My Holiday Slam in Review

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  I’ve finally got my new computer up and running with all my files from my old computer transferred over and as I sit here listening to my baby fuss her overtired little butt to sleep (I hope) I’m having a hard time figuring out what to say and share with you. I’ve been absent here for 4 weeks, most of which is a blur in my lacking memory! Its a good thing I took a ton of photos with my new camera to remember all the crazy fun we had.

Oh! You’d like to see and hear about a few highlights from my holiday slam? Sure. I’d be happy to share!

***Disclaimer: As I reread this post before publishing I realize it got a bit lengthy. Aside from providing entertainment for you (I hope) this blog also serves as a journal of sorts for my family so I wanted to cover all the major holiday events because I want to remember this stuff later on since my memory sucks. Big time. So there, you’ve been warned.***

IMG_8346Nothing gets me in the holiday spirit like my MIL’s cookie exchange which occurred two weeks into December. It’s an awesome morning attended by about 40 or so women and a few of our ragamuffins who sneakily (or not so much) pluck treats from the table overflowing with Christmas delights. It’s really a cookie/dessert free-for-all and if you want to get the good stuff you’d better have your empty tin ready when it is decided that the time has come to fill them up. The first year I attended I was too busy stuffing my mouth with the delicious spread my MIL puts on and missed a lot of the highly sought after cookies (rum balls!) but wisened up after that!IMG_8522

Then on the 18th it was my birthday. I had a nice day and a dinner date with my guy. I think it’s the first time in 2 years we actually had a date night. As it turns out, I still like him. A lot. So that’s good.

Next, I took my oldest daughter, brother and Grammy to see the Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker. It was awesome and I’m pretty sure my Grammy had the most wonderful time. Honestly, I had more fun watching her watch the ballet than watching it myself, not that it wasn’t great, it’s just that it was a tad long.IMG_8417

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The following day my little one went back to Chicago for her second annual trip to the American Girl Doll Store with her grandma while my husband and I dragged our other two monkeys to our unofficial high school alumni swim meet. As it turns out, alumni swimmers are very good at cheating winning and swimming is a lot more taxing on the body than it use to be. Racing was fun, as was laughing at the old men in their speedos. Never a dull moment! That’s a pic of my husband in all his glory. Lookin’ good, babe!

Two days later we had breakfast with Santa in the morning. My baby was mesmerized by her aunt’s wine glass, my oldest two kept sneaking away to peek at Santa and we paid a dear friend to behave inappropriately while sitting on Santa’s lap. It was another great country club experience with the Bailey clan! (click on the photos to view them larger)

After breakfast with the fat, jolly man we had Christmas with my side.

Upon arrival I took over the cooking duties from my mother and sent her upstairs to “put on her face”, a term I grew up hearing her use which is synonymous with: to “get dolled up”, “freshen up” or “apply makeup”. Can I just say really quickly that I love walking into a kitchen where all the ingredients are ready to go and whipping up a feast! I get that from my father and thought of him often, laughing to myself as I recalled the many holidays where he would yell at assorted family members to get out of his “damn  kitchen!” and bang pots and pans. Secretly he loved it and so did we. Well, at the very least we love the memories of his antics!

Lilly got her own camera for Christmas and these are a few pics she took. The first is my brother’s girlfriend who is awesome. The next is my cousin who rocks. And the last is me. I think she did good!

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Moving on.

Christmas Eve was spent prepping Christmas morning breakfast for various family members that were to trek to our house for present opening. We also went to my in-laws so everyone could open one (or two) gifts as tradition states, and then I came home put the kids to bed, finished baking cookies for Santa and cleaned up.

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Christmas morning was great. It also happens to be my husband’s birthday. It was a day filled with present opening, playing with toysDSC00037 and getting almost all of our extended family sick with the plague. We had been battling colds since just after Thanksgiving and then two days after Christmas I found out Ela had a double ear and eye infection. Merry Christmas, from the jerks! (I apologize if one of my minions spread their germy love your way. *SIGH*)

At this point, with Christmas over, most people breathe a big sigh of relief that they survived yet another holiday season but mine was far from over.

Next up came my sister’s bridal shower and bachelorette party four days after Christmas. I ended up hosting it at my house instead of my mom’s because carting my entire kitchen to her house with all the decorations seemed silly and overwhelming. We showered her DSC00086with love and laughter in the morning and then pampered her (and laughed at her antics) in the evening. It was an awesome time spent with the ladies in my life I love SO much.

With the pre-wedding festivities over it was time to recharge our batteries and get geared up for our 3rd annual New Years Eve bash. It was decided that Kelly and I were going to dress as twins for the party since it had been eight years or so since we last confused my mother as to which twin was which. That was back in high school and she cried because she couldn’t tell us apart. Have I failed to mention that we are, in fact, identical twins? Now you know if you hadn’t already.DSC00281

Our party was great and by 4am we forced everyone that was still partying to fall onto a bed/couch/air mattress/whatever and go the heck to sleep! Nothing good happens after 4am. In the morning it took just 3 1/3 hours of cleaning to get the house back in order and voila, it was time to enjoy 2013 and prep for our son’s 3rd birthday that was just 4 days away.

Luckily his party was already planned, thanks to his grandma who won a raffle prize for a birthday party at a neighboring fire DSC00568station earlier in 2012, although I forgot to send out invites… My brain doesn’t function properly. More on that later. A few quick phone calls and texts solved the attendance issue and our little group of four families gathered for a quick and dirty firehouse birthday. Did I mention that all I had to do was bring decorations and drinks for the adults? Yeah, easy breezy! Just what I needed after our three week holiday slam.

The day after his birthday  I made him his own birthday cake because I just couldn’t stand not making my son a cake. The cupcakes provided by the firefighters were wonderful but they just weren’t gonna cut it. I slopped his Cars inspired cake together in 2 hours, he put stickers on it and the boy was happy. Then I flopped into bed for a week long slumber… Yeah right! Only in my dreams. I’m sure I went and cleaned out the chicken coop or tackled some other neglected chore because really, there is no rest for the weary and I’ll catch up on sleep when I’m 6 feet under. DSC00633

 

*******End of holiday escapes. **********

 

After a few weeks of down time to recuperate and feel normal again I think I’m ready to branch out and reconnect with people. Plus my kids are healthy and for that I am very, very relieved. (And now that I just wrote that I’m waiting for someone to spike a fever, because that’s what happened when I started this post a week and a half ago!)

Happy New Year everyone! I look forward to writing more regularly and sharing our 2013 shenanigans as they occur and not a month or so after the fact!

Cheers,

Colleen

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