Jay and I spent the morning getting Noelle and her caravan of necessary items ready to make the 30 minute drive to my parents house. It takes so much longer to get out the door than it used to! We arrived in the early afternoon, but we all still had LOTS to do to get ready. I had nothing to wear for mass (thanks for the extra hippage Noelle!), so I ran fed the baby and did a mad dash to Target to find something to wear. When I came back I helped my mom and sisters get the food ready for dinner that night and tomorrow.
Usually I would do a lot more cooking, but just getting out the door was enough work this year! Instead, I decided to make breakfast on Christmas morning for my family and try out a recipe from the 2010 Southern Living Christmas Book I have been dying to make--Eggs Benedict Casserole. (I LOVE Eggs Benedict) I put it all together that night with the intention of putting it in the oven in the morning. My sister was working on potatoes au gratin and my mom was making the ladyfinger layers for a tiramisu cake. Keelan was the grillmaster roasting the lamb for dinner.
At about eight, we all sat down and ate Christmas Eve dinner--Lobster Bisque, Roasted Lamb, and Spaghetti Squash. I always really enjoy it when my family gets to sit and eat together--it doesn't happen often anymore!
After that I started freaking out telling everyone to get ready for midnight mass. We were going to the church Jay and I met and were married at and its Christmas masses are notoriously crowded. Caroling started at 11 and I was convinced we needed to be there by 10:15 to get a seat. I put Noelle in her Christmas dress (I had bought it weeks before!) and hurried to get myself ready. Then we took some family pictures by the tree. This is our first real family picture, besides one taken a few hours after her birth--I wasn't looking so hot!
As it turns out, we were way too early and had our choice of seats. Noelle was passed back and forth between my siblings and parents and we took more pictures before the caroling started. It was about this time I realized that all the diapers I had brought were preemie-sized and were too small to fit Noelle (she was almost out of Newborn size at birth) and Jay considered making a run to the store before we realized (duh) it was 11:30 pm on Christmas Eve and everything was closed! Luckily her diaper (and her bottle) lasted through the mass.
The mass was beautiful and I really enjoyed it. The priest gave a great homily about letting Jesus into our lives and held one of the babies from the audience while he spoke (my family unanimously agreed that our newer, Christmas-named baby would have been better--haha!). He finished the homily by playing Silent Night for us on his harmonica. Noelle slept the entire time.
On the way home, we had the revelation that Walgreens might be open, so Jay ran in and got diapers. It took a long time, because someone in line in front of him apparently decided to haggle the price of cheap Christmas toys with a confused cashier at 2 am. Everyone does Christmas differently, I guess! We fell into bed very late! I tried to feed Noelle, but she was still out...and she slept for hours after that! I think that was her Christmas gift to us.
I woke up later than I intended that morning and unfortunately we got some bad news. To preface, Jay and I are SO lucky in that our families get along really well and we get to spend many holidays with both sides. Jay's family was planning on coming up that day, but his mom called that morning to say they would be delayed. Late on Christmas Eve, his dad was called into emergency surgery for one of his patients. Things didn't look good and they were sticking around to see how the patient was doing before they left. There was a chance his dad might not come up at all. Sadly, the patient died that day and Jay's family did eventually make it up. It was awful to think that someone lost their mother/wife/sister/daughter on Christmas, though.
Everyone gathered downstairs to open presents, but I was still feeding Noelle. Unfortunately, long sleeping periods come with a price--I turn into the Golden Corral. I did my best to hurry her along and then just decided to give her a bottle so we could start things! I put the casserole I had made the night before in the oven and poured out the mimosas. The mimosas were a big hit (especially with Courtney) and I think it is a tradition we should continue! I may have had more than one...
|Golden Corral--I told you|
In my family, we open presents one at a time so we can "savor" the experience. This drives Jay nuts, but it didn't seem to bother him as much this year. My mom always manages to give everyone a really cool gift that is above and beyond. This year for me, it was a set of handmade vinyl newborn posing pillows I had my eye on from Etsy. The set she made was even better! My sister gave me a funny gift of chocolate, wine, and a Jillian Michaels workout DVD I had asked for. As of now, I've only opened the first two :)
|Clothes they didn't have to bother picking out--an excellent gift.|
After that, we sat down for breakfast--the casserole was really, really good. Then it was time to clean up, get dressed, and get the rest of the food ready before Jay's family arrived. We put on Christmas music and got to work. Keelan made a really good baked macaroni and cheese while my mom put the finishing touches on the Tiramisu cake. Both were a big hit and looked really nice.
Around 5, Jay's family arrived. We exchanged gifts with them while Grandma Coleman claimed Noelle. Noelle "gave" both Grandpas a framed picture of her and each of them for their work desks and we got Jay's mom a necklace that said "Grandma est. 2011." Then it was time to eat! After that, some family friends came over for dessert--I had way too much chocolate. Naps were had and babies were passed. Things wound down for the night and I went to bed as soon as I could. I really wanted to watch It's a Wonderful Life with my sisters, but I was just too tired! Overall, it was a great Christmas!
|Turkey will do that to you. What's Noelle's excuse?|