This year we stayed here in Vermont for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. We really missed being with friends and family, but it was just necessary. However, we had a nice time holed up in the house on these wintery days, and we even got out a good bit for some parades and activities.
The day before Thanksgiving I was still undecided about whether I wanted to cook for the 2 and a half of us, or go out to eat a traditional Thai Thanksgiving meal of noodles and shrimp with peanut sauce. I woke up that morning with a hankering for tradition and headed to the (above par) supermarket down the street. I cooked all day a meal fit for 6-8 and here is the unremarkable display: Roasted butternut squash with maple syrup (nod to VT), broiled lemon Salmon, garlic and rosemary mashed potatoes, homemade honey wheat bread, and roasted green beans, etc. For dessert, an apple pie, of course.
The day after Thanksgiving we went downtown to see the lighting of the Christmas tree and a parade, which consisted of 2 police cruisers, a firetruck, some random people throwing candy, and Santa in sleigh pulled by what appeared to be a donkey.
Once I got over my weepyness of not getting to go home for Christmas, I started looking forward to the idea of a quiet Christmas with just the 3 of us. Christmas Eve I decide I most definitely did not want to cook, and Kevin suggested that we check out the one and only large church in VT, Essex Alliance, for their Christmas Eve service, and then hit Chili's for dinner. 2 Grilled Quesadilla Explosian Chicken Salads and 1 Bottomless Chips and Salsa later, we were stuffed and headed home for Santa duty.
We had a few toys set out for Jude when he came downstairs on Christmas morning, one of which came in a million pieces. Here is Kevin putting this thing together--thanks Oma!! The riding ATV (Fred Flinstone style) proved to be the biggest hit of the morning.
We had a special Christmas, gifts appeared magically under the tree from a week of elfin UPS driver drop-offs. Kevin made us whole wheat pancakes with VT maple syrup, and chicken sausage for breakfast--perfect.
We met another couple that live just down the street from us who invited us over for Christmas dinner. Jim is the pastor of a church in town and he and Stephanie have a cutie pie named Augustina, who is just a little younger than Jude. I made Mac and cheese, roasted brussels, and a lemon tarte to bring over for dinner. We had a great time of fellowship, it was a blessing to be with new friends on Christmas.
The day after Christmas we went on our first ever sleigh ride with enormous Clydesdale-like horses. Great fun.
We also hosted a little drop in dessert party for our neighbors. We just invited the 4 house nearest to us, all of whom we had briefly met. The young married couple that shares the duplex came, as well as the doctor's wife with their 2 young kids from next door. It was really fun to get to know them a little more. I made a lime tarte, white raspberry cream cake, chocolate tea truffles, and almond glazed cookies (remember these, Court?).
Sigh... the holidays are over, but we received one more great gift before the year was out. We found out that we are having a girl, due May 6! I was completely shocked at the news, especially since my ultrasound technicion at my 12 week visit told me it looked like it was a boy. So much for making those early predictions. What a joy and blessing, the Father knows how to give good and lavish gifts.