Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas recap

It was somewhat of a whirlwind, but we had a good Christmas.

Tues my office closed at 1pm so I met up with Joe P for lunch, then stopped at HomeGoods for a little bit of last minute gift shopping, then filled the tank with gas, and went home to let the dogs out and tidy up the house.  Spouse came home at 5pm and we packed our suitcase, loaded the car, and were on the road by 6pm.  It was raining lightly but the real concern was the heavy fog which caused me to have to drive slower than usual, but we eventually arrived at Spouse's mom's house safe and sound.

Wed morning after breakfast Spouse & I took Marvin & Walter with us to visit my cousin Inez & her husband Steve.  They live about an hour from Spouse's mom, in a 200+ year old stone house.  I love spending Christmas eve by the fire in Nez's warm kitchen and adjacent sitting room. Nez's mom (my aunt Rosie) was there too, so it was great to see her as well.  We talked and had lunch, and then exchanged little gifts.  I gave Nez a t-shirt with the caption "You had me at Merlot". 
Nez gave me a cool bar set that hides inside a bottle.  It was a great visit, but we needed to leave mid-afternoon and head back to Spouse's mom's.

I agreed to hang out at home with the dogs while Spouse made a quick trip to the grocery store to get the ingredients for our Christmas morning breakfast casserole (eggs, cheese, sausage, hash browns baked together).  I had suggested this easy-to-make breakfast casserole because in past years we never seem to have a decent breakfast on Christmas morning.  Spouse's mom always has raisin bread or English muffins or the like, but nothing for a proper Christmas morning breakfast.  I thought this breakfast casserole would be great since its preparation is quick.  But I was sorely disappointed when Spouse returned from the grocery store empty-handed.  He said the store was crowded and there were long lines at the cashier stands...  Imagine that!!  People trying to buy food on Christmas eve!!  Who would have ever thought??  Rather than being patient and buying the food, he aborted the mission.

Later that evening we went to Spouse's sister Mary's house for Christmas eve and Spouse's mom's birthday.  Mary made a pulled pork tenderloin, mac-n-cheese, and kale.  There were numerous Christmas cookies, brownies, and other sweets for dessert, PLUS a homemade birthday cake for Spouse's mom's 85th birthday. 
My long-time friend Kathryn also stopped by for a bite to eat and a visit, and other folks (relatives, our nephews' girlfriends, etc) stopped by as well.

On Christmas morning there was no breakfast casserole so we ate donuts, raisin toast, and Christmas cookies swiped from the previous night.  Not at all what I'd hoped for, but it was what it was.  Around noon we went to Spouse's brother and sister-in-law's house nearby for a little visit.  After dropping Spouse & his mom off at her house, I picked up my aunt Mary and brought her to the house.  We exchanged gifts with her there rather than with the rest of the family later on.  She gave us the Lady GaGa & Tony Bennett duets CD, the official 2014 White House Christmas tree ornament, and 2 Ina Garten cookbooks (Make it Ahead & Back to Basics).  Then we all went to Spouse's sister Mary's for Christmas dinner.  She made rigatoni with meatballs and Italian sausage, chicken Parmesan, and stuffed shells.  My aunt Mary brought sweet potato shuffle and a hummingbird cake.  It was all delicious and we had a great time.  Later we exchanged gifts and Spouse & I were happy that our family really seemed to like the gifts we got for them.

Fri we met up with our dear friends Kerry & Hugh, Kerry's dad George, Kerry's sister Kelly, and our long-time friend Lisa for our annual Christmas luncheon at Joe's Place.  
It is the only place I know that serves hippie rolls, which are Italian sausages and sauteed onions and peppers wrapped in pizza dough and baked to a golden brown deliciousness.  I'm crazy for them!!
We had a lovely visit with them and the time just seemed to pass too quickly.  We returned to Spouse's mom's house, packed up our stuff, loaded the dogs into the car, and headed home.  Steven & Thad invited to their house for leftovers from their Christmas dinner so of course we agreed.

I went back to work on Sat but that evening we met up with our buddies Vic & Mike for dinner.  Vic had recently been in El Paso TX and picked up t-shirts for us.  

How perfect!  They are very nice guys and we always enjoy hanging out with them.

Sun morning Spouse & I had breakfast at the Crystal with Steven and Joe P, and then I had to work again.  It was extremely quiet in the office so we played Scrabble!  It was a fun way to pass the time.


anne marie in philly said...

YAYZ for 85 year old mamas!

I have never heard of hippie rolls; interesting. chihuahua shirts - hohoho (as spo would say). and what a great italian style xmess dinner!

HNY 2015 to all at your house; smooches!

Ur-spo said...

what great photos! I hope 2015 is a good year for you.

Biki Honko said...

What a fantastic few days! Those shirts are perfect! You and your love for all things Chihuahua!

I wont send The Husband to the store when its going to be crowded. He does the same thing Spouse does! Quite often he will drive me to the store, stay in the truck and wait for me to come out...calling me on the phone several times to see whats taking me so long......sigh