Christmas in Review: 2014

It is almost the end of January.  But can I talk about Christmas?  I hope that is okay.  Christmas in our little corner was absolutely lovely.  It was the following three weeks after that were a total train wreck.  It took me a few weeks to recuperate.  I am still struggling to find my 2015 zen but I am at least at a place where I have the creative and focused attention to actually sit down and put my heart into blogging.  So forgive me.  But I have some pretty pictures to share.

Our holiday season was not completely stress free but I would say we definitely tried to be intentional in making it as enjoyable and slow as possible.  My husband had two weeks off from work starting the week of Christmas so I stocked the house with yummy eats so that we could linger and enjoy being home together.

I re-purposed wrapping paper that I had used over the past year for table coverings at parties to wrap gifts in.  For getting a second or third life I think they came out pretty perfect.  I used round Avery labels that I wrote on for the gift tags.

I made homemade Chex Mix for the first time.  I do not even know what prompted me to do this.  But oh my goodness.  I am obsessed.  I have made like ten batches and am still currently making it.  I have never bought so much Chex in my life.  I did not want cookies or chocolate.  Just Chex Mix.  It is my new favorite food group.

We did a few more get out of the house festive Christmasy things than usual.  It was lots of fun.

We finally made a trip to Nevada City for their Victorian Christmas after hearing about it for years.  It did not disappoint.  I came home with quite a few lovely little things from the shops there as well that I talked Brent into getting me for Christmas!

We then had dinner at this little Mexican restaurant down the freeway.  Their ceiling ornament display was out of this world.  They thumb tacked every one of those ornaments up starting in early November!  The food was amazing.  But those ornaments!  I was in awe.

And in between all of the holiday festivities, I had lots of cozy days indoors with my nephews.  I am trying to be better at picking up my camera and not just using my phone.  I have had a lot of fun playing with the natural and artificial lighting of the season.

I even set up my camera on the counter and put on the timer for this photo of us dancing.  It opened my eyes to the possibilities of more photos with me and the kids together which gave me great photography hope for when I have my own children one day.  Mom can be in the pictures!

As per tradition we have Christmas Eve Eve and Christmas Eve meals.  On Christmas Eve Eve we get together with my parents for dinner and usually go to church.  Because Brent and I spend Christmas Eve on our own, it is nice to get church in a day early.  For dinner I made chicken cordon bleu and garlic mashed potatoes.

As an introvert who likes to entertain, these small intimate meals are some of my favorites of the season.  Christmas day is busy and wonderful but these small gatherings really fill my heart.

On Christmas Eve Brent and I have breakfast together to start our day (we are usually protein shake people!).

The few days Brent had off before Christmas were spent working on finishing our fireplace.  That hardworking man who was determined to have the fireplace done for his wife on Christmas finished it at 4pm on Christmas Eve.  It was not our most restful Christmas Eve but it was our first one with a working fireplace!

We ate dinner on the floor in front of the fire and I was in heaven!  Brent, on the other hand, was very uncomfortable and sore from bending over to work on the fireplace for the last three days!  But he hung in there for my sake!

So happy to have our first fire!

We had also been joking that this was going to be the first year that Santa could come to our house now that we had a fireplace for him to come down.  So we made sure to leave out some cookies.

And then I woke up at 3am Christmas morning to make sure Santa had left some gifts!

Christmas day was filled full of family festivities and sweet babies.

And our yearly group picture!  Love my silly family.

We then ended 2014 on New Years Eve in front of the fire again.  We watched the ball drop from our ceiling where we set up the projector so that we could enjoy the ambiance.

And then we had the craziest stressful three weeks of our lives.  But more about that later.  Until then...let's just take a moment to celebrate...we have a fireplace!