New Year = Happy Year

This New Year’s Day was spent with my mom and family in Idaho. Joe and I flew out to gorgeous Boise to spend time with my mom and brother and his family. The most exciting part of our trip was getting to meet my newest niece for the first time. Meeting Lauren Kelley, or LK for short, was so amazing. She is so wonderfully sweet and adorable! My family is so very important to me and nothing is better in my opinion than spending time with them. Having the warm embrace of my mom is something that I miss more than I can say when I am away, and something I cherish when I am with her. I got to see my niece smile at me, fall asleep in my arms, and laugh at our singing to her. She is truly amazing just the way she is! This was Joe’s first time to Boise, so we showed him the beautiful scenery, or at least what we could for it being winter time, and tried lots of new restaurants. Our trip was way too short, but filled with so much love and fun! You know it was a good trip when you cry on the airplane going home and already miss those you have left. Thank you Lord for blessing me with such a wonderful family!

Our first Christmas as Mr. & Mrs.

Our first year of marriage has been a first so many new things, including our first Christmas together as man and wife. We had a tree that was given to us by my mother-in-law. She found the tree on the side of the road, in the box, in perfect condition! YAY for free!! We started our decorating with putting the tree up together… then we realized that the lights we had were for the outside of the house, not the tree!

So we made a super quick trip to Ace Hardware at 7:45pm, they close at 8pm, just in time!! On our way home, we stopped at a friends house who had just baked over 75 dozen cookies!!! One of the cookies she made were ‘thin mints’, made from Ritz crackers and mint chocolate!
They were amazing!! I had make them as soon as we ran out. Alll in all this season, I made about 6 or 7 dozen of these easy, bakeless, delights! (Recipe: Melt 8 oz of chocolate, mix in 1 tbs of peppermint extract, and dip Ritz crackers fully into the chocolate, decorate with sprinkle!) So we left several hours later with bags of cookies and a great unexpected night together! Once we got home, we went into focus mode and got our tree looking pretty good! I really loved our Christmas decorations this year, so much so we did not take them down till January 20th!! LOL

Our 1st Christmas Tree

Our Christmas festivities started with the traditional Christmas Eve ‘Giordano’ Italian Feast. My husband’s father’s side gets together and lavishly eats tons of wonderful seafood (which I am allergic too, but we find me plenty to eat!). We then open presents always youngest to oldest. My nephew, Cole, is 3-years-old and such a joy to watch open gifts this year. He is a true child, he opens his favorite toy and it’s all over! He, in true kid fashion, opened clothes and then tossed them behind him to move to the next!! It was very funny! And I am not sure why, but I think at the coaching of my husband, everyone had to wear their bows on their heads!! Truly a blessing being with wonderful family!!

Cole opening gifts
Grandpop and the grandkids (minus Pete, Eryn & Cole, it was past bedtime)
Cole helping Grandpop
Joe and I with his parents, my wonderful in-laws ❤

On Christmas Day we started with our family of two’s Christmas… hubby got to open his first stocking! 🙂

Joe's first stocking
We had a wonderful breakfast with our best friends, the Dennis’. We ate Pumpkin Gingerbread French Toast with fresh cranberries (recipe coming soon)! The guys had salmon omelets with a variety of veggies (bell and habanero peppers, tomatoes, and onions). We exchanged gifts and enjoyed our time together. After our brunch was finished, it was off to the in-laws for Joe’s mom’s side’s Christmas dinner. We had all the wonderful traditional Christmas favorite foods and conversations. We all had a blast watching my nephew, 3 year old Cole, open all his presents. Two of my favorite gifts to give was to my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law. I made them both patch-work table runners. It was hard work, but very rewarding! This Christmas I was truly blessed and loved and thank God for such a wonderful time of the year to celebrate Jesus!