If I wait any longer, I'll be posting for next year!
We decided that "Double Duty" both days would be too hard with the kids - heck, it was always too hard on just us, having to leave after just a few hours with each family on both days! So, we picked a family for each day and drew the line. Mike's family for Eve and mine for Day. Sounds good!
Eve is secretly my favorite day of the year, it has always been (now you know something more about me!) and when I met Mike's family, they kicked it up a notch for me. Can you say homemade peirogis and homemade polish sausage?! Heck yeah! Wow. They are so good, it's hard to stop even after you have to in fear of your stomach possibly exploding. And then you still eat more. Cheese and sauerkraut, yum. One of each, please. And a big link of sausage, with ketchup (sorry, Papa!) and then those amazing cream cheese mashed potatoes...rolls, cucumbers in sour cream, olives, some wine and the infamous "green junk", which only makes an appearance at Easter, Thanksgiving and of course, Christmas. Mike is in love with green junk - unfortunately, I am not a fan of lime jello, so I stay away, a secreted fact that almost got me ostracized from the family while we were dating! It's that loved, trust me. Only after they realized that me not liking it meant less to share was I allowed to stay on. ;)
MJ and I helped with the making of the pierogi this year and it gave me a new found appreciation for just how much work goes into these little beauties. I think knowing that made them taste even better this year! Great job Grandma and Papa! And Papa makes and smokes his own sausage every year - I think more than just once a year - and it is nothing short of awesome, even if I happen to like it with a smear of mustard and ketchup... ;)
Dinner was amazing again, as always, and the kids gobbled up everythng in sight. Alex was even screaming for more at one point after I swore I just dropped a bunch on her tray. I looked at her and asked, "Where did it all go?" And she just looked up at me and did that cute little kid shrug, with her hands in the air, like..."I can't help it! This food is awesome!"
The trio hunkered down at the end of the table, scarfing it all down...
Don't let him fool you, he was posing for this one.
After dinner we lazily moved to the family room to open up the pile of presents growing by the beautiful tree. So many! And we met Mr. Smiles. The new addition to the doggie part of our extended family, living with the Bartrams and becoming Oliver's new brother/best buddy. He came in with this sweater on...now, I am not a sweater-on-a-dog type person, it's usually humiliating for the dog, but this one...this one was adorable. I fell in love with him! He was very well behaved and gave kisses and met everyone and then slept behind Patrick most of the night. What a cutie!
Alex checking him out
Isn't the sweater cute??
The Monster Pile of Presents
Having more fun with the wrapping paper!
And the TRAINS! Papa introduced my boys to the magical train under the tree. Braden stayed there practically all night next to him, pushing the lever and making the "choo-choo" sound about a thousand times. It was adorable to see his grins and giggles. Cole loved it too, but Braden would not let him touch it, so he lost interest after a while!
Gotta love that smile!
So, Trains...and Frogs. Braden likes frogs for some reason, and when he found this one hanging out by itself on the floor, it was no different!
Thanks to MJ, who stayed at our house to listen for the sleeping kids, we were able to go to Midnight Mass together. Just Us! No kids! It was super relaxing and nice to be able to hold hands and sing, and just focus on Jesus, for once not wrestling a 30 pound toddler. Thanks MJ! What a great Christmas present.
Next post, Christmas Day!