IMG_3286

Our holiday has been really great, and I’m happy that we still have the tree up for another week or so. The ladies in my family had our annual holiday cookie baking party in mid-December. I typically host at my house, we make tons of cookies, and everyone brings something to eat for brunch or appetizers. Usually I have some type of champagne cocktail drink but this year we passed since I can’t enjoy it anyway.

I’m 36 weeks pregnant, this is the week that Juliet was born. She surprised the hell out of us by arriving a full month early and I’m really hoping that this pregnancy goes full term, at least 39 weeks. Fortunately, I feel pretty great, so even though Erik and I had an extremely busy week hosting house guests both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I barely noticed I was pregnant (except for the fact that I couldn’t drink wine).

IMG_3288

Juliet and aunt Chris making gingerbread cookies

IMG_3291

My sister-in-law, Katie, and her delicious chocolate covered pretzels

IMG_3294

IMG_3297

My sister, Katie, isn’t a big fan of baking and she thinks our cookie day is a bit chaotic, so to keep things easy, she made these reindeer noses, which are just pretzels with a Hershey kiss melted into the center with a M&M on top. These may be easy but they are really tasty.

IMG_3298

My sister-in-law, Katie (we call her Lumbie ) made biscotti, this was her first time ever making it and it turned out great. I had a small piece with my coffee every day after this for a week.

IMG_3299

My sister-in-law, Nikki, makes these amazing Farmhouse Chocolate Mint Cookies each year and they are always a huge hit. I have some still frozen in my freezer, yes!

IMG_3300

My mom made peanut butter blossoms. The first batch (above) didn’t turn out as good as the second (below).

IMG_3301

IMG_3302

I made two cookies, both tasted better than they looked. I made rainbow cookies (which are basically just red and green M&M cookies) and Gingerdoodles.

IMG_3304

IMG_3311

Hosting the cookie party creates quite a mess.

IMG_3315

Nikki made these cute snowmen cookies

IMG_3329

Christmas Eve was a flurry of family, presents and fun. Every Christmas Eve, when we are in town, we have lasagna as the traditional meal (made by my aunt Chris).

IMG_3335

Juliet was so happy over the holidays and I can’t blame her, she was thoroughly spoiled and surrounded by family who adore her.

IMG_3346

Is there anything better than a happy child on Christmas morning?

IMG_3359

Every other year we go to North Dakota for Christmas but because I am 36 weeks pregnant I wasn’t allowed to travel. So Erik and I made the traditional meal that his family makes each year, prime rib and lobster. We made a 7 lb prime rib and it was beautiful and delicious. Erik’s family from North Dakota came down for the holidays and his mom helped a ton with the meal.

IMG_3362

Erik likes his prime rib a little more medium well so we put it back in the oven to roast just a bit longer. It ended up being just perfect.

IMG_3366

We made HUGE lobster tails and steamed them with melted lemon butter. Amazing. I had to wait for another batch of lobster tails which is why it’s not pictured on my plate below.

IMG_3369

I made a spinach salad with grapefruit, avocado and walnuts and a champagne vinaigrette. We also had mashed potatoes (made by my brother Joel and Lumbie).

All our houseguests left by Saturday morning and the rest of the weekend was pretty laid back, which was nice. I got a couple naps in. Have I ever mentioned how much I love to nap? Juliet still takes about a two hour nap each day so on the weekends I try to sneak one as well. I know my time for naps is soon ending when I have a second little one here.

I am so excited to meet my baby girl…in a few weeks. Life will be different, I know, but with Juliet I just loved and savored her sweet baby stage so much. She was a pretty easy baby and I hope this second one is like her big sister. I can’t believe next Christmas we will have an almost one year old and almost 4 year old!

I hope you all enjoyed your holidays as well. And we still have the New Year to celebrate (Erik and I have very exciting plans of staying in and going to bed early!).