Thursday, January 26, 2012

Catching up: A Magical Christmas 2011!

An instant classic!
The holidays flew by! While it's still January, I'll try to catch up on some of last month's highlights:

Chapter I

We had a great time celebrating with Rob's parents and sister in Nashville. Thanksgiving morning was a sunny 65 degrees -- we dropped a turkey in our neighbor's fryer and planted daffodil bulbs before the first frost. When it came time to prepare our feast, we walked into the kitchen and popped the prepared Publix meal in the oven! As I peeled back cellophane from the Publix containers, I joked that I was slaving over a hot stove. I adore cooking for the people I love, and so does Rob, but this year with three kids so young, we decided to skip straight to the eating, enjoying and pie. Sandie and Nicki made Gram's amazing rice pudding, so we had a touch of homemade at the table, and it felt like she was there with us.

Two days later, Santa came early! We wanted to be able to celebrate together before the Vlachs had to head back home, so we woke up to a Christmas brunch and opened gifts listening to Christmas carols and sipping eggnog. We videotaped the kids coming down the stairs, still so early in the morning that it was pitch dark.

In the days leading up to our "Early Christmas," Rob, Sandie and I gently restored the dollhouse my mom built for me when I was five years old, washing its walls and carefully gluing the little Victorian back together. It's a tiny time capsule of where we lived in 1983 with it's wallpaper and linoleum floors! Now that I have a daughter, I love imagining my mom making it for me...probably building it in the evenings when I was asleep. Madeline's face lit up as she peeked under the sheet it was hiding underneath on Christmas morning. The rooms were decorated with darling wood furniture and a family of dolls.

Charlie was so enchanted with it too that it took another 15 minutes before he noticed the train table waiting for him! Then Christmas was in full swing -- the wrapping paper flew as Madeline, Charlie and John (well sort of John...he was napping) opened all the special gifts their Grammy, Grandpa and Aunt Nicki brought for them!

Chapter II
My dad, Nancy, Mollie, Kenny, Andi and Kyle all flew to Nashville to celebrate Christmas 2011! We stayed in updated Civil War-era cabins on the gorgeous Samary Plantation just 20 minutes from our house in Franklin. In the mornings, there was still fog settled in the hills. The kids loved feeding the horses carrots and apples several times a day. Charlie still talks about how his favorite was the "bossy" one that nipped all the other horses so he could hog the snacks; Madeline named him Sam.
We did all the things that have become our treasured family traditions: wore matching pajamas, ate a candlelight lobster feast on Christmas eve, sang Christmas carols followed by a raucous dance party (think kids flying and my dad rocking out to Lady Gaga). The kids were delighted that Santa found us again! We played football, went for hikes, visited the stables and had wonderful meals every night. One day the men all went out to a hunting range and practiced hitting targets (can you tell we're in the South?), and the ladies all went for sushi and mani/pedis. We laughed nonstop for five days, enjoying the rare opportunity to be all together. It was a magical, memorable Christmas....John John's first!
Serious weirdos

1 comment:

The Brown Family said...

I love all the stories and pictures! Your Christmas sounds wonderfrul!!!