christmas morn

Christmas morning. The best. Matt and I were more excited about this than the kids. Clearly David is unsure what all the hub-bub is about and Letteria we actually had to wake up ourselves. Guess the late night the night before really took it out of them.... Just can't party like they used to.

Mostly Letty opened the gifts and David watched patiently. Aren't big sisters just the best?

The only thing that she wanted from Santa was a Snow White dress. And here it is in all it's glory.

Which she loved until she opened her present from David. That Snow White dress came off faster than something really fast and on went Princess Anna's dress. Note for Laurie 2014: do her hair before coming down the stairs. Because... yikes.

David got a lot of things that have wheels and lots of books. Letty of course got the dresses and then big kid things like games and play-doh. Heaven help me.

Up tomorrow? Christmas morning continues on at my parent's house.... as per tradition.

Oh! Happy New Year's Eve!


christmas eve and more

'twas the night before Christmas. There was much to be done. There was reindeer food to be laid out. There were cookies to plate and milk to pour. There was Cornelius to say goodbye to. And then there was partying to accomplish.

We did the first three in the late afternoon because after all that partying the children would hopefully be sleeping in their car seats and go straight to bed, do not pass go, do not collect $200. Foreshadowing: this was a great success. We can't not do these things so they were done early. And that's the end of that ridiculous explanation.

This marked the third anniversary of my parent's Christmas Eve party. People get gussied up in their finest (and if you're Matt you think that is jeans) and pop on by for some drinks and some eats. 

Matt made two different beverages. A caramel apple vodka and a berry sangria punch.

The dessert table was my favorite place. You can see why...

My poor sister was home sick. Isn't it just the worst to be sick on Christmas Eve? She was missed. But she was there in spirit.

My mom set up a soup station. It may be cold outside but it was warm and filling inside courtesy of said soups. Loaded baked potato, taco, and rustic tortellini soups were all available.

The lovely hosts. Otherwise known as my parents.

My mom had coloring books and these lovely pops for all the children. Isn't she just the best Nonna?

After the party died down the kids were all snuggled warm in their footies and car seats and we were homeward bound. Where Matt and I promptly disposed of the milk and cookies and Cornelius and set out all the presents. Have to keep up appearances you know. I apparently was too tired to even use the automatic focus on my camera. 

Merry Christmas to all! And to all a goodnight!!


cinnabon. cookies. you read that right.

Cookies of the Cinnabon variety. With an inordinate amount of vanilla and butter and sugar. Because that's obviously how we do. 

I feel the need to preface this with the following statement: I do not cook. Do not allow the mass amount of cookie posts lately fool you. The kitchen is Matt's domain. I simply visit from time to time. 

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup butter flavored shortening 
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar 
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 cup flour 
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl cream the butter, sugar, brown sugar,and shortening. Add vanilla. Beat one egg in at a time.  

Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon in another bowl. Add to other mixture. 

Cover and refrigerate the dough for an hour. Or less. Whatever suits your fancy. Go play with the new vacuum's prior home. Because there is nothing like a new big box. (That's what she said?)

Start making the filling? Iciing? Cinnamon goodness? Personally I feel I should have made more. I was using it sparingly and I wanted to just use all of the topping in all the lands. 

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Just microwave the butter till liquidy and add the other ingredients. 

Roll out half of the dough into a big ole rectangle. 

Schlep some of that lovely cinnamon concoction onto flattened dough. Recipe calls for using 1/3 of it on the first roll but like I said. Make more. You'll need it for the filling on two "logs" if you will.

Roll it up lengthwise into this questionably shaped thing. 

Put a tiny dollop of the cinnamon goodness directly on the tray wherever a cookie shall be placed in the near future.  Now I've made this both ways, with a dollop and without. There really is so much butter in these that they are just fine without.

Cut the log into slices. I went about a half inch thick. Place the slice onto aforementioned dollop (or not). 

Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. 

Oh and stock up on milk. You'll need it.