it's been a wonderful & relaxing few days with family in Virginia!
^^^ nothing beats traveling by train. you show up 30 minutes before you leave. no one forces you to put your liquids in a Ziploc baggie. you can stretch out your feet, even! thank you to Patrick for helping me get my luggage to Penn Station and for the kind strangers who helped me heave my suitcase over the gap.
there's nothing prettier than home on Christmas. ^^^
i literally took twenty-seven pictures of this little hunk ^^^ but i'll keep it to a minimum here and share two.
santa baby! ^^^
we spent time at my brother's, all 20 of us! we've yet to get a good group shot of everyone, but here's one of the siblings. ^^^
with my sis ^^^
my oldest brother & i surprised our family with framed prints of this. ^^^
i loved working on something together! he did the border and i did the calligraphy.
i've gotten a couple requests to add this print to the shop, so i plan on printing a few more if you're interested!
on monday, my mom & i taste-tested our wedding menu! ^^^ it was such a treat, and the food is downright incredible. knowing that i'll likely be restrictive these next 10 months in the food department (#bridediet), i have a feeling i'm going to be looking forward to indulging that night. guests, forgive me if I'm the bride in the corner actually eating my dinner - i just know it's too good to pass up! ;)
it was so nice to spend a couple days at home, doing errands with my mom, etc. i did my own laundry for the first time in seven years (yeah, there's a statement - NYC life is weird), and my mom is never going to let it go that I stood there, asking if she already put the "shampoo" in. (hand slap to the forehead!)
one of my favorite parts of coming home? seeing all of my mom's treasured decorations...
...and I refuse to use any sort of mug or plate that isn't the red Christmassy kind my aunt gave us years ago! ^^^
i then attempted mission impossible, and tried to get Santa on board with this love-at-first-sight situation. ^^^
alas, it didn't work ... but we're still holding out hope for a "new addition" soon!
we watched a LOT of movies. everything from The Heat (how had I not seen that yet?) to The Family Stone to Elf to It's a Wonderful Life to Four Christmases to this old classic.
^^^ this is how my dad & i celebrated Christmas!
rather, this is what happens when the only place that's open on Christmas Eve is a questionable American-ized Indian restaurant and the food is so terrible, you head straight to the nearest ice cream parlor to eat there instead :)
i had Skype "dates" with family in Ohio (shout-out to my cousin who's celebrating her 25th birthday today!) and Patrick's crew in New York. it was such fun to catch up and participate in gift exchanges through the screen. you gotta love technology these days!
my mom ^^^ kept calling today, "my last Christmas as a little girl."
she's been helping Santa for 46 years (!) and i think she's ready to pass the baton... :)
it's funny. i kept telling people, "psh! I won't miss Patrick this Christmas. we've been through so much long distance that this won't even phase me." well, i have missed him. it's the first Christmas I know for a fact that he's going to be my husband...and the first time I've envisioned what it'll be like to start our own traditions. i'm so happy that one day ... I get to "help Santa" with him. cheesy, but true!
i clearly need him around in case i think there's a creature on the roof.
(i still don't know what was up there...?!)
my card this year! ^^^
yes, that's me...
...carrying our itty-bitty tree.
cheers to cherishing these Christmases, and feeling exciting about ones to come ~