work the next day. Despite the early end time, we all had a great time.
George was up early on Christmas Day so we had ourselves a very early morning Christmas gift exchange. George likes opening presents and playing with boxes and paper, but he is too young to understand what Christmas is about. Regardless, John and I had fun watching George explore and have fun.
Santa was good to all of us, but we didn’t go overboard. We subscribe to the “four gifts” philosophy for gift giving to George and so far (!) this is really working out for us.
After a quiet morning together, we got ready and attended Christmas Day mass at our church. It was a beautiful and quick service and before we knew it we were back at home getting ready for our family Christmas celebrations in Baytown.
We spent the afternoon at my parent’s house and had a wonderful lunch. The Hunters were there, but due to Julie’s work schedule, the Rosenbergs didn’t arrive until after we left. My mom prepared a traditional ham and all sorts of delicious side dishes. To top it all off, Mom made a delicious Black Forest cake.
We exchanged gifts with each other and played with all of the babies. The Hunter twins are adorable and I was lucky enough to hold both of them throughout our visit.
We made our way back home late in the afternoon and spent time in the final packing stages for our trip. We all changed into comfortable clothes before heading to IAH to catch our flight to London. This sunset greeted us as we began to load luggage into my car.
I considered this a sign from above that everything was going to go well on our trip!