I took a break from this blog to just enjoy the holidays with my fam!! I have so much to update y'all on but lets start with our Christmas Eve this year!
This year was a little bit different from years past. Traditionally Thomas' family does a big huge holiday bash for Christmas Eve with a Prime Rib dinner (and all the other delicious fixings) and then we open all the presents from the family. This year since extended family was in town from the East Coast for one of our inlaws, we pushed our Eve Extravaganza to Christmas Day and spend Christmas Eve on our own, respectively. It was a nice change but sort of threw us for a loop with how we "Do our Eve" if you will.
Our morning was quite relaxing and we were blessed with some great weather (cold but beautiful). Ellie just loves to go out on the farm and is currently obsessed with our mini horse, Paladin, and going for a ride on him. So when she asked to "Ride Pal please" I just had to oblige we got ourselves ready.
These little glitter antlers I picked up in the Dollar Section at Target are 100% adorable. Ellie always has to laugh at the goats when they jump up on the gate to say hello, she thinks they are so "punny"!
Then we got Pal all ready in his little saddle...he looks similar to a buffalo in the winter because he grows an enormous coat despite all my efforts to keep him slim throughout the past 20 years, so we just go with it now and I think it adds a little bit more "whimsy" this time of year...haha!
Ellie really just has a blast out on the farm and I am so grateful that not only does she love animals but that we have the opportunity for her to go out on the farm anytime. We also started her Trotting this week and now all she wants is for Pal to "Go Fast!!!!!!"
After her ride on Pal, it was time for her nap and Thomas and I got things together for the rest of the day. Our plan was to go to church for the Candle Light Service with my dad and then back to our farm for dinner, but my dad had to cancel because he came down with Pneumonia...he is doing better now but it just wasn't a good idea for him to drive down. Thomas' parents were originally going to spend their Eve with other family but since there was a sickness going around they were happy to accept our last minute invitation and joined us for Christmas Eve!
We met up with them at Church and as usual Ellie was all about her Nanny!! I totally love that she is so in love with her and that they have such a strong bond, I can barely get a hug or kiss when Nanny is around, ha! So for a majority of the service Ellie clung to Nanny, then she started to get a little restless so I took her down to the nursery to play for a bit. [Sidebar: One thing I was concerned about when we brought Ellie home was her attachment to us since we didn't get to bond with her the nine months she was in utero.] But since we don't ever take her to the nursery because she doesn't like to not be with us she only lasted about 15 minutes. We know she loves the candles and fire so I went to go get her for that part of the service and I showed up just in time because they were just getting ready to page me ;)
I think this photo says it all about her excitement with the candles. She got to hold it all by herself and was constantly blowing it out and relighting it with mine. I only had to blow it out a couple of times because she was getting it a little too close to her hair for my comfort but she lit it right up again and was pretty much all smiles.
I posted about it on my IG (follow along here) feed but when we were in the depths of our infertility battle I wasn't sure if we were ever going to experience this type of joy during the Christmas Season, but God had a plan for us and blessed us with THE BEST BABE EVER!!! She is a true joy in our lives.
and with Nanny and Papa
Thomas and I headed back to the farm to start dinner while Nanny and Papa took Ellie to their place to pick up a few things and then drive over.
Here is what we ate:
I used a recipe from here for the Roast Beef and it's the second time I have made it - it is so good!
The Hasselback potatoes were from here, they tasted alright but I felt they were a little dried out...could have been my execution though.
The Broccoli Casserole is just like what you make for Green Bean Casserole but with a package of frozen broccoli florets instead of the beans. It's a great alternative and good flavor.
We just had some steamed peas with a little butter and salt for Ellie ... and she ate about all of them! She is a Pea girl.
Just some sauteed mushrooms with butter, olive oil and s/p does the trick.
And then my favorite part of the meal was the Yorkshire Pudding, I added in some Rosemary as well and I think I am going to have to make it again very soon!
It was a lot of food prep but thankfully it all came together well and was a delicious meal.
Here is how I set our table
I wanted it to be fancy but not too fancy so I used my green mason jars as drinking glasses along with our wedding china and silver. I think the napkins were my favorite part, I picked them up at HomeGoods a few weeks ago and thought they looked just like Santa and the placemats I picked up here but can't seem to find them online.
Once we finished dinner we changed Ellie into her adorable Disney Christmas Jams (we have the coordinating family set and they're on sale right now!) and opened one present. I did such a great job wrapping that even I had a hard time getting the ribbon off!! oops
Ellie got the Disneyland Monorail!! She had so much fun helping to put it together and figured out how to use the remote very quickly...good thing we've been working hard on our color recognition ;)
She loved it so much, it was hard to keep her hands off. We kept her up pretty late since we were having so much fun with the Monorail and that Nanny and Papa were there that we totally missed our opportunity to read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas...no biggie, we'll try again next year!
What are some of your Christmas Eve Traditions?
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