christmas recap

Now that we're back in New York and finally unpacking, laundering, and getting back to reality, I figured it is time to recap our amazing week back home in Kansas for Christmas.  We were able to see a lot of both of our extended families at a reasonable pace (last year was nuts!) and I'm so fortunate that all of our family members are so accommodating of our schedule and time when we're back home.  Now for the (many) photos and memories...

The night before I was feeling completely overwhelmed.  We had to pack for two climates (which meant getting in to my space bagged summer clothes), finish wrapping, and do laundry.  Thanks to Al's amaing help we did it all and still managed a few hours of sleep.  And I didn't mind it too much once I looked at the darling Lily wrapping paper I created on Minted.  I think I should see if Papyrus will sell this or something.  ;) 

And we quickly exchanged our gifts to each other mid-packing.  We both got electronics for Christmas from each other, but we both had the same idea to get a little something extra too. A beautiful leather camera bag for me from Al and he received a watercolor of our 'spot' at Shake Shack.  Both very thoughtful gifts, I think. 

The next day started out just as chaotic.  When we arrived at Newark it was a sea of people. Apparently we were in the international terminal and not the domestic terminal for United flights (how I ended up in the wrong place still bothers me, I pride myself on paying attention to details such as that when travelling) and it was a madhouse.  Even after taking the little tram to the correct terminal we were surrounded by people who seemed to have never experienced an airport before.  Families yelling at each other, people not understanding how lines work, piles of suitcases all over the place.  All Al and I could do was laugh at how un-Christmsas-like the whole experience was.  As we ran to our plane, making it just before the doors closed, we both looked at each other with the understanding that our bags would definitely not make the flight.  And we were right.  Once in KC, Lily kept her eye out for them though.

Made it to Al's parent's house just in time for the end of KU vs. Georgetown game.  And Lily took her spot by the fire almost immediately. 

Our bags didn't arrive until three am the next day due to the ice storm in Kansas City.  That meant that I got to wear Al's high school baseball sweats the rest of the day and night. So comfy.

Ice storm turned snow storm.  Still without our luggage, we raided the old ski clothes and played around outside in the snow.  We thought Lily would like it but she was pretty much over it after 5 minutes.

^^ The tallest snow angel I've ever seen.

That weekend I was finally reunited with Cassidy who was back from Singapore for the holidays.  Two fun showers back to back.  It was great to see friends from college and to wind up the excitement for their June wedding!

Also spent some time on the plaza shopping with my sister.  Love the lights at Christmas time.  And I still can't believe that Halls is leaving the plaza.

And it wouldn't be a trip to KC without some Jack Stack BBQ (shout to Tanners for the cup)!

Al volunteered to help me finish wrapping before Christmas Eve.  This is him helping...

Christmas eve we went to lunch at Cafe Provence with Al's parents and remembered our time in France this summer.  Such a cute place and the food was spot on.
^^ French Onion Soup from Cafe Provence.  I drool.

Later that night we went to the candlelight Christmas Eve service at church.  It is a beautiful site to see the entire room aglow in light.  Such feelings of hope, love, and good will.

Christmas morning we were off to Lawrence for Christmas with my dad and Melanie.  A white Christmas with the entire family (dogs included).  So special. 

And, in true form for my father, I received the Duck Dynasty cook book.  Not surprising coming from the man who ships his own beef to me before he visits. ;) 

And one quick one of my step-sister's dog (she breeds the puppies!).  I think it looks like a human in a dog costume.  Such long legs compared to our stout little Lily girl.  And that scarf? Love.

So glad that the grandmas were there too.  A very memorable Christmas, for sure.

And we finished the merriment at my mom and Carl's on Christmas night.  

Wine, jammies, and talks with my mamma...

...while Em and Lil hung out.
^^ Lil is so judging your phone usage, Em.

And the last day of our time in Kansas was spent seeing my darling second-cousins (that term seems so distant - they are more like my niece and nephew), my cousins, and my aunt and uncle.  The perfect end to our family tour.

The most precious ballerina and her matching American Girl doll she named Nancy. :)  (And I love that American Girl dolls are still cool!)

I can't even begin to tell you how well-behaved, smart, and sweet these two kids are.  Oh how I wish I could be with them more often.

And then just like that it was time to pack up and say adios to the cold, snow, and ice and go to Mexico!!

Every time we go home I get an overwhelming feeling in my  heart about just how lucky we are to come from such kind, loving, and hilarious people.  Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how I feel about our families.  The best people I know.  Thanks for a very special five days!


P.S.  Mexico recap to come next!
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