Happy New Years!
It’s now January 1, 2014. The sun’s light is coming through my window, and I’m just now really feeling better after being sick.
We all just got back from over a week long trip in Colorado in which we had a very filled week for Christmas. Which was a lot of fun by the way. It was special for me since my boys are hitting that age where it’s all very magical to them. Their eyes become wide when they see Santa’s foot print in the soot inside the fireplace, see how he brought presents in the night and ‘really ate the cookies, Mama!’ It was also special for a friend of mine who had never experienced a very traditional Christmas before in her life. Most to all of the Christmasy activities were a first for her too! I prepped for the trip the whole month of December. It was the first time though that it didn’t all feel last minute with presents and packing and the initial 12 hour drive for once. We watched a lot of Christmas classics, played with cousins who came to visit, a gingerbread house was put under construction, baked sugar cookies, food, food, snacks, candies from the neighbor, and lots of food for Christmas dinner.
The drive itself was long. It became so foggy at one point in Utah it felt like we were driving into Silent Hill the fog last for so long! We were just missing a pyramid head… It was the middle of the night and the headlights on the cars in front of us completely disappeared less than about 40 feet away I’d guess, probably even closer? I’d never seen such thick fog before. We got through it after a long while. I was certainly glad! I hate long distance driving in the middle of the night, yet somehow I was the one who ended up driving up through Vail (usually the worst part to drive through in the mountain pass because of the ice, snow, and windy roads). There was a lovely frost settled on the city when we did get there though.
Kiki made some yummy Japanese food: chicken nanban ( 揚げ鶏の酢ねぎソースがけ) and a cold noodle eggplant dish (茄子の揚げびたし [which is one of all time favorites of hers!]) for my family to try. We all ate it up of course. When it came to the gingerbread house, my sons did most of the candy decorating, and Jacob was sure to sneak plenty of samples. Kiki and I put it together using a template I drew up real quick on parchment paper. We didn’t get any pictures of the homemade sugar cookies we baked for Santa, or even decorate them for that matter (first for me, I always put buttercream frosting on them.) We did so much cooking though and had so many treats I don’t think it really mattered much this year anyways. I can always go nuts on cookies for Valentines again.
On Christmas Eve we baked an apple pie for the next day. Kiki and I had already done our food shopping in advance for all of the meals and figured out the menu, so we went out to get our nails done for fun. It was my first manicure and second pedi, so it was a treat!
I had Jude and Jacob pick out some cookies and get a glass of milk to set out and we read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Presents that needed wrapping were finished up, stocking stuffed, my husband and I took up the hard task of eating the cookies and milk left out, and since there was a lot of people that’d be there, it meant a lot of gifts under the tree. I do have 5 siblings after all, 2 of which have children too.
The tree looked magical! I arranged all the gifts by stacking and spreading them out all pretty to maximize the effect lol It was funny to see everyone’s expressions once it was all done ( That’s a lot of gifts Lauren! Duh I made it look that way!) It was most special for Kiki I think. She had been taking a long nap since she felt sick (who didn’t get sick during this trip?? I’m only just now recovering). When she woke up, we told her Santa had already stopped by with all the evidence to prove it. She was so excited that when she came upstairs and finally saw the tree in all its glory it made her cry with happiness.
What I like most about holiday dinners at my parent’s house is that even though we make our traditional foods, we will try other dishes as well or variations of them. We had both free-range goose and lamb this year. Scalloped potatoes that were baked in a pan and inverted onto a plate when done and we sliced into it like a pie. Corn, mashed potatoes and gravy, mac & cheese, and more yumminess. Overall, everything was delicious, we all had fun, and it was one of those extra nice holidays that you remember.
I hope you all had a nice holiday season. I think I’m wanting to sew a little bit now and fit in some relaxing time.