Christmas 2018

26 Dec

We were fortunate that Mike’s mom Laura and stepdad Var were able to join us for Christmas this year. They came in about a week before and immediately got to work painting Mike’s office and part of the downstairs hallway! Seriously, we are so lucky. Between that and hanging out with Michaela and doing some last-minute Christmas shopping… and taking a little bit of time to themselves, visiting Kono’s (their favorite) and the beach… Laura and Var were go, go, go. Michaela was in heaven, of course, because she loves it when they’re here. She did art with Papa Var and crafts with Nana Laura and enjoyed having them pick her up from school a couple of times. We even made it to Coronado, which was beautiful but cold.


On Christmas Eve, the five of us (Mike, Michaela, Laura, Var, and I) took it pretty easy before settling in for a Chicago-style deep dish pizza. Christmas Eve pizza is a tradition from my childhood, and I love being able to share it with my family now.

Michaela was quite concerned about Santa coming (yes, she still believes). Our new house has two fireplaces, one upstairs in the master bedroom and one downstairs in one of our living rooms. The downstairs one is under construction (as is much of the rest of our house), so there’s no mantle on it right now, meaning we had to hang the stockings in the other living room. She left a note for Santa — facing in, towards the fireplace, so Santa could see it if he popped down the wrong chimney — so he would he needed to head downstairs. Fortunately, Santa found the right place and filled our stockings. He also left his (unwrapped) presents on the landing where she could see them as soon as she woke up.


Santa brought Michaela a scooter, some extreme dot-to-dots, a fashion plates kit, a large Beanie Boo unicorn, a bunch of books, thinking putty, an LOL Surprise thing, and more. I’ll be honest: Santa didn’t give as much this year as he has in the past, but that’s because Mike and I went a little overboard in terms of the things we got for her.

My parents, brother, and brother’s girlfriend joined us for Christmas breakfast and presents. It was the first time in years that my brother joined us for Christmas, so that was nice.


It was a loud, raucous meal that started with Mike’s famous homemade cinnamon rolls, plus eggs and bacon and hash browns and yogurt parfaits.



Eventually my family left and we had a quick break. Then it was time to start cooking again. Mike and his mom did most of the work while I was on dish duty. I swear, I washed every dish we own multiple times on Christmas! In the late afternoon, my brother and his girlfriend came back, and Mike’s cousin and her two roommates came over, and the 10 of us had dinner. As usual, Mike outdid himself (with Laura’s help!), making ham, green bean casserole, twice baked potatoes, salad, two loaves of homemade pesto swirl bread, cranberry relish and cranberry sauce, charcuterie, and an antipasti board with marinated mushrooms and five different types of olives. Because that wasn’t enough, we also had apple pie and ice cream.

Sadly, Laura and Var left that night to return to Denver. Mike took them to the airport, all of our other guests left, and Michaela and I snuck in a little rest. A couple of hours later, we walked down the street a few houses for (more) dessert and drinks at a neighbors’ house. We spent several hours there, eating and chatting (and in Michaela’s place, jumping on the trampoline). It was really wonderful.

Hope your Christmas was similarly full of good food, good friends, and lots of love!

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