I was a little worried late last week that Eric would have to work over the holiday. Such is lawyer life, right? But, it was a Christmas miracle! No work for Eric! So we were able to enjoy the entire weekend together free of closing deals or drafting documents or whatever it is he does at work into all hours of the night during the busy times. Thanks, Santa!
Christmas Eve was a rather quiet day at home. Eric prepared his sauce for our Christmas lasagna, and also took a break to run out and get me Christmas cookies. Honestly, how sweet is that? He knew I was missing all the cookies/candy we always have at my grandfather's house in Cleveland at Christmas - ginger snaps, chocolate covered pretzels, sugar cookies, lebkuchen, peanut butter cups...oh, yum. So, he went out and got me some cookies. Eric is sweet and awesome.
That evening we went to the candlelight Christmas service at a local Lutheran church. Before we left, we took our Christmas pictures in all our holiday finery.
Our Christmas family
I couldn't resist a belly pic by the tree!
It was a wonderful service, complete with lots of carols. I feel like every year I am disappointed in Christmas Eve church services for their lack of carols, but this one did not disappoint. We practically sang 'em all, including (of course) "Silent Night" by candlelight. The service ended with a rousing "Joy to the World," too. Then we walked back home for the rest of our Christmas Evening.
All weekend, the Empire State Building was lit for both Hanukkah and Christmas!
When we got back home, we exchanged our ornaments. Eric and I get each other ornaments every Christmas, which is one way our tree has come to be totally personalized. Eric is an awesome ornament giver, too, so there's always a lot of pressure. This year, he got me a very pretty "Hope" ornament, and I got him a Batman-themed ornament: I found a Gotham PD patch online, just like the one he wore as an extra in the new Batman movie, and turned it into an ornament. It was a good ornament year!
Showing off our new ornaments (Achilles is very interested)
Then we snapped some Christmas photos of the dog, raiding his tray of "gingerbread men" (rawhide treats):
Boy oh boy, is he ever ready for us to have a baby to dress up and photograph and get him off the hook.
Our tree on Christmas morning
Get in there, Achilles! You can do it! (Also, how great are his Christmas pajamas?)
Then it was our turn. I must say,
Diamond earrings and new perfume!
My new purse, and Eric with a few of his gifts (jersey, flying shark and lightsaber chopsticks)
Speaking of Baby Girl, we did allow ourselves to get her one small present this year: a little plush Pooh Bear. I think she likes it already!
Pooh Bear under the tree
Yeah, she likes it.
Poor Achilles lost interest in all the festivity after his stocking, and took to just laying around looking pathetic.
Christmas is a very difficult time in the life of this dog, apparently.
He did like laying on the wrapping paper, at least.
We also got some really great gifts from family, including clothes for both baby and me from my mom (but those all came early!), an adorable baby book from my sister, and our stroller from my dad! We put that bad boy together right away and had Achilles help us test it out.
Eric setting up the stroller, and Achilles and me modeling it. What do you think? Nice, right?
(I researched the living daylights out of strollers for a about a solid month, and we settled on the 2011 City Mini in purple and gray. It's so nice to finally have it here, after all my stressing and research!)
Achilles definitely approves of our stroller choice. He was perfectly happy to go for a ride - so much so that I worry a little that he now thinks we bought him an awesome device to push him around in. Later that day, he also discovered the basket underneath the stroller:
He does like a nice confined space, but how did he even think to climb in there?!
We spent the rest of the day relaxing at home. We made all our family phone calls, and Skyped with most of Eric's family in the afternoon. It was so great to see everyone! We also snacked on our usual cheese, crackers, sausage and shrimp cocktail. (And Christmas candy/cookies, of course!)
Eric was so excited about his lightsaber chopsticks, he ate his Raisinettes with them. Now those are some impressive chopstick-ing skills.
That evening we had our delicious Christmas meal: Eric's lasagna. Lasagna on Christmas is a tradition we adopted from Eric's family, and I must say, I am a fan. His hard work on the sauce and the lasagna itself does not go unnoticed! Especially this year, by this carb-loving pregnant lady. I kind of wanted to just stick my whole face right into that lasagna pan.
We spent the rest of the night relaxing and watching movies. What a nice day!
We did continue our celebration into the 26th, when we went out to Succasunna for Eric's uncle's annual Christmas party. We were able to see Eric's uncle, aunt and cousins, which was great - they're such nice people! We had a wonderful time at their party! Unfortunately, we didn't take any pictures, so you'll just have to take my word for it, but it's true. Also unfortunately, when it was time to come home, our cab driver got lost on the way to the train station, causing us to miss our train, which meant standing outside in the cold on the platform for an hour until the next train. That train also gave us a 40-minute wait time when we had to transfer in Secaucus, so we got home about two hours later than planned. Good times. Other than that, though, it was a lovely evening!
And that was our Christmas! Quiet, yes, but so nice. I also assume this will be our last quiet Christmas, as next year we'll have a nine-month-old baby to share it with. I'm already so excited to have her here next Christmas. Things will be very different! I can't wait!