Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Eve 2014 {Peanuts 1st trip to the ER & Our Annual Dinner}

Christmas Eve dinner with YiaYia and Bopi is one of our family's favorite Christmas traditions. Sadly this year things were a little stressful on account of me sending Peanut to the ER. During the hustle and bustle of the week leading up to Christmas, I neglected to schedule the boys for haircuts. As a result, I figured I could quickly give Peanut a trim around the ears before heading to Christmas Eve dinner....bad idea. I cut a "v" into the skin on the top of his left ear & he immediately began to cry & bleed. The blood...oh Lord, the blood. So off to the ER we went. 

Thankfully I did not cut any cartilage and the ER doctor assured me that the skin on top of the ear bleeds profusely, but is quite painless. Peanut was a complete trooper and received liquid stitches and a new spiderman uno game. Thankfully we were in and out in roughly an hour, but I can tell you that I was shaken up for days.  

Once at YiaYia and Bopi's house we snapped a plethora of pictures before sitting down to a candlelight,  five course meal. (As a side note, the already filled glass of wine on the table belonged to yours truly!)

Peanut wanted a turn as photographer and after the day's events my sweet boy could have asked for just about anything and he would have been guaranteed to hear "Yes!"

We like to unwrap gifts at three separate intervals during the evening. The littles each get to open a gift prior to dinner since they are so anxious with anticipation (honestly, who isn't on Christmas Eve?). After we finished our  soup, salad & fish courses another round of gifts are opened. And the third round occurs during dessert where we all sit around sipping hot buttered rum (hot cocoa for the littles) and eating Christmas cookies. The whole process takes around 4 hours and is such a delight.

Back home, Santa's cookies and milk were tended to, the chimney doors opened and one last photo snapped before it was up to bed. The expression on M's face in the last picture is a mix of exhaustion, illness & terror over the idea of Santa visiting our home.....bless his heart!

One more sleep until Christmas!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Our Annual Cookie Party {2014}

This year was the 13th year hosting our Christmas Cookie Party and I think the entire B family would say that this was the best party yet. I was a bad blogger and took very few decor/food/tablescape shots (so just trust me that it was festive), but rather tons of photos of those we love celebrating friendship & family in our home.

We started off the evening with antipasti, a cheese board, bruschetta, crudite, spinach dip and cocktail sausages (bc everyone LOVES those).  This year I paired Christmas cards with a festive banner reading "HOHOHO" to create the backdrop to the main bar where we featured eggnog, wine, candy cane champagne & mixed drinks.  Beer and soft drinks were set up on the wet bar and the kitchen desk housed kiddie cocktails for the littles.

When it came to decorating cookies, the dozen littles in attendance each found a set of reindeer antlers awaiting them along with a large assortment of sprinkles and candies to adorn their cookies. I always start with a plastic tablecloth add a wrapping paper runner, paper plates to decorate over & a fun mini-marshmallow runner to complete the look. When the party is over you just fold the mess up and toss it in the trash!

This year I baked around 130 sugar cookies and every last one was decorated that night (normally we have a few leftover that the kids can decorate on Christmas eve for Santa).  It was a joy to watch everyone participate & socialize. While the party carried on the buffet switched from appetizers to dinner with ham, sausage, meatballs, salad, and tiropita (cheese pie) filling the island counter.

As the hours passed we set the littles up to watch Home Alone in the basement while the adults congregated in the kitchen. We got to talking and somehow or another the marshmallow table runner turned into a challenge of building marshmallow towers. And from there you can guess...a full on marshmallow war broke out. Ladies and gentlemen there were over 10 full bags of mini-marshmallows thrown around our kitchen. When the littles came upstairs to check out all the commotion they could hardly believe their eyes and luck! 

Being the best group of friends ever, not only did everyone help clean up the mounds of marshmallows, but also wash dishes and do general party clean up. So very blessed we are to have fabulous friends in our lives.  As the clock inched toward midnight I realized we had yet to take our cookie party family photo. So here is the 2014 selfie-edition. We can not wait for next year!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas with Theo N {2014}

The Monday before Christmas Theo N was in town and we had our gift exchange. Looking to do something together as a family, we headed off to the zoo to catch their Holiday Zoo Lights exhibit. Unfortunately, none of us thoughts to check the zoo's hours and we showed up 15 minutes before close. So in the pouring rain we quickly took in as many of the displays as and learn.

Once back home we grabbed a quick dinner, cookie party leftovers, and then sat down to open gifts and enjoy hot chocolate fireside.

The littles were just a hair excited to finally be opening gifts.

Hockey lessons coming up!! While uploading the rest of our photos I noticed these two pics that I know I did not take....signs of a fun evening had by all! I'll be back soon with more Christmas recaps!