Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas 2009


The week of Christmas was action-packed with party after party after party. For three days straight, it seemed as if Brian and I were either preparing for a get-together, hosting a shindig or cleaning up after a celebration.


Here are a few of my favorite memories from last week:

On Monday, my whole family went to see The Blind Side. I've been a huge fan of Sandra Bullock ever since I saw her in While You Were Sleeping and I'd heard several people rave about this film. Sure enough, it was a heartwarming movie that appealed to both the male and females in our family. And Santa brought me the book on Christmas Day and I can't wait to read it.

On Tuesday morning, we had fun opening presents with McKayla. McKayla loves to draw, so Brian and I bought her a Fashion Studio drawing kit at Lakeshore. Here she is tracing an outfit with colored pencils on her own miniature light table.

Later on in the day, we had our families over for a Surf 'n Turf dinner.

Instead of having the traditional Christmas meal with turkey, ham and all the fixings, Brian prepared tri-tip Steak, honey walnut shrimp, jasmine rice, and a green salad. (Oh, and we enjoyed Death by Chocolate for dessert!)

This Honey Walnut Shrimp was absolutely delicious! (Feel free to click on the hyperlink for the recipe, but please note that Brian used cornstarch instead of flour.)

The table looked so festive, thanks to my mom's Winterberry dishes and glassware.

Here's a close-up shot of the pretty dishes and glassware. And I love the blurry colored lights of our tree in the background. Pioneer Woman calls it "bokeh." I call it neat-o.

On Wednesday, members of the Joyful Noize choir descended upon our house to eat and sing. (My mom, Brian's dad, and I are all members of the choir.) It's such a blessing to have the choir fill our home with beautiful Christmas songs.

On Christmas Eve, Brian and I joined my parents and siblings for breakfast and presents. Later on in the day, Katie, Justin and my mom joined us for lunch and Country Band.

Here's my mom singing The Gambler by Kenny Rogers.

The Band: Mom (vocals), Justin (guitar), Jennie (bass), and Brian (drums)
We had lots 'o fun, but as you can see, we were very focused on our parts!

Look, Mom is smiling! :-) I think she likes Country Band.

Katie also sang and played the guitar during many of the other songs. In fact, my mom took several videos of us all singing and playing. Perhaps, if they are not too embarrassing, I'll post them when we return from our trip.

On Christmas day, Brian and I had loads of fun at Brian's parent's house. The annual ornament exchange is one of my favorite activities. Prior to the exchange, everyone draws a number. Then, the leader of the game, draws numbers one-by-one. If your number is drawn, you can either select a wrapped present from the coffee table or steal someone's unwrapped ornament.
This year, I stole an adorable Jelly Belly ornament--it's an adorable red jelly bean swinging on a rope swing--from Brian who had just stolen it from Leah. (Once the ornament has been stolen twice, it remains with the second stealer.)

During dinner, we went around the table and each shared a favorite Christmas memory from the past. Brian reminded me of this great Christmas memory: Years ago, I was visiting Brian at the fire station on Christmas day, and just as I arrived, the crew got dispatched on a call. Brian's captain (at the time), offered to let me ride along on the ambulance. And of course, I couldn't say no! What an adrenaline rush it was...and so exciting (and interesting) to see my husband at work in the back of the medic.

Hope you and your family had a very Merry Christmas!

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