As mentioned, CT3 and I were spending the night with my folks, tearing into presents early in the morning and heading to his parents house by 10:30 or so for brunch and an afternoon of relaxing with his fam.
We got up and went downstairs for an early Christmas morn. The gifts were not lacking and we were more than blessed with everything we received. I didnt take many pics that morning, but I am posting a few of the ones I have.
Kristin and I gave each other new hair straighteners but since they had been ordered and were late coming in, we wrapped our old ones for each other…I took mine back though (post gift opening) cause it was a lot newer than hers!
Mom and Dad gave CT3 and I matching flannel shirts…dont laugh. I think Grandma (or someone) gave matching shirts to Mom and Dad their first Christmas married. Mom, you better watch out…we just might show up in our matching flannels for a family event sometime.
They also gave us serving platters in honor of our favorite teams. Unfortunately, mine had taken a spill pre-opening and didnt fare so well. The humorous part was that I was really sad when I opened it and saw it was broken. I then turned to CT3 and told him to open a gift so I would be happy again…he opened one and ironically it was his GT platter – all in one piece. It was slightly humorous at the time. Mom felt bad about my broken gift and got me a new one the next day.
These were some of the best gifts. Before Gammie passed, she had given away some of her paintings and let us choose ones that we wanted. The three pictured below are her watercolors that I had picked out. She had given me the art, however it was not matted or framed. For Christmas, Dad and Kristin had matted them for CT3 and I. They had matched all of the colors perfectly, and also matched them with our new sofas!! Now I need to go get them framed before we move into our new house!
Not pictured below was a photo that Kristin had taken of a fire escape then had printed, blown up and matted for CT3 as a gift. In our new home, I plan on decorating our office with a fire fighting theme…it sounds silly, but we have a few cool prints and some that Kris has taken that we will use and really make it look nice. Anyhoo, CT3 and I are thrilled to have the meaningful paintings with such a fine mat job!!!
Oh and of course, the monster. His favorite gift was this plush-squeaky multi-colored star toy that his Aunt Kristin gave him. He has been thoroughly entertained by it and I have been thankful for it as well as it is one of the few things along with treats which will lure him out from under the bed.
Just as soon as Christmas morning had started, it was over. We ate our traditional Cinnamon Rolls breakfast and quickly went to shower to head to the in-laws house. Guest after guest arrived at their house and we sat down to eat. I was starving and ate my weight in egg casserole, potato casserole and grits. I just kept telling myself it was Christmas and it was okay to go for multiple platefuls.
After brunch, we gathered around the tree to do presents. CT3’s side of the family does their gifts much nicer than we do ours…ours is like every man for himself tearing into the package as fast as possible to see what lies inside. CT3’s side opens one while everyone watches then passes it around before opening the next – much more leisurely! Finally the time came and we were able to give everyone their Crullers. I was about to bust at the seams as we waited to pass out our secret Christmas treat. Everyone seemed plesantly suprised and impressed that CT3 and I had taken the challenge of making them- though I havent heard if they met standards or not.
After brunch and presents we went outside to play with the puppies. Sadly, the picture below is the only one I have that I took while there. We were attempting to get the three dog cousins to line up for a picture, but you can see the results…
Christmastime was super busy! CT3 and I were excited to spend our first Christmas as married folk and were also busy trying to figure out how to spend time and be with everyone throughout the holiday while still having some time for ourselves.
That said, he and I decided we would celebrate our own little Christmas a night or two early and the actual day, be in Atlanta with our families. We both had to work through the 24th so that limited our travel plans as well. After a nice dinner, we went home and relaxed by the fire and our Christmas tree as we celebrated our Christmas together.
Here is what our first Christmas looked like:
Our fun new stuff!! CT3 gave me a puff jacket (cause I always steal his), a watch and a few other things. I gave him a Wii and a few other miscellaneous things. The Champster racked up too with a travel crate, a new leash, a food dispenser, a water dispenser for his crate and all sorts of new toys!
During the holidays, our cousins make the trek from Texas to come visit their family in Georgia. We only had a day or so together as CT3 and I were in and out and our cousins had to leave to spend time with their other side of the family.
The whole week prior to Christmas has been slightly hectic. Christmas parties all over town, pathetic attempts at trying to finish up work stuff before the break and squeezing in a few shopping trips here and there. In the midst of it all, CT3 and I decided we would make holiday cookies for his family!
These aren’t just any holiday cookies, you see. They are cookies that each year Gammie has always made for the family, packaged them in tins and to give to each of the families during the holidays. Before she passed, she had taken the time to write out her recipe and give it to all of the grandchildren and spouses so we would have the original recipe in her handwriting.
Before we started, I made CT3 promise me we weren’t committing to a yearly tradition of making cookies for everyone in the world (we made enough for all of his family, us, people at work and we still have two tins leftover sitting in my kitchen as we type!) Not that I am opposed to doing them annually, it is just easier for me to function without having expectations of having to do something, etc…same deal with why I hesitated on the Christmas cards. Anyway, CT3 and I got a plan and carved time throughout the week to make the cookies. One night we would shop for all of the ingredients, one night we would plan out everything and get it all ready and the next night we would go to town cooking. We had to have a night to decipher Gammie’s handwriting and make sure we had everything exact to specifications.
CT3 met me at the store to shop. Each of the ingredients were highly specialized, down to the brand name and the store to purchase the respective item at. There were multiple items in which we could not find and this threw us off a few days. I literally contacted by phone 9 different stores and visited another 4 before I found one of the ingredients. It was quite the task and I felt as if my life was complete when I found it. I wanted to call and tell people, but since it was a surprise for his family, I had no one to call and brag about my efforts to. HA!
Cookie making night came and we were off. A little of this, a dash of this, mix it all together…no, that’s not how it went. It started off slow and almost 5 hours later, we had our first ever successful batch of Crullers. CT3 was our official taste tester and the verdict was “the taste was good but the texture was slightly off…”
The next night we started the process over. This time, thinking we were now pros and would be much more efficient, we made two batches at a time. I laid out the ingredients needed and CT3 measured. We got one batch of dough ready and refrigerated it til we finished the next. After that, we took a much needed dinner break! That night, we successfully made twice as many Crullers in a 5 hour time period! CT3 and I went to bed feeling proud of accomplishments, knowing we had tried to make Gam proud and hoping his family would be surprised and excited with our creation.
In between the time we had made the cookies and the time when we would hand them out on Christmas morning, we saw CT3’s family and his dad gave us a baggie with the traditional holiday Crullers inside. CT3 and I caught glances as his dad explained his Aunt had made just a few for us to have. Neither one of us said anything as we knew we could use his Aunts as a taste comparison (she actually knows what she is doing and has made them before!) to our own and knew his family would still be grateful for our efforts….and their tin full of cookies!