‘Tis the Season

by Jenn (eating bender) on December 29, 2011

What a week! Between the gorgeous Arizona weather and quality time with family, I am one happy girl.

Bobby and I arrived on the 23rd, and it has been a whirlwind ever since. The festivities began just before sunset on Christmas Eve, when Bobby, Papa Bender, Eric and I ventured out for a scenic mountain hike.

We couldn’t have asked for better temperatures or more sunshine – it has been truly amazing! After our walking workout, we came back and turned on the Vikings game we had taping – for Bobby’s sake. ;) He was thrilled that they came away with a win!

While we watched the game, Mama Bender indulged us with some Peppermint-Egg Nog Punch, a Christmas tradition. This year, in true MB fashion, she made it 100% organic. It was fantastic!

Roasted chestnuts were also a highlight, though Bobby sadly did not care for them. More for us! :)

Papa Bender prepared quite the Christmas Eve feast. We dined on king and dungeness crab legs…

…sweet potato fries and corn.

We each savored a bit of everything, including a hunk of seedy wheat bread. Yum.

White wine was also generously poured and gratefully sipped. ‘Tis the season – 365 days a year. ;)

The rest of our “eve”-ning was spent watching Christmas classics. Rudolph was the clear favorite.

I also gazed adoringly at my favorite Christmas ornament of all time: Minnie Mouse! Probably one of the most basic ornaments out there, but I smile every time I hang her on the tree.

Last but not least, I made a batch of Chocolate-Nospresso Mint Snowcap cookies for Santa Claus.

Santa said they were delightful – and I have to agree with ol’ red suit.

They may not be sugar plums, but visions of these cookies definitely danced in my head as I slept. We woke up on Christmas morning to stuffed stockings, dressed in our most festive pajamas and hats.

Bobby’s pants were borrowed from my brother (Zubaz!) but I want him to get a pair of his own.

I was fortunate to receive a lot of fun gifts this year (including the Packers hat in my last post), but one of my ultimate favorites was this t-shirt. Think I should wear it around to networking events? :)

I also loved the ornaments we received from MB and PB this year. One indulges our habit of celebrating our dating anniversary, while the other indulges our shared sweet tooth.

After everyone opened their gifts, we broke out the mimosas and prepared for Christmas brunch.

As usual, Brunch Egg Casserole was on the menu!

It turned out perfect! Loved the extra bacon and tomatoes in this batch.

We ate until our stomachs were content in preparation for the Christmas 9. I was up against Bobby, Papa and Baby Bender for a skins game. It was an epic battle, but in the end I pulled ahead by one point. :) Celebratory pumpkin beer was in order once we returned home.

We watched another great Christmas movie, The Santa Clause with Tim Allen, and before we knew it, the day was nearly over and it was time to begin thinking about dinner! The feast photos are time stamped thanks to my mom’s camera, since my battery died.

There was plenty of turkey and honey ham to go around.

Plus Mama Bender’s amazing asparagus, topped with fresh Parmesan cheese.

We also had stuffing and au gratin potatoes a la another recent holiday (and just as tasty).

Our bellies were very happy, to say the least!

Post-dinner, we had even more to smile about as the Packers took on the Bears – and won!

It was a sweet victory that went perfectly with the sweet cherry pie that Bobby and I made for dessert.

I have to admit – the guy has a real talent when it comes to making that lattice. Way better than me!

It was truly a merry Christmas, filled with love and thankfulness that we could be together.

Time has gone by way too fast, as it always tends to do once the clock strikes midnight on December 26th. Bobby is on his way to San Diego to hang out with the nieces pieces, Cara and his brother Jim for New Year’s weekend. I’m looking forward to sticking around here with my family and soaking up as much sun as possible before heading back to Chicago!

What is one of your favorite memories from this holiday week? Plans for New Year’s?

I’m sure our plans will involve trying very hard to stay awake until midnight. Wish us luck. ;)

Abrazos,

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 runningthewindycity December 29, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Roasted chestnuts are a tradition in my family too! They’re so good!

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2 Jenn (eating bender) December 31, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Awesome! They are amazing. :)

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3 Susan December 29, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Have an awesome rest o’ your trip with the fam! I agree – the time goes by way too fast. Luckily, we get to have a second Christmas with you guys soon! Hooray! In the meantime, I think I need a snack after looking at that brunch egg casserole and cherry pie. Yum! Tell Uncle Bobby he can come over and make pie lattice for us…haha. :)

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4 Jenn (eating bender) December 31, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Thanks, Susan! Can’t wait to see you all in just a couple of weeks! And I will definitely relay the lattice request to Bobby, haha. :)

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5 Cara (Twinthusiast) December 29, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Oh my, what a week. I’m loving your t-shirt and Bobby’s zubaz (you know Jim has them in orange tiger). I’m really going to have to try your mom’s eggnog. Maybe I’ll get Bobby to whip up a batch this week? He and Jim are lounging on the couch now…miss you! Glad your Christmas was delightful.

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6 Jenn (eating bender) December 31, 2011 at 3:50 pm

We’ll definitely have to make you peppermint egg nog sometime soon! Miss you, too – hope you all have a great time today! Give the girls a New Year’s hug for me. :)

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7 Erica December 30, 2011 at 6:18 am

So much fun!! The hike looks gorgeous and all of the food looks so yummy! Id be all over the asparagus and the pie! Glad youre enjoying time with your family

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8 Jenn (eating bender) December 31, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Thanks, Erica! Happy New Year!

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9 Stef December 30, 2011 at 10:06 am

It looks like you had a great Christmas! My favorite part of Christmas was just being able to spend time with both sides of our family – sounds cheesy, but it’s true!

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10 Jenn (eating bender) December 31, 2011 at 3:52 pm

That doesn’t sound cheesy at all – I love it! Glad you were able to spend some quality fun time with both sides. :)

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11 Jess December 30, 2011 at 10:33 am

Tonight I’m getting on a plane headed to Amsterdam! I only hope I can get some sleep on the flight over, otherwise I’m not going to make it until midnight New Year’s Eve (local time or US time).

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12 Jenn (eating bender) December 31, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Wow! Have so much fun in Amsterdam! Hope you were able to make it to midnight! :)

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13 Melissa @TryingtoHeal December 30, 2011 at 3:33 pm

I’m going to try and stay up until midnight too…though I have failed for the past 5 years so I’m not giving this year much of a chance…hahaha.

Such a great Christmas Eve and Day with your family! I love those ornaments!

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14 Jenn (eating bender) December 31, 2011 at 3:53 pm

We can do it! Let’s put our minds to it. ;)

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15 BroccoliHut December 30, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Love that you bust out the mimosas for Christmas! Fun (and tasty) tradition.
Getting engaged was a pretty huge highlight for me this week, but I also really enjoyed getting to spend time with my niece Whitney :)

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16 Jenn (eating bender) December 31, 2011 at 3:54 pm

I’d say getting engaged and spending time with your adorable niece is pretty much perfection. :) Congrats again, Caroline! What an amazing end to 2011!

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