christmas eve turnaround.

by Janetha on December 27, 2011

in family time,love life,meals

hey there! it’s already monday night–how quickly those long weekends slip away, right? especially when packed with family fun and pain killers…

a lot has happened this weekend, so i have to break christmas eve and christmas day into two posts. i will try to be as brief as possible.. but you all know how long winded i can be!

so, i left off with my broken nose story from christmas eve.  thank you all for your kind comments and well wishes, i am healing up nicely.

despite the crappy start to my christmas eve, things really turned around and it was a fantastic night.

after going home from the hospital, taking some lortabs, and getting a bit of rest.. i decided to venture out to the grocery store with my family to participate in our annual christmas eve tradition. each and every year, we buy groceries for a family in need. my parents have been doing this since 1976! which means this was my 28th year of grocery giving.

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we were shopping for a family of four–the parents have two teenagers, a boy and a girl. they receive staple grocery items like flour, eggs, sugar, etc from the church, so this was more of a “fun food items” shopping spree. we wandered down the aisles picking foods out that we thought the family would enjoy.

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ben was a good helper!

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not everyone from the fam was at the store–some of the members stayed behind to finish up dinner prep, watch after the littler kiddos, and hang out with the dogs so they didn’t get into trouble.

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once we had a full cart, it was time to check out and then it was off to deliver the groceries!

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i stayed in the car for the delivery since i was feeling a little drugged up.

we went home for dinner. christmas eve dinner has ALWAYS included my mom’s homemade clam chowder, and over the years we have made it more of a spread of appetizers and small bites plus the clam chowder.. and broccoli cheese soup for those who don’t like clam chowder.

there was a little bit of prep to be done before dinner was ready. i delegated the bacon wrapped stuffed dates to my siblings (due to my accident) but i did muster up the energy to make the other two items i had planned on–phyllo wrapped asparagus with prosciutto and whipped cream fruit salad.

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penny and randy were on crumb patrol–wouldn’t want anything to fall to the floor and go to waste!

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once everything was ready, we didn’t waste any time before digging in!

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the spread was possibly the best one yet!

bacon wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese & pecans and cream cheese covered with homemade cranberry salsa (served with chips and crackers.)

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spinach artichoke dip, buffalo chicken dip, and clam dip (all served with bread, crackers, and veggies.)

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whipped cream fruit salad and shrimp with cocktail sauce.

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phyllo wrapped asparagus with prosciutto and homemade wassail.

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the main courses: momma b’s clam chowder and broccoli cheese soup.

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treats included pumpkin pie, homemade caramels, and three kinds of cookies i made friday night: chocolate mint chip, pumpkin gingersnap, and biscoff oatmeal. all three recipes were found on two peas and their pod’s blog.

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we ate.. and ate.. and ate some more. i think i had a total of three plates?

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the food was good, but the company was better!

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after dinner, we hung out and let our food digest a bit.

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my dad taught my nephews how to play pool.. after just one lesson, they are probably better than i am.

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penny and randy were on their BEST behavior all night. good kiddos.

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we managed to get a shot of all the grandkids–minus jake, who was at his mom’s.

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i was super jealous of the owl PJs!

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because our family is getting bigger and bigger and there are lots of obligations on christmas day, we opted to open gifts on christmas eve. this was something new for us, but it worked out really well because we weren’t stressed to get it over with quickly.

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it was pretty freaking chaotic! items of note included a packers tie for marshall and purple houndstooth toms for me.

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but the ultimate highlight was the last gift i opened.. it seriously made my night (and made me bawl like a baby…)

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my mom went and found a few of my favorite childhood toys (that i talked about in this post) including pound puppies, koosh balls, and sylvanians. she even found a miniature replica of the orange trunk we stored the toys in when i was a kid. wow, momma b really outdid herself with this gift.

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the night ended with pumpkin pie and fresh whipped cream. penny and randy may or may not have gotten in on the pie action.

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hmm.. this probably contributes to their bad behavior juuust a bit.

it was a PERFECT christmas eve.. despite my broken face.

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whelp, back to work for me in the morning! boo. if you are heading to work yourself, best of luck getting back into work-mode. i know it’s always tough for me to get back in the zone after a long holiday weekend.

be back tomorrow AM for a fun announcement & giveaway and then later on for a christmas day recap and dedicated december winner and update. sorry i’ve been so slow with all this.. life happened.

xo. janetha g.

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Mary (A Merry Life) December 27, 2011 at 1:02 am

Aww, looks like a great time! Momma B is a great gift giver… that sounds like the coolest present.

Good luck going back to work and getting into the swing of things. I’m not looking forward to it personally. ;)

Erica December 27, 2011 at 3:55 am

How fun! I love love love that you all adopt a family! We adopted a little girl and got her clothing. The food looks awesome- especially the whipped cream fruit salad. What a thoughtful gift from your Mama!

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 27, 2011 at 4:21 am

What a thoughtful gift from your mom with the childhood toys…that’s so sweet!

And glad you’re feeling a bit better and that you enjoyed family time and Christmas cheer with your family :)

Lauren December 27, 2011 at 5:23 am

I love that you and your family do that tradition together. :)
Christmas looked wonderful. Love the spread!

Lauren @ What Lauren Likes December 27, 2011 at 5:42 am

What an amazing Christmas! Those owl pj’s are amazing :)

Heather (Heather's Dish) December 27, 2011 at 6:01 am

i’m so glad you’re feeling better and had a great feast with your family…i want to come next year! :) it just all looks so delicious!

