Tuesday, January 1, 2013

It's Over Already?!

It was just days away, and now it's all over but the bill payin'! In the last two and a half weeks: I've made (what feels like) a hundred new recipes, got a surprise visit from the besties at church, enjoyed a Christmas play with two dear friends, shared gifts and brunch with my work family, and celebrated cocktails and dinners with even more friends!  Christmas Eve brought me together with cousins I hadn't seen in years (as well as those I had!), Mass with my handsome hubby and kids (except Al, who had to work too late), and our traditional after-Mass food and drinks with family and "just like" family. Christmas Day was a joy, and we counted our blessings! And you know none of that can be said without the pictures to go with it!

The Bakes with our adopted daughter and grandkids ; ) (ok, ok, Megan & her kiddos aren't really ours, but, hey, pretty close!) Those little nuggets make everyone SO happy! I got to play grandma for a little while, until their real one showed up!

Dinner with our pal Debbie at Brian's, who made us a five-star meal! If I could only get him to do it more often...

This is Debbie & my favorite word (for ourselves and everyone else, in jest, of course, taken from the late, great, Chris Farley), so I ordered Deb her very own "IDIOT!" stamper for Christmas. These arms belong to the work buds, because we've got them saying it now, too!

Patti and I heading out to her church for their Christmas play, where we met up with Deb. We always enjoy our time together, especially now since she done gone and retired! Lucky duck! 
Jack and I got to spend a few hours on Christmas Eve with Aunt Rose and (part) of her fam; all four of her kids were home, along with her lovely daughter-in-law, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter. In her usual style, Aunt Rose made sure we had a blast by playing a White Elephant gift exchange, what a hoot! One bag in particular seemed like it may have had some meds in it, so we all fought for that one!

Our traditional after Mass Christmas Eve pic. Gosh dog, those are some nice lookin' kids!

We had so much fun playing White Elephant earlier, that Jack and I raced to Walgreens, gathering up stuff for our own exchange after Mass that night. I ran to the cupboard for some silly things, too, and darn that Al! He guessed the box of couscous right off the bat! They know me too well. This game is also called 'Naughty Santa', and that's the one I'm stickin' with!
On Christmas morning, we hold up our favorite gift for memory's sake. Lil' Miss Caffeine was thrilled with her Keurig, even though it wasn't much of a surprise, since she carried it to the car herself on Black Friday.

Mr. Firebug loved his shotgun lighter, as well as his blaze orange Buck knife. This may be sending a message that I need to pay attention to...hey Al, what about the convection oven?! How about the stool with a built-in cooler?! Or maybe the motorcycle shirts?!

Jax ponders the meaning of life while wearing his new 'Normal Show' hat and checking out his fishing pole lighter. What is it with these boys and fire?!
Jackson's girlfriend Samantha loved the cookwear he got for her, lucky for him! I remember the year Jack bought me a meat slicer for my birthday...he was thrilled with it, at least! (and still uses it to this day)
Mr. Claus can't really pick a favorite; after all, how could he? A grill lighter, a mosquito thermocell to keep the skeeters away in the marsh, a Belvedere bottle tall cocktail glass, and a 70-tie holder for a (mere) fraction of his tie collection! A gift for everything that he loves ; )

I got the pan of my dreams from the kids, a Tramontina cast iron & enamel skillet! I know, I know...years ago, a meat slicer wasn't an ideal gift, but with the kids all grown, I now love my cooking! (sorry, kids, guess I'm a little late with that)
And today, New Year's Day, was spent again with family & "like family" (and a lotta food, one last time!) Hoping this finds you well, with the promise of a bright new year ahead! ♥
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