Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Christmas in Review!

Marc and I were very fortunate to get to spend the twins' (twin's?) first Christmas with them in Washington, PA - Marc's home town.  Dave and Rachel went above and beyond to be mega-troopers and let the whole family be a part of this special event - they deserved gold medals for being so selfless with their time!  (sorry you two - I have to brag about you juuuust a little bit!)

They spent a weekend with us in Denver, the next few days in Vail with Rachel's family, then flew back to Bloomington and drove to Washington to be with Dave's (and Marc's) family the very next day, which was Christmas Eve...

...with two 5.5 month old babies in tow!  Yowza!

But, I have to say, we were so thankful they did it because Christmas was SUCH a blast!

Since part of my promise to myself was to be obnoxious with my camera, I was able to capture some super cute pictures of their visit.  Here we go!

Baby Dominic and Gram.
Marc had to deal with not being the baby anymore (he's the youngest) so he was forced to help prep for the party that night.  Sorry hon!  There are new babies in town =)
Hi Renata!
Ahhh!  The cute face is too much for me to handle =)
Renata and Pap.  I love her face in this one!!
Daddies are fun=)
Kathy and Civie always throw a huge open-house party on Christmas Eve.  It's a fun tradition that I've been thankful to be a part of over the past few years and this one topped them all!  They had a particularly large turnout for Christmas Eve this year since there were two extra special guests in town.
Uncle Marc all dolled up and Dominic still in pjs - almost time for the party!

Eh - I like my pj's!
The first house guests!  The fun has begun =)
Beautiful mom and sweet baby boy - his face screams "Mom...I'm totally a big deal."
Chris and beautiful Renata.
And now Dominic!  Careful - he just ate...
Again...with the whole "Eh...I'm such a big deal" look.  Hehe!
Merry Christmas from the Felice Family!
Okay, I'm sorry.  I can't let it go.  Can you please take a look at their adorable outfits?  The shoes???  The socks?  I love it all - nice job, Rach =)

And I couldn't let this whole post go without some pictures of the food, right?  Like I said, Kathy and Civie go all out to make sure their guests have a traditional Feast of 7 Fish Italian spread for Christmas Eve.  This is actually one of the reasons I married Marc =)  Heheh...okay maybe not really, but it sure didn't hurt!  For the longest time, I thought all families did a "Feast of 7 Fish" for Christmas Eve, and I was shocked when I learned it was an Italian thing.  When Marc told me his family did it too, I was pretty sure I would marry him someday =)
Check out all that food!

One of my personal favorites - the cheese platter!  It's always a hit and I'm always happy to be the "QA" tester before we set it out =)
The party is an open house, so once the first sets of guests arrived and I was done playing photographer, I had to help with replenishing the food (and eating it, of course) so I didn't get many more shots after that.  The night was so much fun, though, and the babies stole the show =)

The next morning - it was time for a new set of precious outfits.

Wait for it...

...too cute...

...not sure you can handle it...

...here you go =)
Ahh!  Renata and Gram - this is potentially the best picture of the whole trip =)

A holiday tradition that we've recently started is my fabulous hubby making cinnamon rolls in the morning (okay...it's a holiday tradition...and a "whenever Nicole is craving cinnamon rolls" tradition...).  Marc is actually quite the fancy baker and he has an insane recipe that, I promise, is just as good (almost better) than Cinnabun.  It's not blasphemy, because it's true =)  He also uses his grandmothers buttercream frosting recipe...I swear it's heaven on earth.

We made sure that he made cinnamon rolls this morning, but unfortunately, I had the brilliant idea to make them "Christmas-y" by dying the frosting red.  Okay...lesson learned.  It's very difficult to make red frosting.  But pink frosting...simple!  And I swear, I used a ton of food coloring...so much that I had to stop because I was worried that we would have a little too much and could get sick.  Maybe I'm paranoid, but oh well - pink frosting it is!
The remains of Marc's cinnamon rolls.  Happy Valentine's Day?
Now it's time for Santa Dominic!
Merry Christmas, Dom!!
We spent the rest of the morning opening gifts (Santa was VERY good to me!) and then the rest of the afternoon visiting family.  That night, we had a nice and relaxing Christmas Dinner and just relaxed - we were still in a state of recovery from the party the night before, and we had to get ready for the next party the following night!
If this doesn't scream "I'm chillin"...then I don't know what does!
Dave slightly napping with daughter on his belly.
Renata laughing at Uncle Marc - I loved how much they laughed during this trip!!
Mommy smooches!
The next day, we got ready for the next open house.  Yes - another party!  Since many family and friends had their own plans for Christmas Eve, Kathy and Civie decided to host another open house the day after Christmas for everyone that couldn't make it before (they are nuts!).  It actually ended up being such a blast and we got to see so many fun people we hadn't seen in forever.
One half of my favorite pair of cousins!  Justin is just too cute!
And the other half!  Sean is seriously just too handsome for his own good.  And he's almost taller than me.  And he's nine.  Unfair!
Beautiful ladies!  Kathy and Renata =)
Cousins enjoying the fruits of Christmas - new video games!
I LOVE this picture!  All the cousins on Kathy's (Marc's mom) side of the family.  There are lots of Kathy's in this family - hehe.
AHHH I LOVE HER!  Katie with a baby Hanlon on the way =)
...okay...I'm a fan of the awkward "belly touch" pregnancy pose.
This next series of pics cracks me up.  It was after 9pm at night, all the grown-ups were slightly on the verge of sleep, and little Justin decides it's time to start singing and dancing.  So cute!

Look at that passion in his face.  Sing!  Sing out loud!
Noticing the baby.  "Oh...was my singing keeping her awake?  Oops?"
"Can I take a picture, Cole?"
This kid has a serious future in professional photography...
Aaaaand another one of my faves.  How sweet!  You should hear how he says "Renata" and "Dominic".  It would melt your heart!
Okay, and this last series of pictures also cracks me up.  This was after everyone had gone home for the night, and it was the first time we really saw Renata trying to mimic the "raspberry" sound.  Marc was going "phhhhhhhft" and she was trying SO HARD to make the sound too!  If you could imagine -  her little face would tense up and she would flex her legs and little feet.  It was adorable!

Dominic was just playing with a credit card the whole time - totally content and oblivious to the fact that there was so much spit slobber raspberry-ing going on around him =)
Look at her little feet in the background!

Okay - disregard Dom in this one...hahha!

Phew!  And that wraps us up with the Christmas visit!  I told you I took a lot of pictures =)

Marc and I went home the next day and we were so sad to leave.  We had such a great time spending Christmas with family, and again, I can't tell you how excited we were to get to spend so much time with our cutie patootie niece and nephew.  I can't wait until they get older and understand the whole "Santa" thing.  So fun!

Hope you enjoyed and I hope you and yours had such a fabulous Christmas and a Happy New Year!  To those we got to spend it with, thank you for being a part of such a fun and exciting time!  We love you guys =)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Life exploded...

...it always seems to do that.  I'm way behind on the updates I promised I would provide, but I swear I will still get to them!  As if I wasn't in enough of a time crunch, my Picasa messed up some pictures from previous posts.  So instead of taking time to provide new updates, I'm  having to go back and re-upload all those pics.  Ugh!

It's okay.  I'll get to it.  I have some exciting stuff to share!  Who wants pictures from the twins first REAL Christmas?  Or pics from Jills visit?  Coming soon!

Hope everyone is having a Happy January =)
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