Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Merry Christmas!


It was a wonderful Christmas!  The kids are at such fun ages – it really brings back the magic of Christmas. 

We spent Christmas Eve singing Christmas carols, making my Grandma Brown’s famous peanut butter balls, and watching Home Alone (the boys are now obsessed with this movie- the first and second one!) before heading to Christmas Eve mass.  The kids were fairly well behaved during church but it was hard for them to sit still since all of their friends from school were there! 

baking 2CL baking

We then went over to brother Andrew’s house- he and Leah were hosting Christmas Eve dinner.  I was in charge of dessert so I bought a delicious caramel cake from A Piece of Cake- YUM!  We gave MJ some extra insulin so he could enjoy a slice Smile


We got a few pictures of our family and Steve’s parents with the grandkids.



Steve found the Santa Tracker app on the iphone so on the way back to our house we tracked Santa- he was starting to cross over the Atlantic Ocean!  When we got home the kids rushed to get into their pajamas, set out some cookies and milk for Santa (and his reindeer) and said goodbye to Simie (our elf on the shelf).  As he does every year, Steve read the kids ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas before we put them to bed.  In spite of their excitement, they all fell asleep quickly (and thankfully before Santa arrived!) 


Simie said goodbye to the kids and his best friend Bear before heading back to the North Pole… We will miss you Simie! 

Simie and bear

Christmas morning was magical.  MJ, Ty and Catelin were beyond excited to walk down the stairs and find presents under the tree along with a note from Santa himself!


And it seemed like they opened presents forever- they were really good this year!




After opening their presents from Santa, we went into the basement to give each of them their presents from mommy and daddy…. Catelin got a Frozen car, Ty got a “pet” robot dog named Zoomer, and MJ got a basketball hoop!



I made Steve his favorite sausage, egg and cheese casserole and the kids got a special breakfast from Dunkin’ Donuts!



We had a wonderful morning together as a family.  That afternoon we headed over to the Eco’s house for more presents and dinner!



It was a very merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas in NYC

I absolutely love New York around Christmas.  I have been there a few times and there is just something magical about it.  Steve and I went together in 2005 and had a wonderful time.  So, this year for my birthday Steve surprised me with a weekend trip to NYC from December 13-15th (he even set up babysitters for the kids!) 


We arrived late Saturday morning, checked into our hotel in Soho and grabbed a delicious slice (or two!) of New York pizza- delicious!


We caught the subway going downtown (we missed our stop and got lost for a little while but finally figured it out!) and went to see One World Trade Center (the Freedom Tower) and the memorial for the twin towers.  It was incredible- they did such an amazing job honoring all of those who died on 9/11.  We paid our respects, said a few prayers, and stood in awe of the new tower…it is a beautiful tribute.


Then we were back on the subway headed uptown to 34th street.  There we saw the Empire State building (we didn’t have time to ride to the top) as well as Macy’s with its famous store windows. 


We went back to our hotel, changed quickly and decided to take Uber back uptown to Radio City Music Hall.  Well, traffic was insane!  And after only going 1.5 miles (out of our 2.5 mile trip) in 40 minutes, we decided to walk/run to make it to our show on time.  Years ago we went to see the Rockette’s Christmas Spectacular and decided to go back this year- it did not disappoint!  In fact, Steve and I thought the show this year was even better.  I tried to take pictures but there was a “no flash” policy.  They didn’t turn out great but I think you will be able to see the living nativity which is the last part of the show (and by far my favorite)!


After the show we headed over to Rockefeller Center to see the tree…it was so crowded that I couldn’t even walk next to Steve- I had to walk behind him!  But it was still beautiful…


We watched a Christmas lights show on the side of Saks Fifth Avenue, enjoyed more of the Christmas stories in the store windows, and walked through Times Square to get to our destination- Carmine’s.  I absolutely LOVE this restaurant.  It is a family style Italian restaurant and everything on the menu is incredible.  Steve and I had the BEST meal of our lives there in 2005 and really wanted to go back.  Steve called back in October to get reservations and they had absolutely nothing available for the weekend we were there.  He pulled every string he could think of and it was a no go…until Susan Lucci stepped in!   That’s right- Susan Lucci made reservations for us at Carmine’s – the only thing available was 10:30 PM on Saturday but decided to take it!  The food was AMAZING … the portions were HUGE so we gave our leftovers to our cab driver and he was very appreciative!


The next day we went to a cute breakfast place in Soho and then headed to the new Metlife stadium to watch the Giants game.  Our tickets were in the Bud Light Suite and were awesome!!!  The Giants won which was an added bonus.


After the game, we headed back to our hotel and met up with brother Eddie.  We took the subway back uptown to see Rockefeller Center again- this time it was much less crowded and much more enjoyable.



We walked through Times Square and down Broadway to find one of New York’s finest pizza places- John’s Pizzeria.  It was worth the hour long wait!!!!  Yum.  After that, this pregnant woman was beat.  Steve and I headed back to the hotel when most of New York was headed out on the town- but that was just fine by us.  Smile

The next day it was back to Atlanta… thank you hubs for an incredible trip!!