Most importantly, nothing screams Best Husband Ever like a hot, sexy blond with meat brander and wooden spoon over a hot smoker and a hot stove. Yum! Sigh. Oops, this is supposed to be a family post.
My parents drove down to Austin from St. Louis, Missouri while my brother flew down from Madison, Wisconsin. My brother got to experience what it was like to not wear a jacket in December. I think he enjoyed it. My parents go to see all the glories I-35 has to offer--absolutely nothing but concrete and traffic. Our visit was lovely and all together too short.
We tried to keep up with the tradition of baking sugar cookies. By making sugar cookies, I mean purchasing a tube of pre-made dough by Pillsbury and then adding a bit of flour to stiffen it up. Adding too much flour, thus making the dough crumbly and then whacking it with a rolling pin and hoping the bear and snowman shapes maintain themselves long enough to reach the cookie sheet. So worn out by the endeavor of cutting them out and then not burning them that we completely forget about the whole decorating part. And the eating part. That is what chocolate cake is for.
Bear was still getting into the hang of the whole present thing. As in, they are for her. Nearly all of them. She surveyed the lot and then carefully removed all the bows and placed them in her special stash of things she believes she is not supposed to have.
After much coaxing, we got her to open a present. It was a toy broom. It was all over after that. Who needs presents when you can clean!? After much more coaxing, we got her to open another gift. . . the Dream Lite. I am saving those photos for another post. That's right, a post just about the Dream Lite.
The innocence at this age is so beautiful. She isn't at the stage of I want x,y,z and then tearing through all of the presents only to careless discard ones she doesn't care for or to complain that so-and-so got more presents than her. She is at the stage where she cannot believe she gets the bow. She cannot believe she gets to tear paper. In fact, that paper ripping is expected of her. The toy is just a bonus. It is beautiful and I want to bottle it up and hold onto it forever.
My family's visit was over too fast and dampened by the death of my beloved Aunt Aunt Peg in the middle of it all. We celebrated and honored her spirit by recalling her many antics.
Christmas Day was chaotic as always. We make the 4 hour trek to Plano in the pouring rain. Then miracle upon miracle, there was SNOW!!!!! Yes, snow. In Dallas. Don't believe me?
See! My gorgeous niece and nephew were having a blast pelting Mama Dunja with snowballs.
Christmas Day is wild. I love it. With Andrew's brothers and step brothers and all their wives and children it is complete and utter chaos. Kids every where. Lots of talking, laughing, and the occasional heated conversation. The food. Mama Dunja is an amazing cook. I ask her for a recipe and she says thing like "add some flour. add an egg or two. butter. lots of butter. some milk. I don't know how much.". Yes, she makes everything from scratch and doesn't measure a thing. Amazing. Also, she could teach Martha Stewart a thing or two about decorating.
Chunky Love had a little too much egg nog and conked out during the gift exchange. Funny what no nap will do to you. Poor mommy had to open Bear's gifts.
Here are a few more pictures that I thought I would include in a slide show.