As we headed home for the holidays with a car packed full of gifts, Brian and I were really looking forward to 10 days away from home, away from the office (I was off 14), and to spending time with family and friends.
Our Christmas engagement was exciting news but we were also looking forward to the downtime of not thinking about wedding details (or so we thought).
A Christmas engagement will often end up meaning you are going to talk a lot about your wedding, even if you just saw everyone at Thanksgiving. For me, I was planning on asking the 4 remaining friends to join my bride tribe and I could not wait! Brian and I were also asking our ring bearers and flower girl to stand with us on our special day so there was a lot to be excited about. Thankfully though, all of those ask gifts were safely packed away in the back of the car and all we had to do was wait for the right moment to ask.
Christmas in Corning
We were heading to my mom’s house first on Friday the 22nd, it was also my step-brothers 21st birthday so we had big dinner plans. We enjoyed Habachi and no wedding talk which was great as the focus was on Ben for the night.
The next morning, I was super excited because just like our Thanksgiving Day workout our team was having a Christmas weekend accountability workout and I was up to crush it. It was Day 20 of 21 Day Fix Extreme (my last hard work out) and Day 4 of A Little Obsessed (the teaser workout of the program launching on January 15th). Both were awesome and having the team to motivate me throughout was tremendous. I seriously can’t tell you what having a team and community like the one I have has done for me in the last 6 months and I can’t wait to see where it will go from here.
The Force was With Us
After mixing up a shake, chatting with my mom for a bit and just relaxing, it was off to dinner and a movie with Brian and my dad and his. We planned to see Star Wars and grab drinks and BBQ afterward. This would be the first time our dads really had the chance to talk and we didn’t know how that would go. Seeing Star Wars with my dad has been one of our traditions so we thought it would be fun to bring Brian’s dad along too.
Thankfully, there weren’t too many awkward moments, we talked about the wedding a bit, discussed the highs and lows of the movie, and just enjoyed each other’s company. After saying goodbye it was back to Corning we went, after all, it was Christmas Eve Eve!
Christmas Engagement – Eve
Christmas Eve is one of my favorite nights of the holiday season. My family used to go to church and then have apps back at the house with family and friends. In recent years, that has turned into the same meal (apps and cookies) with the added bonus of alcohol and games. Plus, every Christmas Eve we get a pair of Christmas Pajamas. This year, was the Year of the Penguin.
This year we played a game with booze, chocolate, and lotto tickets wrapped in cellophane. You also had to wear oven mitts. This was a ton of fun and the videos are hilarious to watch. My sister was caught stealing my chocolate in one of the videos.
After the fun and games with the parents, my siblings and I ended the night with our annual game of pong before heading to bed before the BIG and busy day that was ahead of us.
Christmas Day Marathon
Christmas is always a very busy day for Brian and I. We spend Christmas morning with my mom and then we head to Ithaca to spend Christmas Day with my Dad, Nana, and Aunts. Then we are off to Auburn for Christmas night with Brian’s mom. It can often feel like a whirlwind but it is worth it to be able to spend time with everyone.
Plus, I had a special question to ask my sister while we opened gifts; as well as, Matilda, my younger cousin. But you can read about that soon in my Ask post!
This year was special to be able to see everyone and it felt pretty even when it came to time. I think this is the first year we were actually on time with everything!
The Holiday Goes On
On the 26th, we had Brian’s family Christmas. It was nice to be able to enjoy games and a meal with them before heading out to catch up with friends. Having such a large family, it is hard to be able to spend equal time with everyone. It has gotten so hard that I haven’t been able to see any of my friends over the holidays because of all the time on the road.
This year, I made sure that I was not going to miss the opportunity to see my teammates from school because I had a huge question to ask them! I had asked my sister the day before and now it was time to complete the squad. You will be able to read all about when I asked all my girls very soon! But for now, Mal, Jess, and Kayla and I had an amazing time catching up over drinks and wings and they were totally surprised.
On the 27th, it has been my tradition to visit my Nana and family for the afternoon. It is nice to be able to have conversations while they are all in town without having to worry about leaving to go to another Christmas. My dad wasn’t able to come this year but it was a great time all around. I value my time with my family so much that it means the world to me to be able to use this day as an extra treat.
We talked a lot about the wedding and where we were in the planning process and I promised to keep them in the loop when it came time to book rooms.
My mom’s birthday is on the 29th of December so every year, Brian and I head back to Corning to celebrate her day with her. This year, I had booked my mom, sister, and I massages. It was pure bliss. I felt so relaxed and rejuvenated. Then we enjoyed dinner at a new Thai restaurant which was incredible. I think she had a great day!
The Long Road Home
It was amazing to be able to spend so much dedicated time with family and friends this year. I pride myself on being able to step away from work and leave my laptop behind for these weeks with the family. We enjoyed a wonderful 10 days away but by the time it was over and we were on the road home, we were looking forward to some quiet time before we were back to work. We each have some huge goals for 2018 and the time to reset and recharge was going to be much needed! Plus, the Bills play on December 31st and could be in the playoffs!