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!
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.