Home For Christmas

Brad and I have lived in Santa Monica just about three years.

It seems every year is getting a little easier than the last.  We know our way around a little better.  We know a few more people.  We have paid off a few more bills.

I think 2013 will be the best one yet.

Mostly because we have also lived here for three Christmases now.  Three holiday seasons we have decorated a tree and tried to come up with something creative and cost efficient to send to our loved ones.  We’ve invited over other friends who couldn’t make it home for the holidays.  We’ve cooked roasts and turkeys with our West Coast family.  We’ve put together packages and had them shipped to the appropriate states and addresses, worrying that they’ll get there in time to sneak under the tree.

This has also been the first of the three Christmases that we were meeting those packages there.

It meant a lot to me to be able to be home this Christmas.  I am extremely close to my family and being away for the last two years was really, really hard for me.  Plus, we have a new nephew this year and I couldn’t stand not being there for his very first Christmas!

So we bought the ridiculously priced tickets home.  We took off the time from work.  If so many other people we knew made it work every year, we would make it work.

And it was amazing.

Two days in Watkins Glen with the Drakes and the Mathews.  Of course it was a White Christmas there…

IMG_6747a IMG_6804aAnd we couldn’t leave without visiting Toast.


We witnessed a dramatic Christmas Eve Turkey-Frying.


And I got to visit Grandpa Mathews’ amazing garage/museum.IMG_6782a

We played cards until well after midnight Christmas morning with Neil, Julie, Robin, and Jeff.  Scat!IMG_6797aAnd we hung out with the ever-so-trim Floyd.

Overall, a really wonderful Christmas Eve.IMG_6799a

Then we were off to two days in Columbia with the Bylsmas, where we celebrated Christmas and my Mom’s birthday with some fancy champagne in some fancy glasses.


And it also snowed…


But my Mom finally got her Christmas picture of the whole family!


Picture compliments of my (our) new fancy camera – thank you thank you thank you “Smile Santa”!!!


Brad cooked an amazing feast.


Which I proceeded to document with my (our) new camera…

DSC_0071aAfterward, Brad took a nap with a Misfit toy.
DSC_0002aAnd we hung out with Max as much as possible.
DSC_0037a IMG_6838a DSC_0055a


It was a whirlwind and a half, but worth every minute of lost sleep to get to spend such a special time of year with some of our favorite people in the world.

Thank you to both of our families and all of our friends for rearranging schedules and finding time to see us.  It made the end of our 2012 very, very merry.


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