Um, Merry Christmas?

I really have no excuse for why I’ve been an absentee blogger except to say that the holidays did, in fact, swallow me whole and just now spit me out the other side…  Do you feel that way?  We had some kind of craziness or activity every single day leading up to Christmas.  All good things but all serious time drains.  I’ve got a ridiculous amount of photos to share that I will now dump into this post.  I want to end this year by remembering all of the amazing things we did this holiday season yet I know this isn’t the most appropriate way to present this information.  But what am I gonna do?  I simply ran out of time to post each story individually…  Perhaps things will be better in 2012 in terms of blogging consistently?  Well, better in terms of everything would be really nice too.

Let’s see, I left off blogging on December 13th…  What happened next?  Oh, yes!  Our city’s annual Santa-on-the-fire-truck tradition.  He came zooming by our house at 9:30 PM on December 15th.  We’d been hearing him since 6:30 pm and had waited outside pretty much the entire time.  At 9 PM, I finally had the kids get into bed thinking he was not coming down our street after all.  Then the music and sirens got louder and louder.  The boys shot out of bed just in time to see Santa go speeding by our house!

I also invited Cutie Pie’s preschool class over for lunch during the last week of school before winter break.  We had a yummy assortment of preschool-friendly foods with plenty of pizza, salad and sangria for the moms 🙂  Then the kids camped out in front of the television to watch the new Ice Age Christmas movie on DVD.

Cutie Pie’s preschool Christmas program was on Friday, December 16th.  It struck me while sitting in the audience surrounded by all of the loving friends and family that this will be our last Christmas program at the preschool…  Cutie Pie will be entering Kindergarten in the fall and Eastminster will become a distant memory for him.  Bittersweet, indeed.  And see that little girl with the white fur trimmed dress in the first picture?  Her mom informed me that their entire family will be moving to Shanghai with her husband’s work in March.  It’s an exciting adventure for them but it will be so sad to see them go.  Wildman was in the three’s class with her middle son and Cutie Pie is now in VPK with her youngest daughter.  It’s funny how lives overlap and you get used to seeing the same familiar faces everyday and then one day they’re gone for whatever reason.  You realize how much you enjoyed their company over the years.

Saturday, December 17th brought the Satellite Beach Boat Parade!  It was our first time participating.  We were so excited to be a part of this cool Florida Christmas tradition!  We left the dock with Big Red, his kids and our across-the-street neighbors at 5 PM.  The parade began at the north entrance to the Grand Canal at 6 PM.  The weather could not have been more perfect- clear with wonderfully mild temperatures.

On Saturday night, after the boat parade, we quickly changed into our best vintage polyester and headed over to our friends’ Disco Funk Christmas Party!  What a crazy fun evening!

The Sunday before Christmas brought sugar cookie decorating with the cousins and breakfast for dinner!

We delivered Christmas goodies to the neighbors and hosted a little family party for Wildman’s 7th birthday on Monday, December 19th.  He insisted on an Angry Birds cake from Publix and was thrilled with all of his amazing gifts including a sweet child-size kayak from J and I.

On December 20th, we hosted a little beach bonfire for Wildman’s classmates to celebrate the last day of school before winter break and also roast s’mores in honor of Wildman’s birthday.

This post has grown much too long!  Looks like I will have to break it up into two.  Stay tuned!


Christmas Eve Eve Dinner Party

Last night was our annual dinner and gift exchange with our good friends.  Notably absent in the photo above is Steph.  Although invited she chose not to attend.  I’m not going to get into all of the issues surrounding her decision but I will say that it’s probably for the best that she was not there.  Things have not been good between her and the rest of us for quite some time.  I guess divorce does that- tears apart families, ruins friendships, etc.  It’s really a shame.  But I will say that in true the Christmas spirit, we managed to have a wonderful evening full of amazing food and laughs in spite of the drama that’s been going on.  Everyone came over about 6 PM and before we knew it half of the kids were passed out and it was past 11 PM!!!  That’s a good night 🙂

I chose to host the party at our house this year instead of trying to do another progressive dinner party.  It was easier just to keep everything in one place.  The kids enjoyed an assortment of Frostie sodas, homemade veggie macaroni and cheese with green bean casserole and crescent rolls.  For appetizers we had Italian dry salami slices, summer sausage, smoked Gouda cheese, Colby Jack cheese, an assortment of crackers, cream cheese topped with chipotle peach jam, Belgian dark chocolate tea cups filled with raspberry Chocovine, and Big Red’s colossal shrimp cocktail.  My friend, B, brought a turkey breast, smashed potatoes and stuffing that perfectly complimented all of the sides I prepared.  For dessert there was chocolate cake, three kinds of fudge, cookies and coconut custard tarts.

Dude!  I think I gained 10 lbs.

I bought the children party crackers to open after dinner.  We’d never tried them before and thought they added a little something fun to the evening.  Most of the toys inside were cheap and got lost easily but were fun nonetheless. Especially the colorful paper crowns.

Everyone exchanged presents before dessert.  My living room looked like a tornado touched down.  There was paper, bows, box remnants, etc. everywhere!  The kids squeals of delight were priceless.

Like I said, the Christmas spirit filled our home last night.  Our hearts and bellies were full.  We didn’t want to break the spell of the night by ending the festivities.  It’s one of those special times that we will always remember.

Bringing the Funk

I could be posting about the Kindergarten Christmas program, helping to pull off one of the best preschool programs evah, participating in a Jingle Bell run, waiting for Santa to drive by on our town’s fire truck, etc.  I could be telling you about all of those fun Christmas-y things that have kept me away from my blog and up late at night working on my many projects but I’m not (but I will)!  I’m going to start with what J and I did on Saturday night.

We were invited to a Disco Funk Christmas Party at a friend’s house.  Luckily, Dr. Cindita was kind enough to send me a disco care package.  She lives in San Francisco so she has access to some of the best clothing, hair and accessories from the 70’s.  So, here I am all dressed up.  Do you like the afro?  Gotta love hair that is twice the size of your head…

I was able to piece together J’s ensemble by making use of Ebay, an after-Halloween 90% off sale and raiding Dr. Cindita’s accessory bag!  I think it came together quite nicely.  I made J buy a package of wife beaters on the day of the  party because we did not have a shirt for him.  I think the tank top worked out perfectly!

We arrived on J’s new motorcycle wearing afros and all!  It was a fun, fun night!