This Christmas was a bit different for us. We didn't take two weeks off, drive 12 hours back to Michigan and return to Charlottesville in need of another vacation. Instead, we had multiple family parties only a few hours away and we were able to soak up lots of time with family. It was wonderful!
5 Christmas parties,  three trips throughout the state and an exorbitant amount of sugar later , the holidays are officially over for us. Although I'm in a bit of denial, so our wreath is still hung, as well as our banister lights. I figure I have at least one more week.

Christmas  Eve looked a lot like this: My brother cooking (I helped, but we will get to that), Hannah wandering throughout the house  as she and Maizy played cat & mouse, and staying in our pajamas until guests arrived. In other words – marvelous!
Kyle and I hosted Christmas Eve with my family at our new home. I went much better than Thanksgiving, as this time we actually had things unpacked and we weren’t sitting on boxes. Maybe an unfair comparison.

We had rack of lamb and I was assigned to make the side dishes. Simple enough, right? Well, not when you are in a hurry. I *may* have used peppermint extract instead of vanilla. The sweet potato casserole had a little kick to it, that’s for sure. I probably shouldn’t admit to this as no one will never want to try any recipes I post. Honest mistake!

Christmas morning was the first Christmas Kyle and I have spent together with just the two of us. It was so incredibly cozy and nice to wake up in our home, cuddle in front of a fire left from the evening before (sorry, Santa!), and open gifts. It was the start of our own little families traditions :)

In the afternoon, we headed to Kyle's family Christmas and spent the rest of the day with family. I'm super bummed I don't have pictures of any of this. 

We headed back the same night as we received a CHRISTMAS MIRACLE! Kyle ended up getting the day after Christmas off too! He's been on one of the most difficult rotations, so to have it off was a huge surprise and blessing. 

Again. my lack of photos is embarrassing. Just picture a smile on my face all day because I got to spend Christmas with my hubby!

Later in the week, we had my dad's family Christmas. Picture adorable kids running around, happy ask could be. As soon as the they arrived, they huddled in the middle of the room together, I'm positive they were conspiring something.

And while they planned their games, Hannah decided it would be a good time to snoop in the gifts.

She melts me!

And great grandma...

The next day we had another family Christmas celebration that involved an intense game of volleyball and a pool. 
Then came New Years!

We spent the night catching up with friends that we haven't been able to see since the summer. I cannot remember the last time we've stayed up until 3:00 am, but it was totally worth it to continue playing fishbowl until the girls won. My stomach was sore the next day from laughing so hard - you know those are the best kind of get-togethers!
Of course, we weren't laughing the  next day when Michigan lost in the bowl game, but life goes on.

Hope your Christmas was wonderful and full of love! Welcome, 2013!

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