Thursday, December 29, 2011

Our First Holiday Season As Mr. & Mrs.

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the holiday season comes and goes. It seems the older I get the faster it goes by...I think I'm officially old! Every holiday season is a memorable season, but this one in particular I think I will always hold close to my heart, for it was mine and Patrick's first as husband and wife :-) 

I'll begin this entry with Thanksgiving...

My parents came in from Pittsburgh to spend this special holiday with us :-) I was so excited to host my first dinner, and even more so proud to be serving those who have spent their life serving me. I'll never forget my dad telling me that my new "Southern Sweet Potato" recipe was the "best he'd ever had" - very cool! 

Thanksgiving marked my first time making a turkey...ever! We got a fresh free range turkey from Whole Foods and I brined it. I had never eaten a brined turkey, but my friend Tiffany told me how good it was, so I decided to try it out! My mom's motto was "why mess with a good thing", but I was dead set on making my meal my own. With her help we figured out how to brine the turkey, and it was a real success! The turkey stayed super moist and had a great smokey flavor...I will definitely brine again next year!

In my family, it is customary for the woman to make the meat (don't be fooled by Patrick in the above picture...he only lifted it out of the oven for me!) and the man to carve it. We have pictures of my Pop-Pop and my dad carving the meat, so we had to have Patrick step up to his manly duties in the kitchen and I loved that he learned how to carve from my dad :-)

Finally dinner was served! Turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, green beans,squash casserole, cranberry relish and pecan-pumpkin pie for dessert...YUM!! 

The following day, I purchased our first Christmas tree from a little shop in Franklin, Tennessee, and decorated it that night. And now presenting, "Our First Christmas Tree"...

Leading up to Christmas, we got in the spirit by taking our first annual Christmas Card picture :-) 
We also LOVED getting all of our friends and families cards in the mail! We posted them all on a pillar dividing our kitchen and dining room. 

Before I even knew it I was planning our Christmas gathering! We had a very Married Christmas...cheesy I know, but it's the one year we can use that phrase! On Christmas Eve, the Titans took on the Jacksonville Jaguars. They ended up winning 23-17 and Patrick contributed with 4 Special Teams tackles!! He actually got the Special Teams game ball for the week :-) After the big win, we grabbed a pizza at Papa Murphy's. We later went to mass at Cross Point with our friend Tim. This was my first Christmas Eve mass in a non-Catholic church, which was different, but the message was great - which is most important! We capped off the day by watching "Christmas Vacation 2: Uncle Eddie's Island Adventure"...which we will never watch again!! That movie was beyond bad!! 

Christmas morning we slept in until our bodies woke us, which is always a nice treat. We then went downstairs to open our gifts. Patrick had given me a number of mine prior to Christmas. When I got a pair of Ugg slippers from my sister, brother-in-law, nieces and nephews, Patrick gave me a pair of Cole Haan slippers he had ordered for me. Then for whatever reason he gave me the pair of Cole Haan sparkly flats that I wanted so badly! Then I guess he thought while he was as it he would give me my other shoe related gift...Ugg boots! Check out my new shoe collection :-) 

On the actual holiday, I got to open my new Mac Book Pro, which I'm posting this blog from! My hubby did good!! :-) 

I got Patrick car detailing, waders for fly fishing, a tackle box and a fly making kit complete with everything he needs to make a Wooly Booger - lol! 

Next we got quite a mom and dad had left a box for us when they were in town, and inside was a scavenger hunt! Get this, my mom hid presents all around our house! We found one prior, and thought either it was left by the girl who lived here prior or Patrick's aunt and uncle left it for us when they were in town because it was a biking speedometer. The entire scavenger hunt was so thoughtful and really made our Christmas morning so memorable! 

I spent most of the rest of the day in the kitchen preparing Christmas dinner. We hosted our friends Tim, Craig and Kat. Dinner included Honeybaked Ham and Smoked Turkey, Sweet Potatoes, Cheesy Potatoes, Zucchini, Asparagus and Salad with Pecan Pumpkin Pie, Nut Roll and Peppermint Bark for dessert. We capped the night with wine and a game night of "Apples To Apples"- which was such a fun time! 

Before the night was over we took our first annual Christmas photo, which will go in a Christmas memories book my mom purchased for us :-) 

The day after Christmas I continued one of my all-time favorite for Hallmark Ornaments for our tree! Check out our 2011 collection :-) You'll find a snowman in a hot tub, because Patrick is always in the hot tub/cold tub after games! An airplane to symbolize Patrick's instrumentation rating in flying! A guitar to symbolize us living in music city! And the First Christmas Together snowflake :-) 
We have a few more to come. My mom picked a few hard to find ones up for me in Pittsburgh, and I even had to stoop to ordering one off E-Bay...whatever it takes, right?! 

Overall, Our First Christmas was very memorable, and so so special...I look forward to all the Christmases to come throughout our lifetime together :-)