It's not too late for Christmas pictures, right?
A few days before, we had the annual family cooking contest. This year each team drew out of a hat 1) a course, 2) geographical region, and 3) ingredient. I don't really remember the regions which just goes to show you that no one really paid much attention to them (except maybe the shrimp dish). Steph and Andy did a stuffed chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto (far left), which was delicious but clearly they need to work on their plating skills because in retrospect it looks like something crawled up on that plate and died. Kiki and Ryan did a homemade tostada chip with a grilled shrimp and salsa (center). Amy and Mark did a butternut squash and saffron risotto (far right). BVZ and I did a sesame seed lace cookie with mango ice cream (not pictured because I was a little drunk by dessert). As in years past, I did all the research and prep, BVZ did the shopping, I made everything, and BVZ did the dishes.
Voting was done by secret ballot and sesame lace cookies won the day.
Christmas Eve means turkey chili and tamales at our house. The kids decided to sleep in the front room next to the tree to try and catch a glimpse of Santa. Thankfully they soon figured out the wood floor was not at all comfortable.
Norah and I made cookies for Christmas Day dessert and included a couple of extras as well.
Norah went to church with Bubby. They both loved it.
Norah took great care in making a plate for Santa and Louis was concerned about carrots for reindeer. You may be wondering why he is wearing a Texas A&M jersey. Apparently there is a big shot college player named Johnny Football (I can't remember his actual last name) who won the Heisman this year. BVZ got Lou interested in the game one day by pointing Johnny out and now Lou is OBSESSED with being "Johnny Football." I have to wash the damn jersey all.of.the.time because that's all he wants to wear.
Norah licked the top of one of the cookies and Lou ate most of the carrots.
Ready for bed. Thank god.
Santa brought Louie a remote control monster truck, goldfish crackers, and a cow in his stocking.
Norah got the Frozen castle/ice palace that she has been coveting for weeks. I blame television with commercials. We did not even open the box until after 9:00 pm on Christmas Eve and at that point realized there was assembly required. It only took about an hour and BVZ and I are still married.
She was beside herself with joy.
The aforementioned cow.
We don't do a ton of gifts at Christmas but I like to think they are all well thought out and personal. One thing from Santa and then each kid gets a gift from each family member. Norah got a sleeping bag from me, the Frozen dolls from Lou, and a book about Greek Mythology from BVZ. Louie got a sleeping bag from me, Superman pj's from BVZ, and a book about monster trucks from Norah. The kids were really into getting BVZ a "real" football and then Lou insisted we also get him his own Johnny Football shirt. BVZ loved it. I think it was 50% having a matching shirt with Lou and 50% making Uncle Mark (a die hard Longhorn fan) insane. The kids got me a fancy hair dryer. I love it.
BVZ takes Norah to ballet on Saturday mornings and then they usually run errands together afterward. It's the best one-on-one time that they get. They must have all kind of interesting conversations because every once in a while Norah will bust out some random knowledge (usually about science or history) and I know it had to have come from BVZ. Like, she knew all about the Chinese Zodiac one day. They had been talking about gods and goddesses and mythology (she was walking around yelling "Release the Kraken!") and so he found her a book with the stories specifically designed for kids. They are still really violent and kind of scary but she loves them. So far Hercules and the ten labors have been the biggest hit. At one point in almost every task, King Eurystheus gets scared and jumps in a copper pot to hide. The illustration of this is particularly funny and Norah laughs so hard she can barely breathe every time the King gets in the pot. It's the little things sometimes.
Christmas afternoon and evening is spent at Bubby's house. Norah had a cool French braid courtesy of Kiki.
Cousins plus Bubby!
Reid and Lou got their own special table. This basically sums up how they both feel about food. Reid loves it. Louie can't be bothered.
Grown up table with grown up dishes.
The cousins draw names and this year Trevor had Louie. Louie could not sit at the table and eat because 1) Louie doesn't actually ever eat food, and 2) he knew there was a present under the tree for him from "my best friend Trevor." I went to check on him because it was so quiet and found him sitting patiently on the couch with his present on his lap. I think he sat there for at least 10 minutes. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. (It was worth the wait--a blue light saber).
The rest of the evening was full of laughter and peppermint popcorn. Just like any good holiday should be.