…Happiness and Cheer!

Happy January 1st!  I have been away for a while, celebrating the last of 2011 with my family and friends.  Quite a bit has changed in my life, including one very important addition to my little family.  But before I get to that, let’s rewind back to December 24th, Christmas Eve, and where we left off after the dinner.

After the brownies had been ate, the dishes had been cleaned, and the goodbye’s had been said, it was time to settle down and enjoy the rest of the night.  My husband, Tim, and I knew we had to be at my parent’s around 10 the next morning, and rushing through our gift giving to each other was not something either of us were interested in doing.  It takes thought to decide what to buy, time to shop, and effort to wrap.  We agreed to open our gifts Christmas Eve and then enjoy a more relaxed Christmas morning.

Gift giving to each other this year was supposed to include a budget, but the funny thing about setting a spending limit is that someone always seems to go over.  This year was Tim’s, as he ignored the rules and got me some really nice gifts.  Next year I guess I will just have to step up my game!

Love glitter paper, but never buying again! I think we have glitter embedded into our hardwood floors.

Tim’s big gift this year was a pair of boots he spotted at Von Maur a couple weeks before Christmas. I must have heard about these shoes for 5 days straight before I broke down and ordered them from Zappos.  Our Von Maur didn’t carry his size, and when I tried to order them online, it said shipping would cost over $30 to guarantee Christmas delivery.  I could not justify the extra cost, so I continued to look and and actually lucked out. The website Zappos.com actually was a better deal, offering free shipping, guaranteed Christmas delivery, and no sales tax.  I was sold.  Three days after the order was placed, the boots were delivered, wrapped and under our tree.

Trying on the new boots!

 My big gifts this year included a Burberry umbrella to match my birthday rain boots..

I know it may be considered bad luck to open an umbrella inside, but I couldn't wait!

…and a Nordic Trac elliptical!  This was number one on my Christmas wish list and I couldn’t have been more excited! When I lived at my parent’s, I used their treadmill as much as possible and I loved having exercise equipment at my fingertips.  I didn’t want to buy a gym membership because my medical insurance will offer free memberships starting in February.  Because of this, my work out schedule has been all thrown off. Tim had been great getting up to run with me a few days a week at 5:30 am so I didn’t run in the dark by myself.  However, we knew that with winter on its way, this may not always be an option.  Plus, I didn’t want him to feel forced into it when he didn’t feel like it.  This seemed like the perfect solution.  The elliptical was in a box and had to be assembled, so needless to say I was pretty antsy to see what it would look like put together!

 The next morning we packed our coffee to-go and headed to my parent’s for some more celebrating. 

My parent's huge tree!

 We opened gifts with my immediate family before the rest of the family got there.  Gifts this year included a waffle maker to my mom, Omaha Steaks to my dad, my brother’s ipad, and Tim and mine’s new wine rack from Crate and Barrel!  This was an item similar to one on our gift registry, and after receiving numerous wine bottles at our holiday party, we were even more excited to receive this gift!

Following presents came lunch, complete with all the usual suspects:  ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, roasted brussel sprouts and asparagus, green bean casserole, buttery rolls, pumpkin pie, homemade vanilla ice cream and some more of my red velvet cheesecake brownies.  It was quite the feast and everything was so good!  I am not a huge fan of mashed potatoes so I skipped those in favor of an extra roll (!) and had a big serving of the brussel sprouts!  As weird as it may seem, I absolutely love brussel sprouts and would eat them as a salty snack any day of the week.  After food was more gifts..

Then we followed up gifts with a 2 hour competition of Just Dance 3 on Wii.  Not only did we laugh until we cried, but maybe even a few more dance moves were learned? ;-) 

Just Dance 3

My uncle pretty much dominated the competition just by simply watching the hand.  I learned my lesson and came in last place due to my attempt at busting out the dance moves!  The harder you dance, the more likely you are to not be accurate (obviously), but I will take last any day.  I had a blast trying to actually dance, not just win!  This was a Christmas tradition I hope we continue next year, simply for the silliness we all shared and the laughter we couldn’t hold back.  The most important part of Christmas is celebrating the true meaning, along with spending time with family and friends, while making new memories to be cherished.  I would say Christmas 2011 was successful on all parts and I am looking forward to spending every Christmas to come with the one’s I love.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and I am looking forward to progressing on my blog in 2012!

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