Friday, December 29, 2017

Christmas Unwrapped

I always enjoy the week between Christmas and the New Year. We're generally at home and it's quiet here, the days have a slower pace, and I still love sitting by the tree. Daughter 2 is here for a few more days too and she straightens my hair and cooks us dinner. We sip cocoa and play a lot of Skipbo and have really nice talks.  

We logged a lot of miles in the car this Christmas and we're all happy to have a break from the driving. Technically hubs did all the driving, but still...

We started our travels with a three+ hour drive to collect my mother-in-law in Tennessee. We didn't get to town until about 7 so essentially had dinner and got up early Friday morning for the 8+ hour drive to my sister-in-law's house in Maryland. FYI-all the driving had + signs beside the hours because holiday travel! We were not the only ones headed north. Or south. Or sideways. 

Anyway, we arrived in Maryland just in time to grab dinner before going to see my nephew in a play-A Christmas Story. So cute! We had a little Christmas Saturday morning with hubs mom and his sister's family, before getting back into the car for another 2.5 hour+++++ drive to my mom's house in N.J. 

This was the first Christmas we've spent with all my siblings in about 4 years and it was fun to have us all together. I know it made my mother so happy. We were missing Daughter1 and her sweet little family but we facetimed a lot and passed the phone around so everyone could see this cutie patootie. Oh my word, he is just the best y'all.

Hubs (like his father before him) always read 'Twas The Night Before Christmas' to his girls on Christmas Eve, and he was so touched to see my son-in-law carrying on the tradition.

Plus, our baby loves books! I'm pretty sure he's reading along with his dad.  

We trekked into the city for Christmas Eve at my sister's house and some of my family had a whole lot of fun with their karaoke machine. There might be video.

We had the most amazing Christmas Eve dinner. My brother-in-law made Beef Wellingtons which were not only beautiful, but also delicious. 

We had stockings and presents at my mama's house Christmas morning and I want to point out this gift bag has been under our tree every year for the past 20 Christmases. 

No Barbie inside, but the bag makes us all smile. Actually I have two, but I didn't want to send Daughter1 her bag because I'm suddenly aware of the fact that they've been under my tree for 20 years and I'd like to keep that going. 

Is she the cutest or what? My niece got her what I think might have been everyone's favorite present this year-a cupcake hat! 

Daughter2 loves cupcakes (both the baking and the eating) and this hat is too adorable for words. She wore it to the grocery store yesterday and several people stopped her to comment. Super cute! 

We said this was the year of the suitcase because Daughter2 got a brand new set, hubs and I got a new bag, my mom got a bag, and my sister and brother-in-law both got new bags. Now we just need somewhere to go. 

I know where I want to go.

We had Christmas dinner at my brother's house, which is where hubs, Daughter2 and I were staying and it was really nice not to have drive anywhere. We had a fantastic German meal and my mom's wonderful cookies for dessert. I tried to get a picture of my mom with her daughters, but one of us likes to make us all laugh so this is the best I could do. 

The day after Christmas is my big sister's birthday, and we always make a big deal out of that. I learned from the best-ha! 

Daughter2 and I spent the afternoon with her over at my mom's house, playing games and laughing a lot. We had the birthday dinner at my brother's house and there were more presents and wonderful family time. 

I did get a picture of all my siblings with my mama and am so happy to have a snapshot of us all in the same place at the same time. It's a treasure. 

And then just like that we were back in the car for the long ride home. The traffic wasn't terrible but 689 miles is still 689 miles so a lot of driving. Daughter2 had us listen to a podcast called Serial and hubs and I were hooked which helped make the time pass. 

Plus there was this sky-

Now bring on the new year!


  1. Home for Christmas is the best and then back to your house for some quiet time is even better. Glad you had a nice Christmas and happiest of New Years to you.

  2. Looks like you had a great time! Where did she find the cupcake hat? My little grand girls would love that! I'm sure you will be packing your new bag and heading west to see that sweet little T boy before long! He is adorable. Happy New Year!

  3. Wow, you packed (pun intended, but totally unplanned) a whole lot into that weekend! We're hooked on Serial also - a great way to pass the time in the car. Happy New Year!

  4. So glad you got to spend time with your siblings. That Beef Wellington looks amazing!! Love the cupcake hat and the luggage looks great. I could use some new luggage. I could have guessed where you want to go with your new bag. I love that birthday balloon. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  5. Sounds and looks like you had a wonderful Christmas! Yep, a lot of driving but no doubt worth it. It's 904 miles to my daughters house but worth it every time. When our sons and us get together we always facetime Melody (who is usually missing) and pass the phone around and around. It's the best you can do and I am glad it's available. I too love that week between Christmas and New Years...just slow and relaxing. HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and yours!

  6. I bet your momma was so happy.
    I think I need to learn to knit a cupcake hat myself!!!!
    I love raising babies up to love books. Its a taught & learned thing, I truly believe that

  7. I so enjoy seeing all of the smiling faces and the love is obvious in all of them!! Looks like you had a beautiful Christmas, in spite of all the driving!

  8. That was a whole lot of driving but looks like a whole lot of memories were made. I haven't had a C'mas with my 2 brothers in years and years, so that's special that you had that time. Blessings for an awesome 2018!

  9. First, that second picture of that sweet baby boy is ADORABLE! Not that the first one isn't but that second one just speaks volumes. We share many of the same traditions between us- especially the reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas. It started with me and my granddaddy (who hung the sun, the moon AND the stars) and has continued to this day. Your sister who makes the faces is like my AthleticTrainer daughter. She's my #3 and has always made the faces. One day I'm doing to put together a post of all her faces in every family picture we've ever taken or paid for. Little stinker. I know you're glad to be off the road and enjoying a little quiet. Happy New Year to you and your sweet family!

  10. Loved this post! You made me chuckle several times, especially with the cat's "party face."

    Thank you for such fun entertainment, as well as for all the Hodgepodge posts you send our way. I look forward to more of the same in the months to come.

    Happy, happy new year!

  11. How sweet for your mom to have all her children around her for Christmas. LOVE that photo of your son in law reading to your sweet grandson. Precious. We enjoyed videos of our granddaughter on Christmas day. I love technology! A very Happy New Year to you and yours.

  12. Last year was a great year for you, and I know you’ll have an even better one this year.

  13. Just been catching up on your posts. Your grandson is definitely adorable! Sounds like you had a good Christmas if somewhat tiring with all the travelling. Happy New Year.

  14. What a nice Christmas you had. We were only 5, as the family of my DIL (or she) limit their Christmas with us to a Christmas card. I don't like Christmas anymore it make me sad.

  15. I loved this post, Joyce. That little boy is one of the most adorable I've ever seen, and I LOVED the photo of his dad reading to him on Christmas Eve. The little fellow did look as if he was following along with the story!

    Have a blessed 2018!

  16. Back in the days of "books on [cassette] tape", I learned how quickly time can go in the car when you're listening to something. It's really quite amazing how our brains perceive time.

    What a gorgeous sky!!