If your Christmas celebrations were anything like ours, it was one fun thing after another! We had a blast hanging out with family and friends. We’re super grateful the roads remained clear so we could commute between our folks houses. And how about those gas prices, eh?!
Before diving into the full on Christmas report, I gotta share about a fun quick getaway with my Rosewood sisters in Chicago for some last minute Christmas shopping. But actually, I’m 99% certain the only items purchased were for ourselves. So really, the trip had nothing to do with Christmas shopping - but it made for a solid excuse anyway. Neighbor Kari planned the whole visit complete with shopping on Michigan Ave., an amazing 90 minute experience at Aire Ancient Baths, an obligatory stop at Eataly, a 4 coursed meal at Michelin Star restaurant Roister, a nights stay at Ace Hotel in the West Loop and a dim sum brunch at Duck Duck Goat. It was a super fun getaway with the gals from the block - a big shout out to the dads at home who held down the fort while we were away.
Later that week I joined the ladies from golf league for our annual Holiday Party at Watermark. This year we added an ugly sweater contest which had some really strong contestants. Appetizers are always provided by the Women’s Association Board and Watermark does a great job of hosting us each year.
Last Thursday was Natalie’s very first Advent Christmas Program at school. She was an angel and holy moly was it adorable. The kids all sang and did hand motions as they reenacted the birth of Jesus. She was so proud after the show and still keeps talking about it a week later.
Friday night we hosted a Christmas dinner with Jeff’s mom at our house along with two of his siblings and their families. This was our first year hosting and we had fun making dinner and sitting by the fire opening gifts with the kids. Natalie and Thomas both got bike helmets from their Grandma Barb which made more sense to Nat after getting her scooter from my parents later in the weekend. I put the good ole’ antique punch bowl to use with a sugary festive drink and was informed by my brother-in-law Michael that he enjoyed 6 cups worth. Zing!
The next day we headed out to Rockford to kick off Kladder Christmas. Jeff’s stepmom Mari always does a stellar job of feeding us way too much, playing Santa and facilitating fun. I think this year we may have overdone it with the 6 different kinds of cookies. The highlight for me was watching the kids open their gifts. Nat got her first set of real golf clubs that were immediately put to use out in the front yard with Jeff. If we’re lucky, she’ll remain interested through collage.
On Christmas Eve we headed south to Schoolcraft but not before making a quick stop in Vicksburg to visit my Grandma and Grandpa Smith followed by a few cocktails with childhood friends at the American Legion. Our stop at the Legion has become a fun tradition that I hope continues for years to come.
Christmas Eve night was spent at my folks house. My Dad made a giant dinner and my Mom, per usual, insisted we should open all of our gifts ‘right now’ instead of waiting till morning. We then always come to an agreement to open one each: our ornament. She gets us a new one each year for our own trees - something she’s been doing since I can remember. It won’t surprise you that our tree at home is quite full with ornaments ranging from volleyballs (from back when I was in high school) to glass letter ‘K’s which came after Jeff and I were married.
Christmas morning we woke to jam packed stockings and that Cinderella dress Natalie request from Santa hanging on the mantle. Dad made a BLT Bloody Mary bar for breakfast and we opened gifts. Natalie got her scooter (Thomas will have to wait until his birthday in March) which paired with her helmet from earlier. And this year Thomas really understood the idea of opening presents which made the event even more fun.
And just like that, Christmas is over… See you guys at the gym!
Currently watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime. It’s incredible!!!
Pop Scholars - Our House Church did a fun night out earlier this month and after grabbing sushi at Maru in Cherry Hill we ‘popped’ over to Wealthy Theatre for a super funny show! Their next show is January 4th. Check them out!
This animation on YouTube showing the expansion already underway for the I-96 and I-196 interchange in Grand Rapids. Most of the changes will occur this coming year. Get ready!