Honestly, that limbo week is one of my favorite times of the year to reflect and plan. But before we dive into all things 2024, I want to share a few of my favorite moments from the past few weeks.
Christmas 2023 Highlights
My family arrived on the afternoon of the 22nd and as expected, the four cousins immediately took off into their own world. At ages 12, 10, 9, and 7, they relish spending time together and playing all the things, from their made up games to basketball to the trampoline and more. Kris continues to fill dad’s martini making shoes better than anyone else ever could, and with Grey Goose martinis, lots of snacks, cookies, and homemade pizzas, Christmas 2023 officially kicked off!
We like to find something fun to do on the 23rd and this year we chose escape rooms! It was such a hit for Hailey’s birthday and so after lunch at Carrburritos, we returned to Escape 109 in Davidson and split into two different Christmas-themed escape rooms. Both team successfully escaped, but the one led by the guys did so without any helpful clues. Impressive! We grabbed coffees afterwards and wandered some shops before spending the rest of the afternoon outdoors on walks and playing basketball.
Christmas Eve was busy in the kitchen! We made cinnamon rolls and breakfast casserole and a spinach and artichoke dip for the afternoon. We attended church early afternoon and returned home to enjoy snacks, card playing, and an excellent Christmas singing show put on for us by four adorable pajama-clad girls. Then the men made their famous seafood gumbo. Sorry, Emeril, we might start calling it Uncle Stat’s gumbo now. 🙂
We weren’t sure if we would get our annual call from Santa, but he surprised us with a quick call to ensure us he was on his way as he flew over the ocean (we were tracking him on NORAD). We put out cookies and milk and the adults watched Love Actually before tucking into bed.
We set 7:30 as the “you can come downstairs” time, so the adults were up pouring coffee by 7:00 am, peeking into the living room to see that indeed, Santa had come! The kids burst out of their rooms promptly at 7:30 and we spent the rest of the morning opening, eating, and playing. My favorite gift this year was from Hailey, who had painted an entire deck of cards, written a different reason she loved me on each one, and fastened them together into a book. Tears fell down my face as I read through them and it’s a treasure I will keep forever.
The day was cloudy and the afternoon passed in a cozy way with a fire burning, a walk before the rain set in, bloody marys flowing, and new toys being filled with batteries. David was in charge of the tenderloin, we all helped with the Christmas potatoes, I made dinner rolls, mom headed up the broccoli salad and the the result was an absolutely divine Christmas dinner!
Boxing day was rainy but everyone was ready to get wiggling. Running and strength training was followed by mom, David, Finley, and I getting caught out in the hardest downpour ever. We seriously arrived back at the house with shoes that squished out water and clothes that had to be peeled off. I couldn’t stop laughing! That evening we ate leftovers and played our traditional Boxing Day white elephant game, which only resulted in one child crying this year over a stolen toy, so… progress 😉
My family headed out on the morning of the 27th, David went to work, and I dived headfirst into undecorating. It was a tiresome but incredibly productive day and by the time we took a run to the dump around 5:30, no traces of Christmas remained! Perhaps I’m crazy, but that is just how I prefer it. Put the decorations up early, enjoy the heck out of them, then start the new year feeling fresh and tidy.
On the 28th we ventured down to South Carolina to spend time with David’s family. It was a blast playing pickleball (and David and I beating up on our two big nephews!) and catching up with everyone. We went to a Clemson basketball game, which was a ton of fun, and set off a few fireworks, too. It was a quick trip, having to be back for a theater camp for Kaitlyn on the 30th, but I’m so glad we made it happen.
New Year’s Eve
Tuckered out from all the festivities, we spent New Year’s Eve in pajamas. David and I dug into our annual State of the Family while the girls watched a movie, then we all hung out in the living room cutting up magazines and making 2024 vision boards. None of us stayed up to midnight and I don’t think an of us minded.
New Year’s Day
On New Year’s Day we started getting back into the swing of things. Hailey and I went through and filled out our calendars (both solidly on team paper calendars), I started organizing ideas for A Healthy Slice for 2024, David and I worked out, Kaitlyn had a private theater lesson, then we turned on the Rose Bowl (what a game!), tried of ski gear (what to pack for a ski vacation post here), and ate our annual meal of black eyed peas (LUCK), collard greens (MONEY), and tomatoes (LOVE). And just like that, a new year begins. Wishing you and yours nothing but the absolute best in this new year!