Hello! Happy New Year! Hope you had a top notch holiday and a wonderful New Year. We sure did. I'll tackle our NYE recap in next week's Weekend Recap, but in the meantime we have lots to share from our week back home in Kansas.
Here are a few photos from our Christmases with family...
After a rocky start - Why did we decide to take a 7 am flight? Why did our cab driver not know how to get to the airport? WHY did Newark decide to have only one metal detector for 1,000 people? - The three of us made it to Kansas City in time for a barbecue lunch.
|^^ Lily does so well when we travel. She stays in her carrier and waits in line with us.|
|^^ This is how she rides in cars. The entire time. She loves her Deacon and Retta.|
|^^ Joe's BBQ. Burnt Ends yessssssssss.|
That night we attended the wedding of our dear friends Kevin and Sarah. It was a great way to see some of our Kansas City friends and two watch two tremendously good people get hitched.
And we can't be out in Kansas City and not see my favorite sister. This is just after she told all her friends to put their drinks on our tab. Love ya long time, Em!
The next day we were headed to Lawrence for five days and several family Christmas celebrations. The first of the festivities was with my favorite little faces - my aunt, uncle, cousins, and my cousin Allison's children, Luke and Grace. Look how big they are now! Seriously though, the sweetest, most well behaved, most loving little kids. I love every second I get to spend with them (especially playing with Barbie cars and/or Legos☺).
And a warning - don't leave your phone unattended with these two. So many selfies.
The following day was one of my favorites. I got up early to hang out and cook with my mom. I love creeping upstairs when the sun is just coming up to find my mom putting on the coffee and turning on The Today Show. And for a few hours it's just us (and the dogs) - a stolen moment in the chaos of Christmas week.
We spent the day cooking lasagna (this recipe that literally took all day but it is so worth it) to have that night when Al's parents came over for dinner.
Some extra time before The Roses arrived - perfect time for a festive photo shoot!
^^ My mom's Christmas decorations are incredible. Every last corner of the house is Christmasy. Love it!
|^^ These two are always up to no good.|
|^^ Season's greetings from Emily and the dogs! Lily's eyes... ha|
|^^ So much love. All the girls of the family.|
|^^ These two are just the cutest. Happy to welcome Penny the puppy to the fam this year!|
We had such a fun dinner with Al's parents. So glad Deacon and Retta could make it for dinner! Thanks to my darling and gracious mother for hosting!
Day four of our time at home was a free day. We spent most of the day wrapping gifts and taking the dogs on a walk with my dad & Melanie. Dinner was Mexican food of course (my family's favorite) at the new Mi Ranchito in Lawrence. Presidente margaritas for all!
|^^ Do you like my new fake hair ponytail accessory? They're all the rage in Kansas. (It's a plant, y'all.)|
There is only one thing women in my family do after two jumbo margaritas. Okay, well actually there are two options - we either sleep...or we dance (in our pajamas). This is our normal. And I love it.
^^ Next Christmas I'd like a pair of longer pajama pants please.
We celebrated Christmas Eve during the day with my dad & Melanie. Mel made a ridiculous amount of crepes and we ate and ate and ate, opened gifts, visited with grandma and generally had a very festive and heartwarming time.
|^^ Isn't my grandma is beautiful? She is still as sharp as ever. 80 years old, nearly blind and she still uses an ipad, takes the bus, and works out!|
|^^ Nutella crepes are the best kind of crepes.|
I am so proud of my step sister, Chara. She used her Christmas bonus and reached out to family and friends to raise enough money to buy Christmas presents for families staying at the homeless shelter. We drove out to the shelter to drop off the gifts and I can't even explain the feeling knowing Chara's work was able to help so many who would have had nothing on Christmas morning without her. God bless you sweet, Chara!
Poor Lily girl was out of sorts on Christmas eve. She scratched her cornea playing with Penny and was on some pain meds and eye drops. She burrowed all night in my mom's chair while we ate steak soup, prepped the cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning and waited for my step brother, Lorenzo, to arrive.
And finally it was Christmas morning!
|^^ Le Creuset for everyone! Look how happy she is!|
And one of all the Loyd-Ricketts kids. Love these people.
Three Christmases down, one to go. We headed off to Kansas City for a few days with Al's fam. And I drove! I truthfully haven't driven once in the past seven years. Obviously, I crushed it. Like riding a bike.
Lily was excited to get back to her fenced yard. Our time at the Rose's is spent letting her in and out from the back yard every ten minutes.
She also gets held a lot by Retta. This dog is so loved.
We had a great Christmas evening with Al's family where we all regetrably failed to take a single photo. But we did work on our scratchers tickets (btw, since when did scratchers come with such complicated instructions!?!)
And after a weekend of eating, napping on the best couch ever (Retta's couch is SO comfy), and watching movies with The Roses, we packed it all up and headed back to the big apple.
Thank you to all of our family members who made our trip home one for the books. Al, Lily, and I are blessed to come from families that provide unconditional love and support (with a side of killer dance moves).
I hope you had a spectacular holiday and a very sparkly new year!