Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmastime 2012 Highlights

Merry Christmastime!! (It applies until January, right?) I hope your Christmas has been wonderful! Mine has been very blessed, indeed.
 
 
Disclaimer: Ever since I got my iPhone for Christmas last year, I've been highly dependent on it for my photos and have, therefore, been negligent with my real camera and bad at taking a good amount of pictures. So, since Instagram has become my more consistent form of mini-blogging, I'll just share the images that I highlighted as they occurred throughout the season.
 
The week before Christmas, Matthew and Heather joined us at the historic Ryman Auditorium for Andrew Peterson's "Behold The Lamb of God" concert.
 
 
The tag line for the show is "The true tall tale of the coming of Christ." Within the concert, they tell the whole story of the Bible in song, from the creation to Jesus' coming and including His crucifixion and resurrection. It's awesome, and a great way to put the focus on Christ at Christmas.

 
And it was so cool to see so many amazing artists and musicians on one stage coming together to proclaim the Good News.

 
Moving on to other highlights, Brad and I won 1st place in our neighborhood's home decorating contest. Again. Holla! We already have big plans to up the ante next year.

 
This year, I bought some Scentsicles to make our artificial tree smell more like a real one. They're scented ornaments that are just fragrance-infused sticks which blend into tree, allowing you to "smell the real smelling smell of a real tree" without seeing the true source. I loved it.

 
We personalized our annual ornament to add to our growing collection. We also (secretly) backlogged one from 2006, which is the only year of our marriage that we failed to commemorate with an ornament. It has been bothering me for six years each time I trimmed our Christmas tree and strolled back down memory lane. I figured if we could get one unique to that year, it wouldn't really be cheating. So we snuck one in honoring our college graduation. Now we officially have an ornament for each year, and in the future, nobody is any the wiser. Trick, trick. Well, except all of you guys. But, shhhh.

 
Brad's family came down early to celebrate the holiday. I didn't take any photos (oops), but here's one that Matthew took of the aftermath. Jeremy got a toy train set, and their dad got a remote controlled helicopter. For not having any children in the family, we still represent the toys!
 
 
While his family was in town, we all went to the Belcourt Theater, which is this old, historic movie theater that plays mostly independent films, classics, or movies with cult followings. We saw one of my Christmas favorites, "Home Alone." It was so much fun to watch such a familiar movie with a large audience. Every time something hilariously unfortunate happened to those darned Wet Bandits and I heard the innocent laughter of children (and adults) all around me, my heart was filled with even more Christmas joy. And I may or may not have taken a picture of the title art as it appeared on the big screen. I hope I don't get arrested for copyright infringement!
 
 
Later in the week, Bradley and I spent an evening in our car driving around town and looking at Christmas lights while we drank some warm coffee. I do love memories like these.

 
We didn't see any of my family this holiday, but we did ship gifts back and forth. My parents let this beauty appear on our doorstep! With their encouragement, we opened it before Christmas morning, and we are so glad we did! We used it to make a couple batches of Brad's delicious eggnog.

 
We kicked off Christmas Eve by going back to the Belcourt Theater to watch "It's A Wonderful Life." They host multiple daily showings of this Christmas Classic every year during the week leading up to the holiday. It may become one of our annual traditions. Watching movies at home without an auditorium full of other film lovers just seems so boring now.

 
When we got home, we swapped our gifts of Christmas PJs, made some cookies from scratch (We seriously love that mixer!), and waited for Santa to come.

 
Christmas Eve just isn't Christmas Eve without a reading of "The Night Before Christmas."

 
Nor would it be complete without boarding the Polar Express!
 

Christmas morning we woke up as a family and exchanged stockings.
 

Chester was anxious to dig into his. I think he was irritated that he could smell bones and treats in the bottom, but he couldn't get to them easily. Even though the sock monkey was initially tossed aside to get to the tasty goodies, he has since played with it a lot. It's actually already missing an ear. Oops.

 
Then we had our traditional Christmas morning breakfast of cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate. Brad tried to make a batch from scratch, but he accidentally killed the yeast and the dough didn't rise. (Yeast is so finicky!) Luckily, we had a tube of Pillsbury on hand. That's still homemade in my book.

 
Later Christmas morning, we finally got to the (other) main event of the day: "Les Miserables"! We had both been so looking forward to this film release, and we were not disappointed. Seriously, go see it. It's amazing. Such great acting and singing and storytelling and visual cinematography!

 
That evening, we had Hill Ridge over for Christmas dinner. With Publix' help, Brad perfectly roasted a ham, and I baked a couple casseroles. Our friends brought over some other side dishes, and we topped off the meal with sparkling grape juice. Oh, and Brad mastered the yeast and made some awesome rolls from scratch. I was thrilled to not only get to spend a great Christmas dinner with our best friends, but also to set my table with my new Christmas dishes!

 
After that, there was nothing else to do but settle in and finish this year's Christmas puzzle.
 

I sure do love Christmastime. I can't wait to finally have children to share all of our traditions with. 
 
How was your Christmas holiday season??

5 comments:

Bobbi and Gracie said...

The concert sounds like it was great! So many nice pictures here and it looks like a good time was had by all! We went to see that movie on Christmas day .. it was really good. Tell your husband not to feel badly... my husband was in charge of the bread that would go with our lasagna for Christmas dinner, and it did not rise.. would not rise.. refused to rise! He baked it anyway and it ended up in the trash. lol

harleygirl said...

Your house looks so pretty! :) And I had to laugh about your doggie's stocking...mine was also mad because he could smell treats in the hidden stash of presents for my boys...we thought he was going to give it away! ha, ha. Happy New Year!

Brandi said...

Wow, you really made the most of the holiday season. You and your husband did so many fun things together. Hope you have a wonderful New Year!!

Ciara said...

Mindy, your Christmas festivities look amazing! Chester is tooooo cute! Hope the New Year brings you everything you wish for :)

Ciara @ http://somedaysarediamonds1.blogspot.com/

STEPHANIE SMITH said...

A. You are my Christmas guru - everything you do is awesome!
B. you're hair looks extra awesome in that Christmas morning picture
C. I am jealous of that fancy mixer

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