Brynne December 27, 2011 at 6:06 am

Merry late Christmas! Your broken face looks beautiful and I really just have to say what absolutely beautiful nieces and nephews you have. They’re all just too cute for words!

Missy December 27, 2011 at 6:46 am

Momma B is the best! Looks like you had a redeeming day after all (and I am so glad since it began so terribly!) But y’all are even now – you made her cry with your gift on her birthday and she made you cry with those great nostalgic gifts!
So glad you had such a great Christmas with family – those are best memories ever.

Meg December 27, 2011 at 7:03 am

Can you tell me your secret to looking like a movie star always, even with a broken nose? Seriously. So glad your evening turned out to be awesome regardless of the earlier happenings, optimism! Bam!

Merry Christmas, so happy all is well :)

Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning December 27, 2011 at 7:43 am

Oh, man- I’m so behind! I can’t believe what happened to you- I hope you’re hanging in there! I have to say though- semi-black eye and all- you still look beautiful- like amazingly so! (You always do)
I love the photos from Christmas- your family looks amazing. And I especially love the family photo with you, Marshall and the pups. :)
Oh- and bacon wrapped stuffed dates sound like they might be the best food idea ever.

Sami December 27, 2011 at 7:47 am

You NEED a pair of those owl pjs! ;) i’m so glad your Christmas turned out wonderfully. Momma B sure knows her little girl!

xo.

Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile December 27, 2011 at 7:52 am

I absolutely love the idea of grocery shopping for a family in need. I’m glad you had a fantastic Christmas eve despite what you went through! Love that gift, so cute!

lynn @ the actor's diet December 27, 2011 at 8:33 am

argh so sorry about your nose, babe. your family get togethers always look so epic. i want to marry you.

kara December 27, 2011 at 8:33 am

aw! okay
1. i love your shopping and giving tradition and if i ever (hopefully) have a family of my own, i will definitely steal that idea.
2. my family always opens gifts on christmas eve.. its a fun cousins thing we do. not ‘santa’ gifts, just from aunts and uncles and cousins. i’m all for this!
3. glad you were able to enjoy the eve! looks like it was tons of fun. :)

Nicole C December 27, 2011 at 8:47 am

What a fun Christmas Eve! So sorry about your nose :( I got your e-mail late and felt so bad. On the plus side, your Mom’s gift were awesome so I am sure that helped you feel better. :)

fittingbackin December 27, 2011 at 8:48 am

What a wonderful family tradition! I want those owl PJs. Look at all of those kiddos! you have the cutest family!

Bonnie December 27, 2011 at 9:11 am

LOVE your big family and intentional times together! How fun…and what an extremely thoughtful gift from you mom especially! :D Love the purple Toms…a pair of those should have been on my list – get a pair, give a pair, and they’re super cute. :D Your nieces and nephews are so cute…glad you’re feeling well enough to work! Hope that transition back goes as smoothly as possible.

TeriLyn [a foodie stays fit] December 27, 2011 at 9:25 am

I’m sad we didn’t get to see each other on this trip! But I’m glad you are OK given everything and know that I’m thinking of ya! love ya girl.

Lindsay @ Lindsay's List December 27, 2011 at 10:05 am

Why have I never noticed that Marshall has his palms tattooed? Did that hurt?

Kimberly December 27, 2011 at 10:19 am

awe – it looks like you had a great Christmas, girl! Look at all of those grandbabies!! wow!

you look beautiful, Janetha. I hope you are feeling better.

Cat @Breakfast to Bed December 27, 2011 at 10:41 am

we had those dates too, some sans bacon. I could eat every one of them.

Amanda December 27, 2011 at 11:43 am

is it bad that I cried when I saw Momma B’s gift? Because I most certainly did. How sweet is she?

The kiddos in their pjs. Too sweet.

You look pretty good, I’d never know you broke your nose in these pics.

momma b. December 27, 2011 at 11:59 am

It was a wonderful Christmas! You are such a doll….black eye and all! Thanks for ALL you do for our family!

Glad you enjoyed the “orange” trunk…..it was fun to recreate!

I love you!
xo

Christin@purplebirdblog December 27, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Loving the kiddos in their matching PJs. I picked myself up some owl PJs (matching top and bottoms) from Target as a Christmas gift to myself and I freakin’ love them. Glad you’re feeling better, pretty lady!

SweatyGirl December 27, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Randy’s face in that last picture KILLS ME!
Gah!

My pups love whipped cream too :-) So cute!

Tina @ Best Body Fitness December 27, 2011 at 2:06 pm

I love that grocery tradition. So awesome! And I hope you continue to feel better. I couldn’t believe when I read about the accident. :(

Calee December 27, 2011 at 2:59 pm

two quick things: I have been loving those shoes and need to replace my super sad skully vans (pink skulls … from 2005). I might have to get them finally with my christmas $ …

also, I used to have a pound puppy I carted around IN MY MOUTH when I was about 2. It had no tail … because I chewed it off.

sarah (sarah learns) December 27, 2011 at 4:01 pm

wow janetha – all of your christmas eve food looks amazing! i just got back to our apartment and am so bummed that we don’t have a fridge full of christmas leftovers…

what an awesome present from momma b!!

and we do the same thing with our dogs. every time we feed them off of our plates, we say something like “we probably shouldn’t do this” and then we do it anyway.

Errign December 27, 2011 at 4:24 pm

I’m glad you had great holiday festivities, even with your accident that morning! I must admit i’m a little jealous, since I didn’t do ANYTHING for Christmas besides work a ten hour day! We didn’t have a tree or anything this year – land!

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