Sunday, January 11, 2015

Christmas Break

Andrew and I are alike in so many ways. However, we are very different in how we would choose to spend our vacations. I am a goer. I like to explore and have adventures and fill every minute up. Andrew is more of a homebody. And a relaxer. Over the years, we've discovered that we balance each other out well.

This Christmas break was an Andrew-style vacation. LOTS of hanging out, relaxing, and sleeping in. We LOVED it. It was REALLY hard to go back to normal routines after enjoying sweet laid-back family time for so long.


The school district had a special on Hornets tickets. They weren't super cheap, but when we found out that we could watch the Jazz play on a Saturday night, we decided to go for it. We used to go to Bobcats games as a family every once in a while, but hadn't been to an NBA game in a couple of years, so we were excited.

Uptown Charlotte is a happening place.
The missionaries know where to share their message.

Look at these fun Christmas lights.
Andrew said they reminded him of a mini Temple Square.

At the arena

Enjoying the game.
The girls were not so thrilled about watching basketball.
We told them to trust would be fun.

We were right. 
They had a great time.

Part of the package with buying tickets through the school
was that we got our picture taken on the court afterward.
Very cool.

Awesome jumping picture.

(No real gingerbread was involved in the making of these houses.)
We had to let some of our traditions go last year while Andrew
was recuperating from surgery. We were glad to add this one back into the mix.

B made Iron Man's hangout--Stark Tower

Andrew did an amazingly accurate replica
of his post-surgery spine.

Whitney piled on as much candy as possible.

Caroline decorated hers all by herself.
I was impressed!
Especially with her snowman
and her mailbox on the left side.

My simple, cute little house.


I had three great helpers in the kitchen
to make our Christmas goodies.

We assembled plates and delivered to some friends.
Andrew and the kids would say we delivered way too many.
I think it took us four hours.
I loved it, though.
So fun to wish our loved ones Merry Christmas in person.

The kids even got some early presents while we were out!

We got home in time to start making our big Christmas Eve dinner!
The kids decided we needed to use every single candle in the house. hazard?

A family favorite:  the crab legs!!

MY favorite: artichokes!

Martinelli's toast.

Sibling gifts.
Love this tradition of letting them open their gifts
to each other the night before.

I love seeing them serve each other.

Care Bear's gift of Crunch Berries for her
brother who eats 4 bowls of cereal a day was perfect!



The stockings were sitting on the sofa with care

Ready for gifts!

So, so fun.

Kelly and Tom had us over for brunch on this beautiful Christmas morning.
We ate creme brulee french toast. Decadent.


We got some fun new games for Christmas and spent 
quality time playing all of them.
We slept in, hung out, and played together all day.
7 Wonders (my new favorite)


Pass the Pigs


Ryan, Destinee, and their kids came to spend New Year's with us.
We love their family!
The girls put on a sketch comedy show for us.

We visited the science center together.

The tigers were super active.

They have an albino peacock we had never seen.

We got to feed the goats.

Love the big shark tank,
but eels creep me out when they swim.

Ringing in the new year
a couple of hours early with the kiddos.
Happy 2015!
These recorders seemed like a good idea...
for about three seconds.

The adults stayed up late and played games until midnight...
then ended up talking until 2:30 am.
Haven't pulled a night that late in a LONG time.

The weather was nice enough to sneak in one trip to the park.

We brought a volleyball and played pepper.
I miss volleyball! It's so fun!

B introduced the girls to Star Wars over the break.
We've had many a lightsaber duel.
Poor Andrew lost his legs in this one.

Grateful that Andrew-style vacations give us time to just enjoy each other and the moments that we share.


  1. You guys sure were busy! I love the siblings gift idea. So fun!

  2. First of all, I pity the poor eel. Andrea, you are the lover of life extraordinairre (sp) and I can't remember the last time you said something negative; however, there it is, eels kinda creep you out when they swim! It was so fun to read about everything and loved the gingerbread houses and Christmas eve and morning traditions and all of your games. Miss you and love you tons! XO Mom S