02 January 2011

Moose Jaw Minute #21: Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annee!

It has been a whirlwind of a holiday season filled with family, friends, love, laughter, twinkling lights, cookies, birthdays, yummy food, snow, snow, and more snow.  Dave and I spent our first married Christmas making the trek from the wilds of Moose Jaw (really?  Does that rabbit the size of a small VW sitting outside our front door and then bounding across the field by our house count as "wild?"  Yes, yes it does.) to the balmy seashore of New Jersey where my parents reside.  We were joined by my sister and brother-in-law, their three kids, my grandma, and my aunt.  A packed house equals toys, games, movie-watching, tons of things to graze on throughout the day (my aunt's tarts are a totally valid reason to stick your hand in the cookie jar at least twenty times a day), and interesting navigational routes through the house to ensure you aren't stepping on a baby underfoot, running into the decorations, or causing our tree to fall down (which it did this year).

We flew in and during the early parts of the week, Dave and I had work to do.  We traveled into Philadelphia one day with my dad to work out of various coffee shops and soak in the atmosphere of the city.  We also had the opportunity to meet some of the amazing people my dad works with and check out his office space.  My mom was also working up until the last minute so out of the packed house, four of us were preoccupied with prepping for disasters (my dad), caring for sick kids (my mom), taking an online development course (Dave), and crunching numbers in excel (me).  However, once our workdays came to an end...let the festivities begin!

There were pictures with Santa, family portraits at the mall, gift-wrapping, cooking, movie-watching (Christmas Vacation and It's A Wonderful Life are holiday staples in our home), Christmas eve church-going, present-UNwrapping, tree-solidifying (it wasn't coming down again!), and everything in between.  My sister and I baked traditional cherry cookies for everyone and she made a beautiful pumpkin pie.  My mom and dad made a fantastic Christmas breakfast of strawberry crepes and dinners with stuffing, gravy, potatoes, and everything else you can think of.  We watched football and even had a spontaneous concert courtesy of my niece and nephew (pictures are below)!

And as all of these festivities were unfolding, Mother Nature was unwrapping a gift of her own for the East Coast -- the Blizzard of 2010!  Yes, the skies opened up on December 26 and we were hit with howling winds and thick, wet snow.  That morning, Dave and I went for a run and the next, we opened the door to see my sister and brother-in-law's van buried under two and a half feet of snow in the front driveway.  It was crazy and beautiful and was bummed that I couldn't help shovel and be outside in it (we had to delay leaving as we couldn't get out of the house so I was working).  That evening, Dave and I took a long walk through the thigh-high snow under the stars, laughing our heads off, making snow angels, and enjoying each other's company.  We returned the next day to a snowy, but not AS snowy, Moose Jaw...and, don't worry, all the gifts made it home safely!

Fast forward to New Year's Eve!  Dave and I are incredibly lucky not only to have an awesome family to spend time with over the holidays, but amazing friends to spend the New Year with.  Friends of ours hosted a small gathering at their place where we feasted on cous cous, salad, black forest desserts, and homemade bread with homemade cheese toppings (Blake knows how to get his chef on).  We toasted and sipped, played games and laughed, ate more and screeched it in.  Screech, you say?  Well, this New Year's was a Newfoundland New Year's.  Why?  Cause, it was.  Screech is a Newfoundland rum that, I can say lives up to its name.  Having screeched once, I have to say that I'm not sure I will do it again!  It was a fantastic night and I am so excited to see what 2011 has in store!

So, to all of you in 2011, I wish you nothing but the best...I hope you have a wonderful year!

p.s.  A very happy birthday to you, Amanda and Jesse!

Cookie baking in Moose Jaw...all vegan!


Cherry Cookies with Melissa

Crowning Glory!

Rock on!  Note...the Steelers are on in the background...indeed.

My mom MAKES these stockings for the family...amazingly beautiful!

Christmas Tradition...my dad reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.

SNOW!  It had just started to fall...

There is picnic furniture under there...somewhere...

Traditional Christmas, erm, New Year's Cake.


Screeching in the New Year!

Clean, healthy, and good-for-you New Year's Day breakfast!

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