Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas 2011 Highlights

Christmas has come and gone, and if you ask me, it sort of flew by. I am not really sure how it's already  December 30. The past week has been a whirlwind.

I am going to attempt to not make this the longest post ever. Here's the basic "highlight reel" of our holiday week in Virginia...

My mom's ornament exchange...

I spent my first evening back in Virginia with old friends at my mom's ornament exchange. It was nice seeing some of my old friends that I grew up with, and seeing a lot of the women that are my mom's friends.'s a picture of my mom's kitchen table. Every year at Christmas she puts out this table cloth and has people sign it with red and green fine point Sharpies. It's neat looking back at all the signatures. I think the oldest on there is from 1995. 

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve, we have a tradition of going to the movies.  I think this started back in 1991 with Beauty and the Beast. This year's movie was The Muppet Movie.  Over the summer, when I first saw previews for this movie, I emailed my whole family and told them that this would be our Christmas movie. Glad they all agreed! It ended up being really cute.  A wonderful family movie that provided us all with laughs. That evening, we went to church with my family (minus my sister and her boyfriend). After the service, we stopped by two parties to visit with friends.  

Here we are at party #1...

And then party #2 where we got to see my sweet friend Kelly, her husband, and their adorable baby boy! It was so nice to see them and catch up!

And finally, we all came home and enjoyed some hot chocolate that I had left in the crock pot.  Faith made this for my ornament exchange, and it was delicious! It was the perfect treat to come home to! Here is the recipe I used!

Christmas Day!

We spent Christmas morning with my family.  We opened presents and ate a delicious breakfast thanks to my mom.  I did a bad job taking photos on Christmas morning, but I did snap this one later in the day. Here I am wearing my new, purple, snuggie from my brother. I love it and now wonder how I ever lived without it!  You can see my mom next to me here playing with her new Nook Tablet.  We all made out pretty well!


After Christmas breakfast, J and I got ready to head up to Fredericksburg, VA to see my grandparents and more family. My parents and brother didn't come with us because my sister was coming in to town, but only for a few hours.  

Here we are before hitting the road, and we're both modeling new scarves, and I have on my new coat from Santa!

It was so nice to see some family that we hadn't seen in almost a year. This is me and my "little" cousins (who are wearing their new USMC sweatshirts thanks to my retired Marine grandfather).

J and I with my grandparents

We made it back to Richmond on Christmas evening with enough time to see my sister and her boyfriend for about half an hour before they had to drive back home. My sister is working for Bloomingdale's in NYC, and she had to work on the 26th which meant a very quick trip to Virginia for Christmas. It was quick, but definitely nice to see them. She gave J an electric wine opener that's pretty darn awesome. If you have a lot of wine bottles to open, come see us!

Poor Duffy (my parents' miniature schnauzer) was exhausted from all the holiday fun.

And finally...December 26 with J's family

We headed out to J's parents' house on the morning of the 26th to see his family and celebrate Christmas with them. I did a bad job taking photos among all the fun, but you can see from the few that I did snap that it was a present filled event!

My three nieces were in present heaven. When all the presents were passed out, they assembled a present tower around themselves. 

J got a lot of great stuff for Christmas, but I think this remote controlled helicopter from his sister was his favorite present. He has been acting like a an eight year old with this thing for the past four days. And Rosie thinks it's her job to catch it. It was the perfect gift!

And finally, here I am showing off my new Danskos from my in-laws. I have so many teacher friend who rave about these shoes, so when it came time to make my Christmas list, I thought I'd ask for these.  They are super comfy, and (I can't believe I'm saying this) I am kind of excited to go back to school so I can wear them and try them out for a full day.  I am an official nerd.

So that concludes the Christmas 2011 adventures of J and Rachel! It was a whirlwind, and there's so much that I left out...a long game of Spades, a water bottle fox, six packs of fancy soda, and four loco to name a few. Only 360 days until next Christmas!

Now we're ready to ring in the new year tomorrow at The Avett Brothers concert in South Carolina. I cannot wait! 


  1. Wow you guys had quite a Christmas! Love your new jacket and I hear those Danskos are fabulous.

    Have fun at the concert!

    PS - Kevin would have been the same way about the helicopter. He loves looking at them in the mall kiosks. Ha!

  2. Looks like a fun Christmas! Busy busy, but fun! Love that red coat.

  3. You ARE a teacher nerd! : ) You are going to LOVE those Danskos. You won't want to wear anything else. It looks like y'all had a wonderful Christmas!! Let's hang out again soon!

  4. You two look so adorable in your new scarves! Duffy is also pretty stinking cute! Looks like Christmas was a whirlwind success! Now, bring on the snowstorms, right?

    I think you're gonna love your new shoes!

  5. Remote-controlled helicopters must have been the gift to get this year. My husband got one also! And he turns from 31 years old to 8 years old when he plays with it. :-)

  6. Chris got a helicopter and he's obsessed too!

  7. It looks like you had a great Christmas! I love the tradition of going to the movies!

  8. I have some major teacher envy going on! One day, maybe I'll have dansko's! Haha :) So glad y'all had a nice Christmas!!