Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Santa Definitely Came!

Disclosure: LOTS OF PICTURES (This is for you, Jay)

Derrick and I are very lucky to be able to see both of our families for each holiday. Our families only live about an hour and a half apart so it's easy to share time. For the last few years we have spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with Derrick's family. He has young cousins that are up bright and early so it made sense to enjoy Christmas with them and then head to Hickory to do Christmas with my family that afternoon.  This year we switched things up so we could enjoy Christmas Eve with my family. 

I love being home for Christmas. Mom always has the house decorated so beautifully!


This year the whole family came over for Christmas Eve dinner. We had delicious peppermint martinis, ate amazing food, and played some games late into the night.

 Family Feud got heated but the girls ended up winning...obviously.

Mom and I stayed up late wrapping so by the time I got to bed I was exhausted. I remember when it used to be so hard to fall asleep on Christmas night! It's nice to have the issue behind me :) The next morning all the kids waited at the top of the stairs to come down and see what Santa brought. You never get too old for that.

Santa was very good to us this year!

Here's a bunch of pictures of the day!

That right there is pure joy over a new magazine subscription :)

Derrick bought me a beautiful watch that I'm excited to get sized tonight!

 These were from my Grandma. They were her Russian nesting dolls and I LOVE them! I am excited to pass them down to my daughter one day and tell her who they came from.

It was a great morning full of lots of laughter and love. Gifts are fun and exciting to open but my favorite part is enjoying the time with my family. It reminds me how lucky I am. I am also reminded how lucky I am that my family has so seamlessly included Derrick into our little world. We're a tight knit group and I love that they love him just as much as I do!

Alright, enough sap. Back to the gifts amiright? Here's our cutest present :)

Everything was opened and Dad said he had one more gift (dramatic pause) and it was for Jay. Hidden behind the little Santa next to the fireplace in a little velvet bag.

Do you see Mom in the background of this picture crying? Yeah, that's because it was a complete surprise to her too. Dad had wrapped up the key to his new-to-him Acura and gifted it to Jay. He took back Jay's old Explorer (named Gump) and gave Jay a more reliable car and everybody was shocked! No one was as shocked as Jay though.

I have so much respect for both of my parents. They are the true example of hard-work. They both worked extremely hard and had their fair share of trials to get where they are today. My mom turned to my dad and said "You love that car!" and my Dad, without hesitation said "Yeah, but I love him more".  Dad is so selfless and enjoys taking any opportunity he has to share everything he has worked so hard for with his family and my Mom was crying happy tears at the surprise because she has that exact same mentality. Sometimes I feel guilty about how blessed I am.

I hope you all had a blessed Christmas too! Derrick's side of the family is up to bat next!

Monday, December 30, 2013

A Christmas Present for Crosby

At our gift exchange this year Meredith had one last present all wrapped up for Crosby. She is so thoughtful! We took it home and gave it to her. The first video I took of her was two minutes of staring at Derrick and I waiting for us to open it for her. After a little bit of encouragement she had it figured out.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Crosby Christmas Card

If you remember from last year, Derrick and I theme our Christmas card around Crosby. She's the cutest one in the house so it's a guaranteed winner every time.  We feel like we knocked it out of the park last year so it was really hard to come up with another idea this year but I think we did OK. We've heard some people LOVED it and we've heard from others that it was a let down from last years.  Either way, we're happy with where we ended up.

Our initial plan was to have the back say "A Crosby in a Pear Tree" but bad weather kept us from ever attempting to put Crosby in a tree. We were on the look-out for good trees we could get her to stand in but it was going to be tough. So instead, I bought a bunch of pears at the grocery store and we went with Pear Treats. She actually loved them!

Here are a few out takes from this years photo shoot. We played around with some Christmas lights at first but, as you can see, nothing especially card-worthy happened.

So then we moved on and played with the pears. These are a few that DID NOT make the cut.

Hope you all had a very Peary Christmas!!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Gift Exchanges

We are at home recovering from Christmas. It was absolutely fantastic! So fantastic that I apparently forgot to drink enough OJ and now I'm nursing a cold. That means I'll have some couch time the next few days to knock out a few blog posts. It's definitely going to take more than one to cover this Christmas!

This year we had our annual gift exchange with Derrick's friends (my friends too of course but it's easier to refer to them all that way :) at Kevin and Meredith's house. They have a great house and I loved seeing it all jazzed up for Christmas. Also, in true "Derrick's Friends" fashion Michael wrote a computer program that assigned everybody their secret Santa but excluded any chance at getting the same person you got last year or your significant other.

On the way to the party I guessed that Rebecca had drawn my name and that she had gotten me nail polish. BINGO! I've already re-painted my nails twice and I'm excited to try the rest of the colors. The only issue I have is that I'm not great at painting with my left hand so my right hand looks a little jacked up at the moment.

Kevin had Derrick and got him The Hive. It's a two player game so Derrick and I will be going head to head after we learn how to play. I'm fully prepared to lose. It's a mentality I've adopted since meeting Derrick.

Derrick had Holly and got her an adorable bag from The Wayward Stitch and I had Alexander and got him a charge kit for his new XBOX One controller. 

Enough talk...on to pictures

We had to get our annual picture with the girls.  Sorry for the bad picture quality. My phone had to do the job and I hate to say it but the droid photos are not as good quality as an iPhone.

And the  boys awkward picture....it's tradition.
The next morning we were busy getting ready for another Christmas party, our ride home, and an ultimate frisbee game. I had two appetizers to make and Derrick had some last minute wrapping so we didn't get to pack until after our winter league game which made us a little bit late to his aunt's house but it worked out OK. 

PS: These pizza balls are a hit. http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/bread/biscuits/pizza-balls.html
Also, the spinach artichoke dip made was a hit but I can't give you that recipe until I ask for permission. It's not mine to share.

We jumped in the jam packed car and hit the road for Clemmons to have Derrick's family gift exchange. We all draw names and exchange that way with each other. Additionally, we added an ornament dirty Santa exchange which was really fun. Derrick ended up with the shell owl that he and I brought and I ended up with a Darth Vader Santa.

I don't think we could have ended up any better! I'm in love with them both.

As always it was so nice to see his family and I loved the new twist on the gift exchange this year. Here are a few of the pics that Leanna captured of the family!

And then at the end of the night, Derrick had a chat with Cassie. 

And we converted her to a Wolfpack fan!

 Just kidding Aunt Mel! But she does look good in red!