It's been so nice having Romain with us this week. We went out to the mall, toy store, hung out at home, talked, relaxed and really had a nice time together. For her last night in town, the two of us went downtown to a sushi bar and had a good girls night out.
I absolutely dread partings and goodbyes. So, I was already starting to miss her. She's so fun to talk to, insightful, caring, loving, stylish, smart, creative, interesting, etc. etc. etc. I'm really proud to know she's MINE! LOL She's the brain and beauty behind Wildfire Design @ www.wildfirenet.com . If you thought I was creative, you will be blown away by her work and capabilities.
We ate, we laughed, we drank. The place was nice. The food was good.
We both looked HAWT! We really don't have a choice in the matter, it's just genetically NATURAL! Ya know...
It was nippy out, so we grabbed some morrocan tea afterward. So... So... FINE! Miss you Ro and THANK YOU for making these memories with me! I cherish them all! Perfect way to close out the year! Can't wait til next time...
Auntie Romain arrived safely Christmas afternoon. This is our FIRST holiday together! It's so special that she was able to travel and be here with us today! I'm especially excited that the boys get to meet another one of their Aunties. They have SIX all together! Yep, I have SIX sisters. 1 from my mother. 5 from my father. All beautiful, talented, creative and charismatic women! I knew the boys would love her and I'm happy to be able to do what I do best. FEED people, love 'em, hug 'em and make some memories!
She of course came bearing gifts and set the boys up with these cool mechanical spiders in ADDITION to a promised trip to Toys R Us to pick out more! Ah, the luxuries of an Auntie! [Spoiling rotten] I even got a very generous gift... I can get used to this baby sis roll! Haha... I didn't grow up with my father's daughters. I only have the experience of being the decade older big sis to Andrea. So, I only know the GIVER, MOTHER, DO-er role in my sibling experience. So again... it's quite cool to be the "younger" one for a change. I have 2 older, and 4 younger of my sisters. As suspected, the boys loved her immediately upon gift and sight. I prepared the table while the acquainting transpired.
Dinner 2011: Brown sugar crusted honey baked ham, corn on the cob, 7 layer salad, baked macaroni and cheese, jasmine rice, gravy, baked chicken, brownie bites and white chocolate snowman, etc. ...oh and um a few giant beer glasses for the gals. Complimented by giant bottles of peche lambic. BLESSINGS & CHEERS! Dinner was delish. We all ate our bellies full, had great convo, good bonding time. Then pretty much everyone fell asleep. All except Nathan, in fact. I was barely conscience myself, as his playmate over the next couple hours. Later in the evening the boys discovered Auntie's apple gadgets.
Nathan now wants his own iPad. Good grief! LOL Merry Christmas to ALL and to ALL it was Merry! Auntie Romain will be here with us for a few days, so we're excited to hang out as a family and also get some girl time sister-2-sister one evening. I'm luvin it!
Christmas morning is always a day to wake up with happiness, joy and excitement in our spirits! I love the look on the boys' face when they turn the corner and see what's under the tree: It's just iindescribable with the added audio and out pour of giddy! The next check is always to see if the cookies and carrots are gone. They got their annual ornaments out of the stockings , hung them and opened one small gift while waiting for their Dad to arrive. I was impressed with the self-containment. They were both at the window excited and waiting for the EXACT moment he got there. AS SOON as he walked in, they dove right in. It was one thing after the next. Smile after smile. Oooh after Ahh... BLISS.
One of my most favored, enjoyed, loved acts in this world is to GIVE. It's just the sentiment that is very selfless, sweet and "good"... no matter what the item is.
...and the next best thing about gift giving is sharing HUGS! My other favorite! I'll never get tired of squeezing this FINE WOMAN! She's my BBF (Battle Buddy ForEVA!) And yes, we DO realize we are grown woman wearing character PJ's! Whaaaaat?
It's no secret the year was rough between us... But, Dad was on the recipient list as well.
I'm glad we're civil and can share the holidays with the kids for ALL of our memories! What a cute cute picture of my fellas!!
They played and assembled. I continued to cook... Christmas morning is NOT complete, unless we have my famous biscuit breakfast pizza!! This year, The BBF and I even added a little zest to the OJ! :-) CHEERS!!!
It's time, It's time!! The celebration of CHRIST! The boys and I are up bright n' early this morning prepping for all the traditions and festivities that is our annual togetherness. My BBF, Nicky is heading to town. My big sister Romain is heading to town. We're just excited and happy! We have carols playing on the stereo, spaghetti on the stove and all the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies.
Nicky made it in safely, stocked with a lot of festivity, good cheer , her REQUIRED annual ornament and her santa hat!! CHECK CHECK and CHECK. I love the ornament: A wine glass that says "Let it FLOW Let it FLOW Let it FLOW". Yep, that's a good 2011 recap of our fun and foolery together!
...and when I tell ya it's not an understatement, I MEAN that. This is my freezer after her arrival! Notice an abundance of anything? Hahaha!
Well the evenings order of business is cookies for Santa, carrots for the reindeer, story-time by the tree and opening ONE gift each before bed. It's neat having Nicky here with us that allows me to be IN the pictures, rather than behind the camera this year!
