Family + Festivities

To sum up Christmas this year in one word I would chose: Great! It was Josh and my first Christmas together as husband and wife. Although our Christmas festivities were the same, there was that tinge of something extra in our hearts. More complete. (Aww, isn't that sickenly sweet?! At least, that's what my sister would say.)

Now that I have the sentiment stuff out, let's talk about what we did. Well, we headed down to our dear families in SoCal. Wednesday night after work, we caught a plane down to Orange County. Josh's parents picked us up (with hot cocoa and tea in the car) and drove us to Palm Springs. We spent a few days in Indio (to be specific). Christmas morning we all--Don, Nada, Josh, me, and Gus--got in the car and headed to Encinitas. We spent Christmas day with my parents including Christmas dinner. Josh parents stayed at a hotel, but then drove home that morning after breakfast. Then Josh and I spend until Tuesday with my parents.

That was our trip in a nutshell, but let's talk some specifics:


We ate quite a few dates in Indio. Did you know that Palm Springs area grows most of our nations dates? There is a famous store there called Shields that sells dates and date shakes. They have a little cafe where I enjoyed some date pancakes. We bought some dates for our Christmas appetizer, Goat Cheese stuffed dates (recipe here). Not to forget, we had a salad with dates and then Christmas Eve we order proscuitto wrapped dates. Whew, lots of dates.

 Shields Dates Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates


I've been on a dog craze lately. I want a dog so bad I can't see straight. Alas we can't have a dog in our apartment, especially the kind I want. So I got my dose of dogs with Gus and Keely. Aren't they the cutest doggies?!

 Sleepy Keely Say hi to Gus


I could have made dates part of this section, but I thought it deserved its own (seriously, we ate a lot of dates). We had all sorts of yum-yum foods over the holidays. Nada and I made some dark chocolate walnut fudge and peanut brittle. We also made the date appetizer. Then we had a feast for Christmas dinner--turkey, ham, carrots, mashed potatoes, cauliflower, & jello. Along with dessert which included a selection of cookies and an apple spice cake. Deliciousness.

 Christmas Cookies Queen Mom Chows Down


This is the #1 thing about the holiday. We got to spend some awesome time with both of families and time with the families all together too. Nada, my MIL, and I got our nails done. Josh and Don went to Salvation Mountain together. We played scrabble. My family went to dog beach together. We watched movies together. It was lots of togetherness.

 Browns & O'Neills A Game of Scrabble


Although our trip was short, we got to see some friends too (and eat out a bunch). In the desert we saw Kevin and Genny with their two kids (@Red Robin). We also saw the Harvey family (@ Tommy Bahama restaurant). Pat and Heather Richardson (@ Solace). Don & Sue Hartley (@ Solace too). Jonathan Hartley and Nikki (@Xmas Dinner).

 Josh, Kevin, Dylan


You can't deny it, the gifts are fun too! I got some aweome gifts this year. Josh got my a Kindle. The Browns a great jacket, shoes, and a few other winter weather wear. My parents got me a useful gift for Seattle...a new rain jacket. I got slippers too. Then all the little stocking stuffers. Awesome. Some gifts I gave include: Josh lots of of clothes (I hit it big with Gap and Black Friday weekend). My mom some sapphire earrings (I lost the ones I borrowed for the wedding-sad), dad and Nada both got wedding calendars. My sister a Lucky shirt. Don got a Kindle too. Lots of gifts all around.

 Heather Gets a Kindle Dad wears a gift Lindsay and her Pig A Gift for me!

Want more photos? Go to my Wintertime Flickr album.