After a week of fantastic procrastination, here I am friends! Finally spilling my guts and sharing the fantabulousness that was mine and Carl's first Christmas together in Vermont. Buckle up and prepare yourselves for a mahoosive photo overload.
Like everyone, our holiday weekend was jam packed with one thing after another. Between last minute shopping, baking, wrapping, cooking and partying we hardly had time to sleep let alone savor the festive fun that was engulfing us. But through the hectic chaos I tried my very best to take pictures, laugh a lot, sip rather than gulp wine, hug too tight and thank my lucky stars that I was home again.
On Sunday we attended my Mom's side of the family annual Christmas party. It was so lovely to catch up with cousins, aunts and uncles that I hadn't seen since before moving to England. In addition it was great to be able to introduce Carl to ALL of my family. I'm happy to report that he fit right in with ease and before I knew it he'd joined the boys downstairs at the pool table.
Within half an hour of our arrival, the hootin' and hollerin' began as my cousin Guy put together a family pool tournament (which Dad ended up winning!) It was great fun to watch (and most importantly, laugh at) and I think someone was pretty excited to show off his pool-skills! (Hubby ended up placing third!)
After the party, we returned home, de-beautified oursleves, took to jammies, and began baking delicious yum-yums for Dad's side of the family Christmas Eve Party. Sonya spent the evening covering Oreos in white chocolate and crushed candy cane, while I busted out this great recipe for White Chocolate Peppermint Puppy Chow.
After the baking was done and everything had cooled, we cranked the Christmas tunes and took to funneling our inner Martha Stewart skills. Within a half an hour we'd whipped up two boxes of these cute decorated mason jars for the fam. Go team!
Christmas Eve began with one of Dad's yummy breakfasts. We stuffed ourselves with bacon, sausage waffles and eggs before hopping in our cars and beginning the trek to Aunt Annette's house in New York.
Although there were less people at the party than usual, it was still wonderful to hug and kiss family members I've missed so much. Aunt Annette and Uncle Joe showed us around their beautiful house they'd built (filled with gorgeous bird houses Aunt Annette whips up - just like I remember Grandma Cousino used to do when I was little). We reminisced, drank Vermont wine, ate Alicia's famous Mac and Cheese, exchanged gifts, shot each other with dart guns and made memories.
I was the first to wake up on Christmas morning.
Before 7am I sat alone with a piping hot cup of coffee in the house I grew up in. The house my father built. The house I've missed so so very much over the past 3 years. The same house that's filled with childhood memories of Christmases past. Like the year I got my Ariel Barbie doll, or the time I shuffled around the house in my first pair of glitter-gel high heels while Sonya followed me with a plastic shopping cart filled with plastic McDonald's meals. I savored the way the snow was falling outside, the way my Mother had snuck upstairs in the middle of the night to fill our stockings and neatly arrange them on the kitchen table, and the way my cat followed me around meowing and demanding cuddles. It was so special and there was a moment I had to remind myself how I'd be a huge dork if I were to cry like a baby. But I couldn't help it. I was happy, and thankful and appreciative. And what made it all so much better than ever before? Being able to experience the same excited tingle in my belly that I felt when I was five, to wake up in the same bedroom I grew up in, and for the first time in our relationship, share it all with my husband. Finally he knew what I'd been talking about all these years. Finally we had our very own Christmas in Vermont.