Alright, so the cookies are done, the carrots are plated and the milk is poured! Great job kiddos. We've set out the goods for St. Nick and now it's time for presents!
PJ's from Ms. Nicky. Nick ABSOLUTELY loved his hot pink Jesse the cowgirl PJ's, ruffled edge included! Hahaha... It's a long story, but the kids loves Jesse from Toy story and darn-it, they just don't seem to make any"boy" products or apparel for her character. Nonetheless, Nick's favorite color is PINK anyway. So, he changed into the delightfulness immediately. His picky choosy bro on the other hand, pouted about how he wanted something different. Urgh. (I mean seriously...RIGHT in front of Ms. Nicky! A thank you, hug and kiss would have been nice!)
So.. story time reads are A Small Christmas and our ADVENTures of Christmas book. Then off to bed for the boys!
...and to wrapping business, cooking and wine tasting(s) for the Grown-Ups! Looks like the boys have a GREAT big pile of love under that tree! Thank you LORD for what I am able to provide and what the generosity of others have brought us as well. AMEN
Each year, every individual family member in our household gets an annual ornament that reflects a love, passion, interest, favorite to display on the tree as a memorable icon of the year. Here are our 2011 ornaments!
Nathan: Finn McMissile - Definitely an OBSESSION this year. He loves Cars 2 and cannot get enough of this super cool spy car!
Nicholas: OATMEAL - He probably ate enough Earth's Best Yummy Tummy Maple & Brown Sugar Organic Oatmeal this year to feed a small country. I couldn't find any oatmeal ornaments, but it's a must this particular food be his 2011 reflection! I got creative by adding his love of oatmeal to this cute personalized name ornament with a sharpee.
Me: Soooo much has happened in 2011 it is impossible to sum it up into any "thing" that could possibly express it. A lot of good, a lot of the opposite. (Divorce, Change, Travel, Chaos, Faith, Endurance, etc.) So, I just wrote everything that came to mind about the year and MADE my own ornament, stuck the words atop one of my favorite photos I took this year and viola! Zazzle order!
12/19/2011- There's a week long secret santa gift-exchange at my job! 5 gifts, 5 days. We picked names that included a sheet of facts, likes and favs. However, we can't let our recipients know our identity until the last day. I had fun shopping for my secret santa recipient. She is a new grandmother, wine and chocolate lover and coffee drinker. I got her VOGA Italia Pinot Grigio wine, resee's cups, wolfgang puck organic coffees and a really nice grandma & me keepsake book from hallmark.
Here's what I recieved from my secret santa! (a few of my favorite things)
12/13/2011 - The N Boys are turning (Gingerbread Boys) this year for their annual cookie house! They are decking it out in red, white and green candies. I thought it would also be fun to use our "gingerbread boy" cookie cutter with some colored fondants so each kiddo could make "himself"as decoration.
They're well trained chefs at this point, so I just lay out the supplies, fall back and photograph while observing. They knew to roll the fondant out to cut out the "gingerbread boys" and had their own decoration plan in mind. It's quite fascinating to see them be so creatively independant and efficient in the kitchen. AWEsome!
Now THAT is cute! Nick is the red gingerbread boy, Nathan is the green one. They are "holding hands" how nice -LOL. Great teamwork and in record time, it's looking pretty spiffy!
They even made their own gingerbread tree stacks for the "backyard" to their house. Another tradition checked off the annual list!
12/10/2011 - The annual wish lists are being handcrafted and hand-delivered today! If it were up to the N boys, P.O.D (Presents on delivery) would be option number 1. They are all business this year, knowing EXACTLY what they want. No frills letters: Paper, envelopes and writing tools. Off they go:
Nathan preferred to write in PEN this year as well as ALL BY HIMSELF. (Exuuuuuuse Me!) All he needed from me was the correct spelling of items. He wrote his own letter. ...monkey see, monkey do. Nicholas too! I wrote out parts of his list according to his verbal instructions in "polka dot tracing letters" so he could write over them himself. He did an excellent job.
Sweet n simple. 5 things. Predictable. Pretty much all the main characters of the Cars 2 movie and a new pirate hook. Lightning Mcqueen, Holy Shiftwell, Francesco and Finn McMissile. CHECK
For Nick, even simpler. Just TWO items. Holly Shiftwell and a pink car. (He wants the drivable pink smart car - power wheels) hahaha. Cracks me up, because I really like those and it's totally him. Pink is his favorite color right now!
Now that the letters are complete, we're off to the Bass Pro Shop Winter Wonderland with Daddy-O for the grand delivery. Their keen memories led them right to the drop. Then a dash over to the train set up outside the picture line. Nathan's inner wild even led him to some highly expensive last minute additions to HIS Christmas List.
Yep, it'll take the miracle of Christmas to land him one of those puppies. Even the little one is over $2K clearance. *barf* I'll make a note for my future post lottery winnings - buyer's list. We didn't sit on Santa's lap this time... because the wait was over an hour. However, we got some holiday treats and checked this annual tradition off our list! Onward to Christmas!!