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26 December, 2011

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas...It's the Best Time of the Year!

Living in the same city as our families comes with many, many blessings.  And a lot of holiday get togethers.  With many of our friends slowly moving away from their families in Atlanta, the holidays are also a time to visit with friends who have returned "home" for the week.

Having a new baby has gotten us out of a few holiday obligations, but they have been replaced with visiting lots of friends who are in town.  We can't forget all the regularly schedule family traditions.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas we had a blast keeping up with old friends, and visiting with family.

The excitement began two weeks ago when Joey and Crystal were in town for Joey's family's Christmas. They brought us breakfast and spent a few hours loving on Evie. (Photos courtesy of their blog)

That night was the Gingerperson Party and the rest of the week was quiet other than play dates and doctors appointments.

Last weekend began the craziness that is the week before Christmas. Friday night we were supposed to be  in four places at once.  I narrowed it down to two, and only ended up at maternal grandparents for our traditional Christmas dinner.

My grandparents set tables around the house with the Christmas china, the crystal, and silver. We get all dressed up, and have a delicious catered dinner.  After dinner we sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus and open our stockings from my grandparents.

Then on Saturday Eric's friend Chris, who lives in Boston came to visit.  Chris used to manage a very high end beer bar, so Eric decided our visit with Chris would take place at Red Hare Brewery, a new microbrewery here in Atlanta.  Eric's been a few times, but this would be Evie and I's first visit.  Yes, we took a six week old on a brewery tour. Oh, and men + Ergo + baby = chick magnet.

Following the brewery tour we headed to Taco Mac (where else?) to visit with Eric's friend Katherine and her boyfriend.  They were in town from Nashville for her family's Christmas.  Kat gave Evie her first Saint Mary's t-shirt. Whoo!

Sunday we went to Mass at our parish where we had dinner with the youth group before they went caroling. Aren't Andrew and Eric adorable?  The boys were dressed so similarly and Lucy and Evie have matching carseats!

Monday night my aunt hosted a ladies cookie exchange party to replace our family baking day. Eric's mom and sister came, too!
Wednesday I went back to work for a few hours - granted me a paid ten day Christmas vacation, instead of extending my maternity leave thus using more of my vacation/sick days.  Win. Win.  

That night was Eric's office party at a lovely hotel.  We ate and drank to our hearts content, until I felt that awful feeling of the flu striking.  Body ache. Fever. Chills. Headache. Ugh.  He drove me home early and tucked me in bed before continuing the night of merriment at The Fred where Sean, Rosemary, Sam and Katie were celebrating Christmas with a few drinks. Thankfully Evie was at my parents for the night.

Thursday I had to meet my mom at her school to pick up Evie.  I was feeling so much better!  I visited with a few of her friends and then Evie and I went home to finish wrapping gifts. We enjoyed a quite night at home in anticipation of the Christmas weekend ahead of us.  We entertained ourselves by dressing Evie in completely matching attire...

What did we do for fun before kids? haha

Friday Rosemary came over to visit and to play with Evie.  That night was Eric's old neighborhood's annual Christmas Eve-Eve party.  All the families have known each other for 25+ years, so it's like a family reunion when we see them.  It was great for them to meet Evie and to visit with everyone.

Whew.  It was an exhausting 2+ weeks but it was so great to visit with friends!

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