Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Time in the City

Ring a them sing!
My goodness, it has only been a week or so since I last posted, but it seems like so much has happened! Micah's first Christmas came and went so quickly! Even though he is too young to understand the difference between every day life and the holidays, Phil and I enjoyed trying to make things festive for him and our parents. We spent a wonderful Christmas Eve with our three parents at Phil's mom's new apartment (we are so lucky that she moved to be closer to us!). We hosted our family here for Christmas day and aside from my mom not feeling well and a peppercorn incident, it was great! I'll let the photos do most of the talking.

I began December with some holiday decorations. My mom made us really pretty white felt stockings last year, so I hung those with some pretty old Scandinavian looking store bought ones on our exposed chimney. I was wondering how I was going to hang them and then came to find that the felt miraculously stuck right to the chimney!
I was so excited to find out that felt stockings "hang" on their own on a chimney!
During the December days before Phil had his week off of work, Micah and Charlie and I spent our days hanging out by our tree. I kept the lights on most of the time since the season is short and it helped keep things festive at our house.
Keeping it festive night and day
For some reason, I got it in my head that our tree had to have a star to top it off. We haven't ever had a real tree before and so I went on a mission to find one (it was a short mission as it began and ended at Target!). I passed over the glittery stars and forgot that it would be fun to get one that lights up. I completely forgot about getting an angel for the tree top, which is funny since both Phil and I had angels on our tree tops growing up. Instead I found this fun recycled paper crafty looking star from Target. I'm not sure it will remain our forever tree topper, but it was fun this year.
Wish I could say I made this, but I didn't. Fun find at Target.
One of my favorite things about the holidays is all the holiday cards that come in. It is so fun to receive mail and even better when the mail contains so many loving and friendly faces! I created a fun little display on our "beverage center" side of the kitchen by stringing twine in a loop around each cabinet door and then using a combination of clothespins, clips, and paperclips to hang the cards (basically whatever I could find). Next year, I'll hopefully remember to purchase more pretty clothespins to standardize the whole operation. If you sent a card our way, thank you so much!
Loving our holiday card display in our new kitchen! Thanks everyone for all the love!
Micah continued to grow so much this month, as you read in Three Months Old. His sleep habits continue to be sporadic (some awesome sleep nights and some sleepless nights), yet he is developing a bed time around 7:30ish. My favorite things about Micah right now are the way he gives little smiles as he nods off to sleep, the way he kicks his feet like crazy all the time, his cute little laugh and talking noises, and the way he has started to grasp onto me when I hold him and rub his eyes and bury his head against me when he gets tired. Phil and I agree that being a parent is unparalleled and completely rocks!
Hanging with my boys

Brotherly love!
My parents flew in Saturday before Christmas...just in time for the 49er/Seahawks Sunday night football game. My dad received an awesome gift of 6 tickets to the game from a friend who works with the 49ers and so Phil, Dad, our cousin Julien, Phil's coworker Steve, our friend Mike, and my dad's friend Tom all got to tailgate and go to the game. Luckily their seats were under the overhang of the Clink (yes, for you non-Seattlites, the stadium formerly known as Quest Field, is now Century Link field and is referred to as the Clink) since it was dumping rain (or raining cats and dogs as my Gramma would say). The group was quiet the hodge podge of football fans, since there two neutral Broncos fans, three Seahawks fans, and two Niners fans! I'm sorry to say that the Seahawks creamed the Niners and my dad came home wiping away tears and dragging his tail in between his legs admitting that at least he was with good company and had a good tailgate. As much as I wanted to join the boys, I decided to sit it out this year and hang with my mom and Micah. We did some last minute shopping and rented a movie. The next morning we all went to brunch at Portage Bay Cafe (our favorite!) and walked downtown to see the Gingerbread houses.
If only I had better control of my new camera! Love this photo of my parents!

Luckily it's still cute with Micah's Nana and Papa blurred in the background
 We missed out on my sister-in-law's second annual Gingerbread House competition, but you have to check it out! We have extremely talented family and friends as seen on Beth's blog. Both sets of our siblings did an amazing job...a candied ice fishing lake and Squaw Valley Ski Resort recreated...people, wow!. Almost as amazing as the "Once Upon a Time" themed gingerbread displays at the Sheraton downtown Seattle (our family holiday tradition is to go see them).

When walking around downtown, we happened upon a Starbucks in a big high rise building that has a beautiful fish tank. Micah loved it! It was so fun to watch his eyes and whole head follow the colorful fish back and forth and up and down. We decided to make a trip to the Seattle Aquarium as soon as possible.
On Christmas Eve, Micah's Gramma Susan hosted all six of us for an amazingly scrumptious holiday meal.  She made the tastiest salmon with the best cream sauce (something with mint, cilantro, Greek yogurt, etc.). She made two kinds of Scandinavian meatballs...Swedish and Norwegian, both equally yummy and two kinds of Pierogis. You've heard me rave about Susan's baking before on this blog, but her cooking is just as good. Not only is she extremely talented in the kitchen, but she has the greatest knack for decorating her home. Unfortunately my photos didn't do the decorations much justice, which I plan to work on in the new year.
Nothing says I love you like little hands grasping and holding on.

My mother-in-law has the best decorations for the holidays!

more camera fun

Xmas Eve details from Susan's home. Phil bought her that cable car ornament on his first trip to visit me in SF.
Santa came Christmas morning for Nana, Papa, Mommy, Daddy, Micah, Charlie, and even for Gramma Susan! We all enjoyed a lazy morning and gathered around to open our wonderfully filled handmade stockings (isn't Micah's Nana so talented!?).
The beautiful stockings that my mom made

Cutest little aviator style hat in Micah's stocking!

Such a curious boy now!

Ha! So many possible captions for this photo!

Charlie loved his new Xmas much that it was destroyed by the evening.

Some of the gifts require full examination.

Papa says Micah "is special beyond belief and represents all that is good in life".
In the evening, we hosted our local family, which is always a ton of fun (how could it not be with two pre-teen/teenage boys around!). We made a giant beef rib roast with Au jus sauce, Ceasar salad, with a sauteed squash medley. Thank goodness for Phil and Susan. I ended up hanging out with and taking care of Micah most of the time and my mom wasn't feeling good, so Phil and Susan did the bulk of  all of the cooking. A few things I was reminded of: 1. Make sure to wash all of your dishes ahead of time to ensure that everyone has a clean water glass for dinner (I don't mind clear solo cups, but they don't exactly scream special occasion!) 2. Try to plan out your dishes ahead of time to make sure you have the right size and type of serving dishes and utensils...nothing like a good last minute scramble to remind you of that 3. Don't plan too many desserts...people will already be pretty full by that time 4. If you don't want to serve your special Christmas beer that was a gift...take it out of the fridge ahead of time 5. Pre-make all parts of the meal that you can ahead of time
Xmas Dinner. Micah hanging with the boys. Phil, Julien, Mark, Caden, Micah, and Jay

Phil helped Johanne bake her pie. Johanne loved his cheap torch

Mark laughing at the big to do about nothing torching the pie

This was so entertaining that we all had to capture it

Johanne finishes up and the lemon pie tasted scrumptious!

I made a Hot Chocolate Bar that was super tasty!

Somehow the pepper grinder broke and about half the bottle ended up in our Ceasar salad

The Indo Board kept the boys entertained all night
While we didn't get our White Christmas this year, we did have lots of love and laughter and joy shared with family. I hope that those of you that celebrate had a wonderful Christmas too.

1 comment:

  1. We had a wonderful holiday stay with you in Seattle. Micah raises the bar of love and fun 10x.


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