Monday, January 5, 2015

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

If you read my blog at all last week, you know that Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year.  Fall may be my favorite season, but Christmas is just well Christmas.  I love all the decorations (especially getting to decorate our home), I love Christmas lights outside, I love sending and receiving Christmas cards, I love baking all of my great-grandma's Christmas cookies (as well as some of Mark's family cookie recipes), and I love that Christmas means getting to spend a bunch of time with family.

This year it was time for Christmas in NJ with my family (we alternate which family we are with for the holidays, and this year was a Jersey Christmas).  Christmas in Jersey usually means spending Christmas Eve at my Grammy's house and then Christmas Day is at my parents house.  This year we did things a little differently and had Grammy over to our house Christmas Eve and even had her spend the night so that she was already at our house for Christmas morning.  Christmas Eve was a very low key night... we got our traditional Rudy's pizza and just hung out as a family watching Christmas movies on TV.

Tree at my Grammy's House
Santa has a bunch of presents for us
Love how my Grammy's house looks at Christmas
Tree at my parents house

Christmas morning we were all up fairly early.  Everyone was ready to open presents, but as usual we had to wait for my little brother to get his act together.  And by get his act together I mean we had to wait for him to go out to his car, get the presents out, and wrap them to put under the tree.  It wouldn't be a holiday with my family if my little brother wasn't unprepared in some way, shape or form.  Despite waiting for him to get his act together we had a wonderful Christmas morning as a family.  Everyone loved their gifts and we had a lot of laughs and good times while opening them all.  The best moment of all was probably when my brother was opening up everything for his new tool box and as he was cutting into the packaging for the stud finder and my dad was going "Don't cut the DVD that came with it" my brother just kept cutting and of course cut right through the DVD.  Of course we all got quite a few laughs out of that, because well it is definitely something my brother would do.

Grammy & Me... she was the only one who wanted to put a hat on with me early in the AM

The DVD that my little bro managed to cut through

After presents on Christmas morning we always have a bacon and egg breakfast before Grammy goes home and we all just chill out and relax until dinner.  This year before dinner my Aunt came over and we had a great time exchanging gifts with her as well.  It was nice to have her over as it doesn't seem like our family is able to get together too often with all of us there.

Traditional Christmas picture with 2 of my favorite guys... my brother and my hubby
Friday morning after breakfast Mark and I headed off to Central Pennsylvania for Christmas Part 2 with his family.  Mark's family usually does presents on Christmas Eve after a dinner of shrimp and homemade french fries.  So on Friday night we had a belated Christmas Eve celebration with Mark's mom, her fiance, and his grandparents.  After a delicious dinner we headed downstairs to exchange presents.  I think one of the best moments of opening presents with Mark's family was how excited his Grammy got about the framed wedding pictures that we gave her this year.  As soon as she opened them she said "I don't need any more presents this year, this was all I wanted."  It made us feel so good to know that something so little and thoughtful made her so happy.

Millerstown Christmas Tree
Grammy D excited about her wedding picture

Saturday we had a typical Christmas dinner with Mark's family and just spent the day enjoying each other's company.  We tried to go visit a winery with Mark's mom, but for some reason they closed early so we weren't able to go.  BUT we still had a fun drive out of it and on the way home hit up the Wine store to find a couple of new bottles of wine to try out.

Hubby "impatiently" waiting for dinner
Sure did get this bottle of wine because it was called "Love my Goat"
Sunday morning meant church with Mark's family before heading home so that I could go to work on Sunday.  The holiday celebrations with the family never seem to last long enough and I am always left wishing that we had more time with our families.

After Christmas with the families we had a few days of work each before heading to on of our best friend's houses to celebrate New Year's Eve.  This year was probably one of the best NYE celebrations I have had in a long time because a) I wasn't working (woohoo!!) and b) it was just a low key, fun time with friends.  I worked on Wednesday morning and after work we headed to ML's house for dinner and drinking with friends.  ML cooked us a lovely dinner and after dinner we settled down for some good beer, good conversation and of course beer pong.  The night was met with many laughs and overall we had a fantastic time.  We were all wide awake at midnight and had some delicious disgusting champagne before switching back to beer to finish off the night.  We were all so proud of ourselves because although we are all almost all in our 30s, we managed to stay up until 2am!  Go us!!

Our gracious NYE host cooking us dinner

The NYE Crew
So much fun ringing in the New Year with some amazing friends
We had a wonderful end to 2014 and the start to 2015 was amazing, so here is hoping that 2015 is an even better year that 2014 was!!

How was your holiday season?


  1. So glad you had a few good celebrations :)

  2. It looks like you all had a wonderful time! I'm cracking up at the dvd story!haha

  3. Looks like an awesome Christmas. I love the trees!

  4. Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday! It's good to see pics of families happy together around Christmas!

    1. It was definitely a wonderful holiday... loved getting to spend so much time with the family!! Hope you had a wonderful holiday season as well!!


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