We Survived Christmas (Kind Of)

My husband and I were pretty much completely crazy when we decided to host Christmas this year.

That’s right, my parents, sister, granny, and her grumpy husband made their way to Crystal Lake to engage in all the Christmas merriment. I mean nothing was bound to go wrong, right? Put a bunch of people, who don’t normally get along, in a house together for a week. Then throw in some alcohol and boom, all unresolved issues from the past quickly make an appearance. (What isn’t fun about that)?

The fun filled week started with my grandmother arriving and not having a hotel reservation. Basically she ignored the number I sent her for the hotel right next to my house and looked up a Holiday Inn. However, since she is not familiar with the area we think she made the reservation at some hotel in the middle of Indiana. (Yep, you heard that correctly). What followed was a afternoon adventure to 4 different hotels where she tried to find her reservation and then ended at the hotel I originally gave her where she finally booked a room. After the whole hotel room shuffle we came back to my house to relax and while unloading the car my grandma’s husband decided to pee in my back yard. (Apparently our restroom isn’t adequate).

The next day my parents and sister arrived with a car full of stuff my mother unloaded on us and their two dogs. After being in the car for 8 hours you can imagine that everyone, including the dogs, were in a fantastic mood. The first thing my mother dog did was come up to our bedroom and pee on the floor. What a welcome indeed!

Despite all the bickering and various puppy puddles around the house. Christmas was very nice. On Christmas Eve my sister smoked 4 chickens and served them with homemade mac and cheese, salad, asparagus, carrots, and jalapeno corn bread muffins. (Hello food coma)! After opening presents we went to Tom’s parent’s house for Christmas dinner and a night full of board games.

All and all it was a great Christmas. Well, until I ended up in the ER with pneumonia, bronchitis, and high blood pressure the next day…. but I will save that for my next post.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and happy 2017! This is going to be a great year!

L

Christmas Past

Christmas is over once again, which means that many of us begrudgingly made our way back to work this morning; peeling ourselves out of our nice warm beds still reeling from all the holiday merriment. Myself I was completely exhausted, having spent a week with my family and getting back to Chicago late on Sunday night. In retrospect I should have cut all that family bonding time a day short and come back on Saturday so I could have at least one day to recover. (Next year I think I’m just going to head some place tropical…)

But in all seriousness I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday and is ready to welcome a new year! (I still can’t believe that it is going to be 2015). And the good news is that in another couple of days we get another day off from work to nurse that New Year’s Eve hangover that always so pleasant. I fully intend to spend the day holed up in my apartment, binge watching bad television, and eating super unhealthy food. (What else is New Years day for?) This is of course right before my New Years resolutions to eat healthier and get in better shape set in.

Speaking of what are everyone else’s New Years resolutions? I haven’t really sat down to think of mine yet, but I know I won’t be the usual “lose weight and get in shape” that most people choose.

Side note: This time of year is hell at the gym because everyone tries to start of the year sticking to their resolutions, taking over everything for a few weeks before they finally give up. So frustrating! I am all for people wanting to be healthier, but learn some gym etiquette or just work out at home. I don’t want to go into a yoga class and deal with rudeness. 

I’m going to take a little time to think about what my resolutions will be and then I will be back to share!

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

I can’t believe that it is already halfway through December!! Where did 2014 go? It seems like it was only yesterday when the boyfriend and I were on our week long vacay at Disney World in Florida. Now, I am back at work, watching the snow flurries outside the window and finalizing plans for Christmas. (Great trip btw, it was our fist vacation together and it was so much fun!) 

Anyway, with Christmas just around the corner I’ve been slowly getting into the holiday spirit. This time of year there is always so much to do: send out Christmas cards, buy presents for your loved ones, attend multiple holiday parties, and decorate the house; Christmas tree included.

As I begin to slowly check things off my holiday to-do list (I have a list for everything) I found myself thinking about all of the Christmas traditions that my family has held throughout the years.

Growing up my family and I acquired some traditions that continue to exist to this day. Some of them are quite funny or ridiculous, but hey that’s what makes them special, right?  Every year after cramming our faces with copious amount of turkey, stuffing, and derby pie (washing it down with plenty of wine) my parents, sister, and I make our way down to the Country Club Plaza to watch the Christmas lights turn on. The night usually ends with my sister and mom heading to bed while my dad and I drink a night time bourbon, while sitting in front of the fireplace.

After a few days the Christmas tree would go up and as usual we would fight about the theme of the tree and which decorations were going to be used that year. You see I like white lights and simple, color coordinated ornaments while other members of my family just like to throw a bunch of random ornaments on the tree and call it done. It’s a panic attack waiting to happen for those of us with anxiety. To make matters worse, one year my parents decided that a fake tree was better, which obviously prompted a whole new argument because personally I like real trees much better. (They just smell so nice! Who cares that they leave behind a little trail of pine needles).

Every Christmas eve our family would gather around the dinning room table for a big dinner of prime rib. (One year my mom tried to switch it up and made some pork tenderloin shit, NOT OK!) Grandma always brought along the figgy pudding, even though we never ate it and since we never opened the box containing this mystery pudding, she continued to bring the same one each year. This went on as far back as I can remember. (Grandma passed away last Christmas, but we made sure to still bring the pudding and I know it will be here this year as well).

On Christmas morning we would wake up anxious to open presents and as usual our parents would make us stay in our room while they placed last minute gifts under the tree they forgot to wrap. At this point I should probably also mention that another my tradition my father and I have is that one of us always gives the other a set of shower curtain rings as a present. This goes back a few years when I lived in Nashville and is the result of him staying with me for a period of time and constantly moving my stuff around, which included an unopened box of shower curtains. (We like to annoy each other, what can I say). After presents we would enjoy a brunch of eggs Benedict and usually pass out on the couch watching a movie. Pretty much the best way to end a perfect holiday if you ask me.

While I now live in Chicago, I still make the trek back to Kansas City for Christmas each year and I am already anxiously awaiting this trip. Although my mom better not try to change up the prime rib again!