A Grateful Heart: My very merry Christmas season

As Mr. T pulled into the garage last night, I was caught red-handed plugging in the Christmas lights. When he inquired as to why, two days post-holiday, I would be illuminating the neighborhood, I postured that “everyone knows” you can leave your Christmas lights up until New Year’s. At least. Right? I’m probably just trying to eek out a few more days of merriment and procrastinating because Lord knows un-decking the halls takes forever, but I can’t help myself. It was a very merry Christmas around these parts.

We started celebrating with our fifth-annual White Elephant Extravaganza and continued with holiday parties at various friends’ homes, delicious family meals, and riotous gift exchanges. I feel incredibly blessed and I’m thankful for all of the wonderful people in my life.

Hope the holiday was lovely for you, too!


A few, okay 4-zillion, photos:

It’s not Christmas without cookies! Peanut butter blossoms for the win!


I attempt to make up for having the wrapping skills of a 5-year-old by using lots of pretty bows and ribbons.


Christmas eve feast at my mom’s


Bird’s the word people.


Family “roasting” by the open fire.


Is it really going to be a year before I can have this again???




An East Coaster, Brenda is subject to random mama kiss-attacks when she stays away for so long.


Eric John gets wildly excited about Christmas. Or as he says, “Christmos”


One of the cutest kids on the planet.


Maddox demonstrates proper cookie-eating form. Pinkies up!


Baby belly!


The cuteness!!


Marm et moi.


Angry Birds gear. It’s what happens to Mr. T when he doesn’t provide a proper Christmas list.


As devious as I can look holding socks and a cookie scoop.


This is what my mom gets for telling me “Mini-pies are the new cupcakes!”


I do believe this is an “Aww” happy face.


We’re going to Disneyland!! (And Brenda gets to come, too!)


A gift for three.


I wrapped it accordingly. Lots of layers and boxes.


Just what everyone wants for Christmas… Communication research!


More layers.


And the possibility that I did, in fact, get the three of them one popcorn maker.


Copious amounts of tape.


And more layers!


Finally. Is six layers too many?


A fantastic expression from Emily. Lots of screaming.


And the best part… Brenda still doesn’t know what it is…


Two nights at the Disneyland Hotel!!




Handsome little brother.


Tim and Jaba-the-Pug, aka Frankie




Slightly serious siblings. (And Betty)


Sibs. Plus two puggles.


The carnage.


Frankie, the Christmas elf.


Goliath, who refused to sit still long enough to wear a Christmas bow.


A Christmas gansta. (ha!)


What spoiled rotten looks like…


A hand-crafted jewelry box by Mike Mikutowksi


T and I have carved out a little Christmas tradition… Christmas brunch at our place.


I make Christmas waffles (recipe here), sausage and bacon, and Tim makes incredible (truly) eggs and potatoes.


Down in front!


This was the first year we had everyone in the same room. It’s much more fun than eating at separate tables.


My father-in-law, Ray, promising to get back to his signature white socks after the holiday.


Me, T, and liquid gooooooolllllldddddd, aka mom’s peach jam.


Emily’s looking gorgeous per usual. Josh reading about his new pizza stone. And Eric John giving me death stares. Me thinks someone was in need of a Christmas nap!


Goliath enjoys sitting on piles of clothes, or in this case, brunch napkins. I think the cold shoulder was due to the fact that I made him wear jingle bells all morning.


I was offered forgiveness at the cost of one breakfast sausage.


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