Dec 28, 2015

Christmas 2015

Christmas 2015

I am glad all of the running around and craziness known as Christmas shopping is over, however, I am not ready to let Christmas go just yet. I haven't had my fill of Christmas tunes and lights.

I kept the decorating on the simple side this year.
I wasn't in the mood for all of the "stuff"... my Santa collection, my village, the Christmas dishes or the big tree in the dining room. 
Actually, I was feeling lazy.

I did muster up enough energy and made a new wreath for the front door.

I found a red, black and white flannel ribbon and that I couldn't resist.

The tree looks the same year after year except for the bow on top sometime changes.
Our tree pretty much tells the story of our family because we've collected and filled it with ornaments  that had something to do with our past year. 
I love decorating our tree and seeing all of the ornaments year after year. 

(Barrett's first word was duck and she used to love finding ladybugs. We used to have two Westies. )

(my aunt made this out of different pastas and a thumbtack)

(Brooke's first movie)

(one of our sweet Westie's paw print)

Around the house,
I filled containers, bowls and shelves with holly, pine, cedar and magnolia cuttings 
from the yard. 

I used mercury glass candle (holders) that I have been collecting for 
Brittany's wedding everywhere I could. 
I copied Pottery Barn and had a large grouping on one of their trays on my coffee table. 
LOVED lighting my candles every night. 

We made several batches of caramel corn for neighbors and friends that stopped by. 

Barrett and I love shopping for our wrapping paper and coming up with our theme for the year. 
This year there were a lot of plaid, stripes and deer. 
Our craft room gets DESTROYED during Christmas. 
I just close the door and ignore it until Christmas is over.

Grown up Christmases are hard getting used to. 
Brittany and Brooke had to work on Christmas, so again this year we had to ignore the date on the calendar and celebrate a few days early. 
(Brittany is a nurse and worked the night shift on Christmas Eve and Christmas. Brooke is a flight attendant and was on call December 24th - 27th and had to be in DC.)
Brooke and Mr. E came home Saturday and stayed through Wednesday so we had a lot of time together.  Brittany didn't have to work those days either, but unfortunately Mr. B was still Nashville working.

Saturday night we went the Angus Barn - and so did everyone else in Raleigh!  We didn't go to eat dinner, but wanted to sit in the Wild Turkey Lounge and have a few appetizers. We waited for several hours because they do not take reservations in the lounge.  This is my go to place to get some Christmas spirit and everyone knew that this was at the top of my list so they were good sports about the wait. 

 They do such a great job decorating I have to go every year to see what is new. 

(love the little elf in the tree!) 

If you give a man a camera....

I couldn't wait to get my gingerbread man as we were leaving!

Sunday, we went to my dad's house which is an hour away from Raleigh.  I organized a family reunion of my dad's side of the family.  We hadn't seen each other in several years so it was a good time catching up with everyone. I took a camera with a dead battery so didn't take the pictures I had planned.  

When we got home Sunday night we went to the late showing of the Star Wars movie. (What is its name again?) All of my crew gave it two thumbs up. 

Monday was our Christmas Eve.
 I didn't take pictures, but we cooked a little during the day for "Christmas" and made appetizers for dinner. We opened pajamas and watched a Christmas movie. 

Tuesday we celebrated "Odom Christmas". 
We had a late lunch - short ribs, mashed potatoes, sauteed brussel sprouts with pecans and cranberries and mushrooms. 
My dad came and brought his lady friend - that is what he calls her 
and it makes me giggle every time I say it.  
It was the first time we met her. 
She was very nice.
I hope we didn't scare her away.

Tuesday night we opened presents. 

Everyone surprised me by wearing their Christmas sweaters!

Mr. E even dressed for the occasion! 
We couldn't decide if he was wearing a tomato or elf sweater! 

Looks like they were all good this year! 

Well, everyone was good except for Charlie! 
(It is mole season!)

Santa brought us all a different colored ten foot phone cord!
Maybe this will keep World War 3 from breaking out!

Bubbles thinks Santa brought him his very own beta fish! 
He is going to be very sad when Barrett takes it back to college with her!

Wednesday, Brooke and Mr. E headed back to DC and the rest of us were lazy for the next few days.  It was so nice to sit on the couch and not have to travel or cook on Christmas. 

Over the weekend, Mr. B came over and hung out with us. We watched football and we grilled hamburgers outside because it feels like it is summer here. We decided to stop complaining about how warm it is and get out there and enjoy it. 

Mr. B flew back to Nashville on Sunday evening and Brittany headed to work.

And that is the short story made long of our 2015 Christmas! 

Hope Santa was good to you! 

Dec 1, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

We had a good Thanksgiving.

Since the two older girls have (thankfully) graduated from college
and have (even more thankfully) taken jobs that require them to sometimes work on the holidays,
we've had to adjust our holiday celebrations around their work schedules.  

We have learned to celebrate our time together, no matter when that may be.  

We did not think we were going to my dad's for Thanksgiving, but did. 
It was decided on the Sunday before. 
We (my little family) are trying to establish our own holiday celebrations, make new routines, work around work schedules and would love to rotate holidays around.
This is our fifth holiday season since my mom passed away and I just feel like it is time to change things up a bit to accommodate everyone's different lives now.
But guys, family dynamics are hard to deal with.
I just leave it with that.

Barrett was so excited to be in the kitchen baking again!
Living in a dorm on a college campus is really interfering with her hobby.
She was home all day Wednesday and did nothing but bake and cook.

We took this tray of miniature desserts to my dad's house.

Friday, Brooke drove home from DC. She (flight attendant) worked/flew Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and was on call on Thursday so was not able to be here on Thanksgiving Day. Her boyfriend, Mr. E, came with her. 

Brittany's fiancĂ©, Mr. B,  was also staying with us.
He is from Raleigh, but is temporally working in Nashville until February.
Friday night we stayed in and grilled hamburgers and watched TV.

Saturday was the big rivalry football game here in North Carolina, University of North Carolina versus North Carolina State. 

Everyone in our family (boyfriends included) went to one of these schools except for me.
We had pans to tailgate and go to the game. 
Barrett's friend Kat came with us too.

Sunday, we celebrated Thanksgiving again since Brooke wasn't able to be with us on Thursday. 
This is the second year that we used one of Bobby Flay's roasted turkey recipes and it was delicious once again.

After dinner I forced everyone outside to take pictures.
Our camellia is outdoing itself this year and I couldn't help taking a picture of it on its own.

Is there ever a photo shoot at our house where there isn't bickering or where someone doesn't demonstrate what the other one is doing wrong? 

Brittany and Mr. B haven't taken engagemnt pictures yet, so I thought I would give him a little taste of all of the torturous things he is going to have to do.
Things like this are really out of his comfort zone.
We found all of the pictures very very funny. 
I'll share later when I start my Wedding Wednesdays after Christmas. 

 I'll leave you with this:

 Bubbles was feeling very very thankful and thought he had hit the Thanksgiving feast jackpot,
until Barrett took her fish back to school with her on Sunday!

Maybe next year Mr. Bubbles!