Friday, December 28, 2018

Five Loves on Friday // Christmas Week Edition!

Happy Friday, friends!  I hope you've enjoyed a fantastically festive week.  We certainly have!  In the midst of a fun Christmas break with my loves I wanted to take a moment to quickly preserve the sweet memories of this week and share the highlights with you here!  Let's get right to the good stuff!

*This week's loves listed in chronological order. 

One  //  Kicking Off Christmas with my Sweet In-Laws

We spent a very sweet Sunday afternoon celebrating Christmas with Jason's side of the family.  Jason put his smoker to excellent use smoking a ham for our lunch.  The meal ended with my sister-in-law's beautiful black forest cake.  Every bit and bite of the day was savored as our time together always flies by, yet is greatly cherished!  

Before heading home we drove through some favorite neighborhoods for lights.  This just happened to be the perfect excuse for one more candy cane chill blizzard on the road.

Two  //  Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve morning my girls went to my parents to decorate sugar cookies that they rolled out with my mom earlier in the week.  "Princess" came home and helped me with some more sweets prep for Christmas Day.  We made Peanut Butter Ritz Ornament Cookies while singing our hearts out to K-Pop Christmas songs.  So much fun!

Peanut Butter Ritz Ornament Cookies 
Spread creamy peanut butter on a Ritz cracker.  Top with another Ritz cracker creating a "sandwich".  Dip in melted almond bark.  Top with a mini Reese's peanut butter cup and decorate each "ornament" as desired.

Christmas Eve Night

Jason played guitar for our church's Christmas Eve service which is always such a wonderful time with our church family.  We enjoyed singing songs, rejoicing in God's goodness in providing our desperately needed Savior in Jesus who was "born that man no more may die, born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth".  He was born to die for sinners like me, and through Him I have eternal hope for life beyond the grave.  There's no greater gift and celebrating it through worship, taking communion in remembrance of Him, and singing "Silent Night" in a room aglow with candlelight prepared my heart for Christmas.

(Pics taken during practice before service)

We returned home to a simple meal ready for us in the crockpot.  We chatted over dinner about our favorite Christmas memories and what we love most about Christmastime.  Normally we let the girls each choose and open one Christmas gift on Christmas Eve, but this year I took a different route preparing a family Christmas Eve gift.  I filled a bag with goodies I purchased at Disney World last month, two Christmas games, a Christmas movie, and new pajamas for all of us!

Three  //  Christmas Morning with my Loves

While I could share pics of all of the gifts my girls received, I'd rather share the gift I enjoyed most, the joy and surprise on their sweet faces as they opened gifts that were chosen with much care.  My mama heart overflowed that priceless morning!  

After gifts we enjoyed breakfast and Disney's Christmas Parade.  We actually jumped in on the parade a bit late as we declared "presents before parades".  Wouldn't that make great band name? ;)

Four  //  Christmas Night

The time had come for the finale of all Christmas celebrations, Christmas at my parents'!  Each year they host such a wonderful celebration in their home.  The group that gathers there just happens to be made up of some of my favorite people on the planet which makes this one of my most anticipated gatherings of the year!  There is never a shortage of conversation, laughter, or love here.  

Top Left: My niece, my nephew who was also celebrating his 17th birthday that day!, and my girls  | Top Right:  My dad, sister and her husband, my aunt and uncle, and my cousins and cousins-in-law  |  Middle Left:  My husband and our daughters |  Middle Right:  My parents and I  |  Bottom Left:  My sweet sis and I  |  Bottom Middle:  My girls  |  Bottom Right:  My sis, mom, and I

Five  //  Day Trip to KS & MO

One of my favorite Christmastime traditions of all is road tripping with my parents to hit after Christmas sales and see our favorite drive through light display!  

Upon arrival we lunched at Chick-Fil-A, always a delicious idea.  Before long we were finding all those fun 50 - 75% off sales and filling bags with Disney deals, and sensational scents at Bath & Body Works.  Jason and my dad may have actually made two trips back to our Explorer so we didn't have to lug all our finds through the mall all afternoon.  (One of a million reasons they are my two favorite guys!)  Before long it was time to make our annual visit to IKEA.  We don't have one in our area and we absolutely love that place!  Anyone else with us on that?

Once we'd shopped 'til we dropped we made our way to the main attraction, Christmas in the Park!  This park turned winter wonderland boasts 300,00o lights including 175 animated displays that have snowmen tipping their hats to greet you, toy soldiers tumbling to the ground when gift boxes are fired out of a cannon at them, and more!  It's such a fun sight and brings out the childlike wonder in each of us!

Santa chilling in the hammock post-holiday always makes me smile!

Bonus Love  //  New Year's Anticipation

We always save our most anticipated holiday movie release for New Year's Eve.  This year that's Mary Poppins Returns!  I've been in full Mary Poppins mode here using my Jolly Holiday phone case and listening to my vintage soundtrack album.  I couldn't be more excited for a practically perfect New Year's Eve outing with my family to see the fun new flick!  Afterward we'll head home for a family game night during which I'll indulge in far too much deliciousness, delight in my daughters' laughter, and smooch my forever New Year's date at midnight! 

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  Wishing you a beautiful conclusion to 2018 and a fun New Year's Eve celebrating the start of a fresh new year.  I'd love to hear about your NYE plans in the comment section below!  

Join me in the adventures to come!
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  1. I love the girls' expressions as they open the gifts...priceless. What a great idea to save a favorite new release movie for New Year's Eve. Happy 2019!

  2. This looks like such a wonderful Christmas week! The joy and happiness in your families expression speaks for itself :) those ritz ornaments are such a cute idea too! Yum!

  3. Good stuff!! I always enjoy your holiday recaps. :) We also tacked on Mary Poppins returns at the end of our Tennessee Christmas - I won't spoil it at all for you so that's all I'll say. :)

  4. What sweet, sweet memories you have made over the last few days. My heart smiled as I read your blog. Blessings abundant in 2019!!!

  5. I was going to be really upset that you came to KS without telling me but we were out of town. Were you at the oak park mall? I live 2 minutes from there!

  6. What a wonderful and fun Christmas!! Happy New Year to you and your family!


I would love to hear from you today! I enjoy reading each and every comment I receive. (I do moderate them before they're published. Gotta keep it family friendly! ;)) Let's chat! B.Y.O.C. {Bring Your Own Chocolate!}