I am a bit behind in posting about Christmas. Leading up to Christmas was stressful and busy, mostly because I am swamped at work and didn't have time to do all the preparations I would have liked to. But the most important things were done: thinking about & celebrating the birth of our Savior, and on a much more shallow and materialistic level, all the gifts were purchased.
We spent Christmas Eve at my parents. We ate all our traditional food: homemade clam chowder, Jennifer's delicious bread, lots of dips, cheese and crackers. And for my kids, the most memorable is the homemade egg nog. I'm not much of a milk or egg nog person, but homemade egg nog is undeniably delicious. And we ended the night with a buche de noel, a log shaped cake filled with chocolate mousse. Umm, I think I consumed 5000 calories that day. But it was worth it. Of course I don't have a single picture of the day, but my entire family was there, except my baby brother Dan & his wife Marci and kids, and it was so nice to spend the day together. We read the Christmas story, sang carols and the kids had a talent show. And then we headed home to go to sleep, the girls wearing their new jammies.
The Guy and I spent many hours wrapping gifts and finally got to bed around 3:30. So we weren't that excited when the girls came to wake us up at 7:30. They had to drag me out of bed. After brushing teeth and drinking the obligatory orange juice, taking a family picture and resolving a few squabbles, we finally made it down to open gifts. Santa brought the girls an XBox Kinect, which was a fun surprise. We try to keep the gifts pretty basic, so each of our us got something in each category: WANT, NEED, WEAR, READ. And of course there are grandparents gifts and stockings. But we have found our kids appreciate their gifts and use their gifts more when we don't overwhelm them with too many things.
After gifts (and I got a new lens for my camera, hence these pictures), we had Grandpa Bruderer over for favorite Christmas Breakfast: Eggs Benedict (made with fried Spam---I know, sounds gross, but is really good and is a long standing tradition in my family), cherry turnovers, hot chocolate and O.J. We love that he wants to come over and spend time with us.
That evening, the Bruderers came over for Christmas Dinner. We had such a lovely time hanging out together and letting the kids play. Oh, and eating yummy food. Especially the challah bread that Alena made and Jonathan's banana cream pies. Another 3000 calories were very much enjoyed.
The next week was spent relaxing, reading (read TWO Harry Potter books!!), playing XBox and enjoying time together as a family. The Guy took everyday but Thursday off, so we had a week and a half of time off from work. It was just what we needed to reconnect and recharge our exhausting lives. I was so sad when it was over.
Tomorrow Jeff goes in for his very first surgery in his life, sinus scraping surgery. Sounds miserable to me, but he is looking forward to breathing through his nose, smelling and tasting again, so I think it will be worth it. I'll be nursing him back to health over the next week (can you believe the doctor made him take a whole week off of work?). Wish us luck.