Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve

This year, Lee's brother and sister-in-law Dennis and Helen hosted the family for Christmas Eve dinner and presents!  Lee volunteered to make the main dish....lasagna!  He made 4 lasagnas to bring over.  They were a big hit!  Lots of family, lots of food, lots of fun!!  Not long after we got there, Olivia ate a chip.....went down the wrong pipe and she threw up a bit......sooooo.......her dress and my sweater went up into the washer!  I borrowed a sweater from Helen and we threw Olivia in her Christmas jammies a bit early!  

After dinner, it was time for presents!  Yay!  So many people, so many presents!  The kids had a blast opening all their goodies and we had a great time as well!

Back in my sweater......
Awesome Hokie Bird Pillow Pet!
So much fun with everybody.  It turned into a pretty late night for Olivia, so we hopped in the car and headed home.  After Olivia went to sleep, Lee and I continued a tradition of opening our gifts on Christmas Eve.  Lee got me a new camera!  I'm so excited to have my own camera since mine was stolen a few years back during the 3-Day Walk.  It's a great camera and I'm so thrilled to be able to take more pictures of my own for my blog!  I got Lee a home brew starter kit!  I think he was pretty surprised!  He's been talking about it for years and we have a lot of friends who are into the hobby, so he can't wait to get started!

After we enjoyed our gifts for a few minutes, it was time to play Santa!  We got all the gifts wrapped and we were finally in bed a little after midnight.  On to Christmas Day!

Christmas Eve Eve

Maureen and Andy invited the family over for a wonderful dinner on Christmas Eve Eve.  Lee and I headed over right after work and mom and dad picked up Olivia from school and drove her out to meet us!  We didn't bring a camera, so I have no photos of the event, but I'm sure some will surface in the next few days.

The Gribbles made up some lovely appetizers and a wonderful meal!  The wine was flowing and the cuteness of the kids was too much!  What a wonderful time we had and it got us in the spirit for the days to follow!

The only downside was getting in the car to go home and finding out we had a flat tire.....blah!

Oh well, Lee changed it lickity split and we were on our way!  On to Christmas Eve!!

Monday, December 12, 2011


Just like last year, we headed to Noblis on Saturday to the Children's Holiday Party.  We invited Maureen, Andy and Adam as well! As a special treat, Grandpa came along!  This was a great thing as you will see later in this post.  The hallways and cafeteria were all decked out for the party in a Candyland theme.  So perfect!  We got there, said hello to some co-workers and headed straight to the line for Santa.

We really didn't know what to expect this year being that Olivia is a year older and is more aware of her surroundings.  We made the attempt!  It wasn't horrible, but she was definitely shaking and asking for "BaPa" while she sat in the sleigh with Santa.  Poor girl!


This was Olivia after she saw Santa.....

Thank goodness for BaPa!

She warmed up as the day went on, but the combination of Santa and being tired was probably a little too much for this little one to handle, so we headed home!

Oh Christmas Tree

Last weekend, we put up the Diehr Family Christmas Tree.  Not quite as extravagant as the Griswold's, but it'll do!  I put the tree together while the boys worked on Andrew's bike and Olivia napped.  It was a lot of hard work, but I love doing it every year!  Later that afternoon, Lee and Andrew put all the lights on and we got to decorating.  Olivia loved looking at the tree and all the ornaments.  She helped too!

She even hugged the tree!  Can't wait to see her little face light up on Christmas morning!

Early Christmas Gift

We had been talking about getting a table and chairs for Olivia so she has her own little spot to color and eat her snacks, etc.  We found a very simple one online and ordered it.  It came over a week ago and we just couldn't wait to put it together and let her try it out!  She doesn't know the difference at this point, so what the heck?  She definitely loves it!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Post Thanksgiving Party

Lee and I decided to host a Post Thanksgiving Dinner at our house.  We invited my parents, Maureen, Andy, Adam and Mark to come over and celebrate Thanksgiving with us since we were all at different places for Thanksgiving.  Lee made a wonderful lasagna and stuffed shells.  So delicious!

This wasn't just a gathering for food.  It was also the big Virginia Tech/Virginia game.  Always a big game in our house!  Everybody came dressed in their best maroon and orange for the game!

A big highlight of our Thanksgiving gatherings is my mother's love for giving gifts.  She loves to give Thanksgiving gifts to kick off the holiday season.  This year, Andrew and Olivia received their Christmas pajamas as well as a Christmas ornament.  Lee and I each got a Christmas ornament as well as a wonderful Christmas smelling candle!  We absolutely love this tradition!

Sunday, December 04, 2011


For those who know me, you know I have spent almost every Thanksgiving of my life up at Wintergreen.  When you grow older and start your own family, traditions start to change a bit.  Not always a bad thing!  This year we spent Thanksgiving with Lee's family.  Danielle and Eric graciously hosted and we had a wonderful time.  Lee volunteered to cook the turkey.  He also made sweet potatoes and we brought some pie.  Small story about the turkey.......

Lee put the turkey in a brine for a few days prior to Thanksgiving.  He woke up at 5:45 that morning and pre-heated the oven to about 500 degrees.  He was going to roast the turkey at that high temp for about 15 minutes and then turn it down for the remainder of the time.  However, things didn't quite go as planned.  Something had fallen onto the bottom of the oven during a previous cooking spree so it began to burn to the bottom of the oven.  Smoke alarms began screeching around 6:00.  This is possibly the ONLY thing in the world that freaks out Farley.  He was a disaster!  Needless to say, I was awake at this point.....Farley was at my feet shaking like a leaf and crying like a baby.  Oh, the baby.....yeah, she was now wide awake and trying to figure out what was going on.  I went in to check on her and the alarm came back on.  This time, she began crying.  Farley was  attempting to crawl under her crib while she was trying to climb out.  Oh boy....what a fun morning!  Meanwhile, Lee was downstairs opening windows, trying to let all the smoke out of the house while fanning the smoke away from the smoke alarm!  Oy......what a crazy morning!  Olivia and I came downstairs and just hung out while Lee attempted to make sense of how much time the turkey had actually been in the oven at which temperature, etc.  At any rate, the alarm stopped for good and the 21 pound turkey cooked in about 2 1/2 hours!  Crazy!  Oh, and it took until about the 5th time of the alarm going off for Andrew to slowly emerge from his room.  We have since had a conversation about how he should probably come out of his room should the smoke alarm ever go off!  :)

Ok, back to the rest of the day!  Since the turkey was done so quickly, we didn't have much more we needed to do to get ready.  Lee wrapped the bird up in foil and wrapped it in towels before placing it in a cooler for transport.  We got to Danielle and Eric's around 1:30 and the festivities began!  So much much much fun!

The weather was unseasonably warm, so the annual football game was a lot more comfortable that previous years!

Olivia was loving the wide open backyard and took advantage!

What a blast she had!

I caught Nana reading to O!

After dinner, we sat around and chose names for the gift exchange for Christmas.  Lee snapped a few photos!

What a Happy Thanksgiving!!