We had a tough time getting into the Christmas spirit this year due to the flu that seems to attack us every other year…and this was our year. Megan came home from work and ran to the bathroom and we knew we were doomed again this Christmas. Two days later, it was Kelly’s turn. By Christmas Eve, we were able to go to church and we prayed very hard that this was the end of it and our prayers were answered. Somehow, Nate and I dodged this bullet and made it through Christmas without getting it. I’m not sure what is worse…getting the flu or that anticipation of knowing you’re next. I felt icky for the next three days only because I put myself in that state of mind. Moving on…
We missed out on traveling to Wisconsin to be with the Solberg’s and missed out with my side of the family as well, but we certainly enjoyed our family time together and made the best of the holiday. After church, we came home and made one of our favorite pizza’s this time of year called “Holly & Snow.” The ingredients are smoked kielbasa, spinach, feta cheese, mozzarella, and basil with an Alfredo sauce spread on the bottom. It’s fairly simple, but lots of flavor. And it’s so pretty!
We opened gifts after dinner and that’s about when it started to feel like Christmas for us, since we hadn’t done any celebrating up to this point. We laughed, told stories about how we found or purchased some of our gifts, and even tried on a couple we were excited about.
Megan won for best wrapped gift this year. She found a poster of the New York skyline at an art festival in Winona. She knew Kelly would love it, but wasn’t sure how to wrap it up so Kelly couldn’t figure it out. She came up with a brilliantly disguised package. Megan made sure she put it under the tree, right in the front. It drove Kelly crazy all of December! She really loves it and is happy to have that mystery solved.
Since both girls are traveling out of the country in 2018, I got them each a gift that they could easily pack into their suitcase, and would have a daily reminder of me when they are so far away. Pillowcases! I want them to know I’m thinking of them even when we are far apart. I think they will both sleep well at night now…or Kelly will go to sleep giggling. (hehe)
Nate and I opted for gifts that make us better cooks. We both love to cook and hang out in our kitchen. I got him a waffle make and he got me new cookware. A set of pans and lids. Much needed, because we are still using pans that are twenty years old. I’m excited to put them all to use!
One of Nate’s favorite “new” meals is Chicken & Waffles. I found a recipe and made it for him one time for dinner. I think he would eat it once a week, if I made it that often. I always had to buy frozen waffles, but now we are excited to make fresh waffles in this recipe. That is what inspired me to buy him the waffle iron. We girls have already benefitted from this gift. On Christmas morning, he made us waffles, bacon, and scrambled eggs for brunch. They were fantastic!
We each got a new book in hopes that we do a better job of relaxing and reading more. Neither of us finished too many books in 2017, so hopefully this will inspire us and get that spark going. I also got a hummingbird feeder, so I’ll be sitting on the deck this summer, book in hand, and watching the hummingbirds fly around me. Sounds wonderful to me!
Thanks to technology, we were able to call Nate’s parents and talk to them and we Skyped with my parents, as my sister Peggy set that up for us. It was such fun to actually see them and have some laughs along with them on Christmas day. They came to visit one last time in August and for a Christmas gift, I made them a book called, “Minnesota Memories.” It highlighted their trip and I made sure to include all of the family and each of their siblings who visited as well. I asked Peggy to take a picture of them holding it, so I could include it in my blog. On the front cover is a picture of our whole family. All six of us and Mom & Dad…a rare picture nowadays, as it isn’t always easy to get us all together in one place. They seemed very excited to have this and Mom thanked me many times. A very special keepsake that I know they will enjoy for years to come.
It’s almost New Years Eve and we’ll be saying goodbye to 2017 and welcoming our new year and hoping for good health throughout the year. At school we celebrated a little early and tried to explain that when we return next Tuesday, it’ll be a new month and a new year. Our Spanish teacher took them into the hallway and they had a New Years parade with streamers, while she played her harmonica. In Spanish, it was called “Feliz Año Nuevo”!
Back in the classroom, we made a New Years Eve ball that they could take home and practice counting down to New Years. Counting down from 10 is not easy for a 3 year old. We worked hard on this for 4 days. I think they’ll do well on their own. We also did lots of practice yelling…”Happy New Year!” while jumping up and down. I know they’ll remember this part, once they get home and their parents will thank me.
I got out my phone and we “Googled” the new years eve ball. We watched a short video so they could see it drop in Time Square. I’m sure most, and hopefully all of these little ones are in bed at midnight, so I was assuming they’ve never seen it.
We also made party hats and I brought a couple from home that they enjoyed wearing around all day. I just threw them out on the table and throughout the day, I’d see someone laying on the floor, playing with a toy and wearing a party hat. Cracked me up.
Tonight, Nate and I are celebrating alone, which hasn’t happened in years. Kelly has had a New Year’s Eve party for the past 6 years, so we assumed she would have people over. Instead, she has decided to go to another party with her boyfriend rather than entertaining here. So rather than meatball sliders for dinner, Nate has brought out the steaks, potatoes, salad and a bottle of red for us to dine on. After we eat that, it’ll be a challenge to stay awake till midnight. We may need to get the coffee pot going.
The girls both went to their friend’s parties and sent us a few pictures of them having a good time as well. That’s the benefit of having cell phones. We love hearing from them, even if they are partying.
While they were dancing and chatting it up, Nate and I found our New Years Eve show. The New York Philharmonic Orchestra doing a tribute to Leonard Bernstein. It was very entertaining and it was two hours long. Perfect for us to recline on the couch, get the fireplace going, and enjoy some great music before we have to turn the channel and listen to rappers doing New Years Eve in Time Square. (not that there’s anything wrong with that)
We enjoyed the night and brought in the New Year with style and the Orchestra.
Happy 2018 and may this year be good to you and your family~