Sunday, January 1, 2017

One Final Christmas Celebration

Man, celebrating Christmas over and over and over is exhausting.

Pop bought Kate a trampoline this year, along with way too many other things, so part of Christmas celebrating was spent in the back yard assembling his gift. She didn't quite believe it was a trampoline when he showed her the box, but once they started putting it together she got pretty excited.

I stayed in the kitchen while they all did the hard work and cooked all morning. Heather went back and forth between playing games with the girls and Paula to helping the boys outside. I've gotten Christmas dinner prep down to a pretty good science now. This time I experimented with some sweet potatoes that ended up being WAY sweet (they were practically a dessert) but wow they were good.
 After lunch was clean up time, and apparently everyone play on their phone time.
 Finally it was time for gifts! The kids were about to die from impatience over opening their gifts.
 Gifts were followed by more trampoline time, and playing. The majority of the household was in bed well before midnight, so no big new year's shindig happened around here. It's just another night.
 The next morning it was time for everyone to pack up and head home. Jason and company hit the road, and we ended up meeting up with Dad and Paula at Cracker Barrel for breakfast before they left for East Texas again. It was a pretty good weekend!

Friday, December 30, 2016

More Christmases

This year it was easier for my brother and his family, along with Dad and Paula, to come to our house on New Year's Eve weekend to celebrate Christmas with them. That meant I got to prepare Christmas dinner twice, but that's all good because I pretty much rocked it out the first time.  This also gave us opportunity to go celebrate with Mom, Richard and Trey as well. We had dinner at Chili's and then came back to the house they're still moving in to for gifts and Rockband. The kids all had a blast and it was a good time. Richard, Nick and Jason even drove over to Burleson that night and picked up a sectional that Mom bought from someone online. 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Day

Mom, Richard and Trey came from Christmas lunch along with Richard and Emma Lee. I cooked most everything since Mom and Richard are in the process of buying a house and moving. I used my Instant Pot for a couple of things and they turned out great. The whole meal actually turned out really well, if I do say so myself.
 After lunch we sat down to open more gifts. Since their house is a moving mess, Mom brought all of their gifts over to open as well so they could just load them up and take them to the new place when we were finished.

Christmas Morning

Santa came!
 She was pretty excited about the Hatchimal. It took about 30 minutes to hatch and she played with it all day after that. Santa did well by putting one on layaway the day they came out in the store.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve with Yiayia

As per tradition, we spent Christmas Eve at Yiayia's house. We also ate tamales as usual, along with plenty of desserts and other junk we didn't really need, before settling into the living room for a long evening of opening our gifts. Kate had the most, as always. Basically Christmas Eve is predictable in every way except what is inside the box or bag you open, but we like it that way.
 This year Yiayia bought us all Christmas t-shirts to wear for our big family photo. We look great!
 Kate mostly passed out the gifts on her own this year, as she doesn't need help reading the tags anymore. She's growing so quickly.
 It was a late night by the time we loaded up the car to head home. We still had to get cookies and milk out for Santa!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Stockyards Book

One of my very dear photography friends, Lola, has a soft spot for the Fort Worth Stockyards. She is down there all the time, photographing often the same things over and over in different ways. She eventually got hired on as the official photographer down there, and her dream of some day publishing a book about the Stockyards came true this year. I attended her launch party, camera in hand of course, at Los Vaqueros Restaurant.
I'm incredibly proud of my friend!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas with Grandma Peggy

Joe was able to fly in for Christmas this year, so we were able to spend some time with him at Grandma Peggy's house. She had a house full of people and tons of food, as usual, and we went home with cookies and a cherry pie and some pumpkin cake from her. You can never leave her house empty handed during the holidays.