Seattle Christmas.

Still catching up!  Since we were traveling last year, this was actually our first time spending Christmas here in Seattle.  And we haven’t hosted Christmas at our house since 2009 in Charlotte.  Before my sister’s family left, we tried to get a picture of the cousins in their matching holiday jammies. 

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Getting a good picture of one toddler is hard enough.  But two toddlers?

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Pretty much impossible.

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We said our goodbye’s to Rebecca and her family, late on Christmas Eve.  Sarah, Casey, and I stayed up late watching Walk the Line and getting things ready for Christmas morning.

Cullen was up at his usual time – around 7:30am – I was so excited to take him downstairs for Christmas fun!  Once I got him set up with breakfast, I got started on our adult treats.  Even remembered to bust out my pretty holiday dishes!

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Casey made a giant bowl of scrambled eggs for everyone.

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And I made a loaf of spiced ginger pear bread, which turned out really well.  Note: I made this loaf with eggs instead of chia seeds (which the original recipes calls for), and I thought it was much fluffier!).  Delicious.

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I also made a pan of cranberry crumble bars, but neglected to take a photo before it was polished off.  Once our bellies were full, we cranked up the fire place and settled in for a morning around the tree.

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Cullen was thrilled with anything that was opened.  Perhaps his favorite gift was this set of mini Sodastream bottles that I got for Casey.  He entertained himself for hours by taking the caps on and off. 

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Even though he’s still pretty young to understand Christmas, he was such a big part of it this year – a big change from last year when he was just nine weeks old. 

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Did I mention that Casey’s parents arrived the morning of Christmas Eve?  We have a full house this year, and it’s been so fun for Cullen to have all his grandparents here to spoil and snuggle him.

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We spent a few hours slowly digging through the gifts.  I didn’t go too crazy this year – just got Cullen a few small things.  I figured we have plenty of years ahead where he’ll beg for things like castles and play equipment.  So this year he got books, stickers, and a wooden ball sorter.  He seemed pretty pleased!

I think I opened the last gift of the morning – a shiny new pair of Hunters rain boots from Casey!  I am so excited to finally have good boots to sludge through Seattle in – these will be well loved.

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Cullen was totally overwhelmed by all the gifts, wrapping paper, food, and family.  He started rubbing his eyes and was ready to crash by 11am (he usually naps around 1pm).  I ended up giving in and putting him down for an early nap.  I could tell he needed it!

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Once he was down, the rest of the family followed his lead.

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After a bit of relaxing ourselves, Casey and I got started on Christmas dinner.  I pulled out my holiday plates that haven’t been used in years, and set the table for six.

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I never saw a reason to get fancy expensive wedding china, but I did like the idea of having a pretty set of formal dishes.  I ended up finding these at TARGET of all places, and I absolutely love them.  I unwrapped the candle holders Christmas morning – they fit into our table decorations perfectly!

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I am so grateful for this guy.  After a month of almost non-stop working, he’s been home for a week now, and I feel so spoiled.  It’s going to be a rude awakening when he heads back to the office next week!

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Our dinner spread was tasty and delicious.  I hadn’t planned on serving cranberry sauce, but I had some leftover from the morning crumble bars.  It ended up being a nice addition to our dinner.

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My mother-in-law requested our vegan lentil loaf, which stuck to the pan and looked a little funky, but tasted fantastic.  I did it with a tomato salsa this time, and it was a fun change.

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We also made sourdough stuffing – more of a Thanksgiving dish, but why not eat it all year long?

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I put together a quick greens salad – mixed greens with grapes and mandarin oranges in a pomegranate vinaigrette.  It’s always nice to have something green on the table!

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And Casey’s mom made this AMAZING sweet potato hash.  I’ll try to get the recipe from her and remake it for you guys.  There was almost none left afterward!

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Merry Christmas, indeed.

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Hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday season with great food and plenty of family.  Casey and I are headed out for a fancy date night tonight while we still have some babysitters here in town.  Wheeeeee!