A Wild & Precious Weekend

Besides my usual cat allergy that always flairs up around the holidays (since every, and I mean, EVERY member of both sides of my family owns a cat), we had a great kick-off weekend to Christmas week.  Saturday, we headed homeward to attend two of our seven (yes, seven) family Christmases, and Sunday, well, Sunday we enjoyed a day at home, living this wild and precious life with our Cruz Man.  And now, with my leopard print snuggie and a cup of Cafe Mocha, I'm worn out and enjoying the peace that comes with a quiet house, a twinkling Christmas tree, and warm thoughts of a three-day work week.

So, how did we spend this Wild and Precious Weekend?

We celebrated with Manheim Steamroller at Gallagher Bluedorn.  The fastest selling show Gallagher has seen in their 11-year history, we scored six tickets and attended with my mom and dad and brother and sister-in-law.  I've grown up listening to their music, and it was a treat to see them play in person.  I love attending shows at Gallagher, and always secretly pretend I'm in a fancy red dress watching an opera like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.  

Afterwards, while Cruz had a fun night at home with Jennifer, we took my dad to Tokoyo for the first time, and stuffed ourselves with fried rice, shrimp and steak, and plenty of 'yum yum sauce.'  

We celebrated with our first road trip home for Christmas.  This year, instead of bundling up a brand new baby, we listened to Christmas music and danced to the beat with our ever-growing toddler-in-training.  First, a stop at Aunt Becky's for the Sanders' family Christmas, where Cruz impressed us all with his ability to keep up with his older (and very active) cousins.  He held his own I'd say, and adapted to the festivities like a natural.  He played hard, ate an entire bowl of ham and potato soup, and loved up on his Nana Sanders at all the right times.  While she was opening her presents in the recliner, Cruz would lean over and rest his head on the armrest beside her, look up out of the corner of his eye, and whisper his high-pitched, 'hi.'  

We had a great time with a family that's growing by the baby every year.  This year, we welcomed two new cousins, born just 16 days apart late this summer.  Easton and Merci reminded me of Cruz last year, and if only for a quick second, I felt a hint of baby fever ;)

Next, we stopped in Allison for the Henrichs family craziness at the Amvet Hall.  While the nine great grandkids kept things lively at the Sanders Family Christmas, nothing compares to my dad's side's Christmas.  With five kids and spouses, 18 grandkids and spouses, and now, 23 great grandkids, it's no wonder it takes a community center to house our annual Christmas.  While I feared Cruz would tucker out early due to his less-than-one-hour nap during the day, he once again held his own and tried his best to keep up with his older cousins.  Beau and I took turns chasing him up and down the stairs, and did our best to mix healthy holiday food in with the sugar cookies, MandMs, and strawberry jello diet he'd been keeping all day long.  

A few of the 26, lined up for presents! 

Sunday morning, after a busy day of chasing, cooking, driving, cleaning, wiping faces, wrapping (then unwrapping) presents, and packing (then unpacking) cars, we enjoyed a quiet day at home, just the three of us.  

We went to church and sang my favorite Christmas carols.  I love them all, however, 'O Come, O Come Emmanuel' sounded especially pretty this morning.

We got some fresh air in this crazy December weather.  We may not have a white Christmas, but I guess I'll take 45 degree temps if it means no snow.  

I let Cruz get sticky sweet with his very own candy cane, found deep within his advent mitten this morning.  I watched him lick like a hawk, and even got my own taste after Cruz so graciously offered.  He sucked the life out of that fruitastic cane, and afterwards, let me wash his hands in the sink with warm soap and water.

We strolled through Target, finishing up some last minute shopping, and going home with a bag of popcorn, a soft pretzel, and a strawberry smoothie.  And after that, Cruz is now convinced Target is his favorite restaurant.  

We baked.  If there was one thing I told myself I wouldn't do this Christmas, it was bake sugar cookies.  Today, I baked sugar cookies.  And, unlike the last four years, the cookies went together surprisingly well this year.  I wonder if it has anything to do with the help I had this year...

Right before a big, floured kiss from Chef Cruz.

We played.  We played with flash cards in the toyroom, empty wrapping paper rolls in the living room, and brand new puzzles on the kitchen floor.  Cruz walked room by room holding a colander in front of his face, and rode his 'rocking lamb' shirtless, with nothing but his orange monkey pajama pants and Mac Miller inspired 'snap back' hat.  The more we played, the messier and messier the house became, and in the middle of wrapping paper remains, sugar cookie remains, and holiday crafting remains, we had so much fun.


We crashed.  After a day of wrapping the last of the presents and frosting the last of the sugar cookies, the three of us collapsed.  And Mama in her snuggie, and Dad in his cap...

Looking forward to a three-day work week and the kick-off to precious Christmas break.  So much to love about this time of year...

Happy Christmas week to all, and to all a GOOD NIGHT!