Thursday, January 2, 2014

christmas happenings

Happy New Year!

Jon and I spent Christmas in Alexandria. After a busy six months full of changes and transitions, it was nice to spend some quiet time at home. Even though it was just the two of us, we managed to keep some family traditions and maybe start a few new ones.

We decorated frosted sugar cookies and shared those goodies at our church's Christmas Eve service. After church, we ran home (it's nice to live a few blocks from church!) and put Martha Stewart's macaroni and cheese in the oven. While that was baking, we drove around our neighborhood to look at Christmas lights - a McCormack family tradition. We opened gifts that night and caught the second half of It's a Wonderful Life.

On Christmas day, we opened presents and stockings from Santa. Per Jon's request, I made caramel rolls for breakfast. For Christmas dinner, we splurged on cost and calories since we were just cooking for two - steak & lobster, leftover mac n cheese, homemade crescent rolls, grilled asparagus, and a bottle of Chianti we brought back from Italy. Needless to say, we were stuffed. We also managed to squeeze in a few trips to the movies, a lunch with friends, and some post-Christmas sale shopping.

It's not Christmas without some homemade frosted sugar cookies! 
Shark Socks!
You know you've been nice when your stocking is too heavy to hang on its holder. :)
North Dakota caramel rolls. Yum. Recipe forthcoming.
Fred & Ethel, our Christmas dinner. 
A cooked lobster is a happy lobster. 
Table for two 
#foodporn

On Friday, we headed to Arkansas to visit Jon's family. We got to do Christmas all over again with them. Besides spending time with his parents and grandparents who live in Arkadelphia, we got to see extended family from Texas & Arkansas. We usually only see them once a year at best so it was great catching up with everyone!

We played cards (I actually won a game of hearts), ate more food (ugh), watched the Packers beat the Bears, went to see Saving Mr. Banks, met up with some college friends to meet their new baby girl, and Jon sang a duet with his Dad at their Sunday church service. We got back on New Years Eve around 10 p.m., but that didn't stop us from heading over to our friends house for a low-key NYE shindig. We finally got home around 1 a.m. but I requested we watch the game-winning drive from the Packers game before going to bed. What better way to start a new year, right?

Jon's grandma MeeMaw playing with Elliot - Gary (Jon's cousin) & Kat's son. He is such a cute kiddo! 
Jon's other cousin, Gina & her husband Zach are expecting a son in May that they will name Jordan so we had to stop for this photo while we were touring the new Grant Center for International Education at OBU, our alma mater (named in honor of Jon's grandparents). Are you keeping up with all the family name dropping?
My MIL Shirley made all the Hardin family stockings. When I joined the family, she made me this one.
I'm a little bias, but it's definitely the best of the family stockings. :)
The Hardins - Phil, Shirley, Monica, Tad, Zachary, Isaac
video
I sneaky captured this little video of Phil & Jon practicing before church.

You know you are an adult when needs trump wants for gifts. But I wouldn't have it any other way. I loved getting new things for the house!

New towels and rugs for the master bathroom courtesy of Santa and Pottery Barn.
Kitchen canisters from Phil & Shirley - how perfect are these!
Magimix toaster from Mom & Dad. You can watch your bread toast to the perfect level. It's kind of amazing. 
It's back to work today, but I'm honestly ok with getting back into a more normal routine that doesn't involve so much sleeping and eating. I was starting to feel a little too lazy & gluttonous.

2013 was an exciting, but challenging year. I'm looking forward to a more calm & relaxing 2014, but I'm probably just inviting trouble with that statement. :)

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