Christmas and NYE 2013 Recap

Warning - this will be a long post full of photos! :) I figured since I haven't blogged over the holiday weeks, I'm due for some long posts! Here's a recap of our Christmas!

The weekend before Christmas, we hosted the Evans family at our house (Beth and Nick, we missed you)! We had the pleasure of having 13 people hunker down for 2-3 nights of fun, family, yummy food, games, snow and more! Here a few highlights of new things we did this year - make-your-own panini bar, adult Minute to Win It game, carol singing, hot tubbing, playing outside in the snowstorm, hot cocoa bar, calzones and lots of new recipes, and a trip to see the lights and Santa at our local "Enchantment in the Park." I could do an entire post about all of these fun things, but you get the gist! Our annual traditions include appetizer/cocktail hour(s), present exchange, enchiladas, birthday celebrations and cake, games (with totally fabulous prizes), and more! I'm lucky to have entered into such a fun and gracious family!

On Christmas Eve, we spent a bit of time with my Dad's side of the family - including Lauren and Hayden! It's always so great to see them, even if just for a bit! :)

We go to church Christmas Eve and always cook a special meal afterwards. This year it was our favorite Boeuf Bourguignon! We didn't manage to capture many good photos before church, but here they are anyway!

We spent the night at my parents house (even though they only live 10 minutes from us) and Santa came there (Nina left a note for Santa at our house). After opening presents and a special breakfast for Nina (my mom made that Santa pancake/whipped cream concoction), we drove over to my uncle and aunt's for the day. This year was extra special because my cousin Dana (their daughter) had a baby girl, Elly Noella, on Christmas Eve. So, Christmas Day we went to the hospital to see the sweet new baby. Nina loved holding her!
I didn't manage to take many photos the rest of the day... must've been too busy chasing after the kiddos or having too much fun! As always, William, Evelyn, Clara and Nina steal the show!

Hope you had as much fun as we did -- there is nothing better than time with family!

Ok now onto New Year's Eve... we stayed in and celebrated the ball drop with Nina at 4:00 pm! Mr. Evans did a balloon drop and confetti for her, a little appetizer plate, some sparkling grape juice and we watched last year's Times Square drop on the Apple TV. Sweet little girl loved it! Later on for dinner I made ahi tuna (for Mr. Evans, this preggers can't eat it), a grapefruit/jumbo lump crab salad and panna cotta with fresh berries for dessert!

Nina is very into art projects, so on New Year's Day we made a paper ring chain to RING in the New Year (get it?)!! It was a fun activity for all of us - we cut the paper strips, colored both sides, wrote down "goals" that she wants to accomplish in 2014, stapled the rings together, and it proudly now hangs over her bathroom mirror (just as she requested). Happy New Year!


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