Our Cleveland Christmas!

Happy New Year, my friends!! I am crazy behind on getting posts out, but this coming week I think I’ll be able to recap our Christmas festivities & New Years 🙂 December 20th we headed to the airport. Our Uber was a Tesla– kinda fun riding in one! However, the driver took a wrong turn and then tried to cover it up by saying there was some specific drop off for Teslas at the airport? There wasn’t, and he dropped us off on the International side, not domestic. Hence, we had to take the tram to get back to the Domestic terminal. Oh well, at least we got to see the beautifully lit up International side.

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We got to the airport with plenty of time because we were nervous about the holiday travel. The airport really wasn’t bad at all, and we were at our gate in no time. We went to our favorite little restaurant in the San Francisco airport, Mission Bar and Grill. I had a big salad right before we left to use up all our veggies, but DJ grabbed some tacos. All their food is always so fresh & delicious.

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We had a red eye and quite literally had red eyes at the end of it. Everything that could lead to lack of sleep happened to a comical degree– wailing babies (not just crying- wailing) (I know they can’t help it though), turbulence, the only lady that felt the need to read the entire flight with the bright light was in our row… needless to say we were a bit exhausted when we finally landed at around 5 am on December 21st. The only saving grace was having episodes of The Great British Baking Show downloaded onto my phone.

It felt so good to see this sign that means we are home!

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My mom-in-law picked us up from the airport and once we were back at the house we slept… and slept… and slept. We slept from 7 am to about 2 pm. It was weird waking up with only a few hours of daylight left! That evening we were getting together with my Dad’s side of the family for Christmas. We were doing a double white elephant gift exchange this year (1 funny, 1 nicer gift), and I realized I forgot our joke gift back in CA. Mom B to the rescue with a cute little tree she had at her house that she offered to give away. DJ and I ran to the nearest gas station to get lottery tickets so we could decorate it.

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We all met at my cousins’ home, and it was just so special spending time with everyone together. I was so darn excited that there were Peppernuts, the traditional cookie my family used to make all together every year. Even though time & distance doesn’t allow us to get together for the baking day, my Aunt Pam made sure to have large tins full so we could all take some to go.

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Gotta get a cheesy family picture with the cookies, right?!

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I have so missed them all.

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We also got to spend some quality time with my older sister, Andrea. I think it had been two years since we have seen each other!

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Dinner was so stinking yummy. We had pasta, pizza of all varieties from the favorite local pizza chain (my favorite was the artichoke- mmmm mmm!), salad, and a few other sides. It was perfect.

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We had my niece and nephew open their gifts first, then we did the white elephant exchange.

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Cuties <3 They always melt my heart.

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We went back to my brothers house and played some card games before heading back. We returned probably at 2:30 (ish) in the morning. We slept until about 11 am on December 22nd. I’m tellin’ ya- travel and the time change threw us all off!

In the morning, we woke up to a beautiful snowfall!!! It made me so happy to see snow. I do miss it (I just don’t miss the cold that comes with it 😉 ).

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We went to DJ’s Dad’s home to spend time with that side of the family for the day. It was great spending that time with them, especially since they moved from CA back to OH this past summer. DJ’s younger sisters are now going to the same high school I went to and have some of my previous friends as teachers- it’s been fun discussing that and making connections.

In the evening back at my MIL’s, we enjoyed some phenomenal desserts (including her FAMOUS pumpkin pie) and played Codenames (seriously LOVE that game).

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On the 23rd we woke up early to get in our training run- 14 miles- then went to my Dad-in-laws home for a few hours before heading to the Cavs game that evening!

This was a pretty spur of the moment event. We were offered tickets from our family and although we had to change our flights from CLE to TX around a bit this was just an opportunity we could not pass up.

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We arrived early and grabbed some delicious food at the Bacardi Ocho lounge.

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I had a ton of sushi & then downed some delicious crostini with smoked salmon & quinoa that was cooked perfectly.

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Game Time!

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We lost, but it was an unforgettable experience.

For our last evening in OH we opened the cutest stockings & gifts with the fam and Pool Noodle while sipping on champagne all together. It was a wonderful evening before our early flight.

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Oh, and I had to share this picture below we found back from 2011 I believe.

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Our rearranged flight left in the morning at 6 am heading to Dallas/Fort Worth.

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We had a layover in Washington and it was fun to see the Washington Monument and Capitol building as we were being shuttled to our gate.

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We arrived to DFW airport at around 11 am on December 24th. My mom and Pete picked us up from the airport. Once home, we were greeted by my mom’s annual mouth-watering cookie display & my sweet pup, Jade. UGH, I missed that dog!

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We snacked & ate a hodge-podge of items- my mom always has yummy vegetarian treats on hand & DJ and Pete had BLTs.

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After fueling up I went on an incredible seven-miler. Something about the warm air was just invigorating. I’ll finish up our Christmas eve in the next post.

Questions for you!

  • Travel pet peeves?
  • Best White Elephant gift you’ve ever given/received?

xo <3

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89 thoughts on “Our Cleveland Christmas!

  1. Loved seeing the awesome Cleveland sign! Every time we go back I have to seek it out!

    So glad you enjoy Antonio’s too! Yum!

    Looks like a great time with loved ones! And a great ending with that photo!

    Happy New Year!

    1. I LOVED reading this, Nancy!! Seeing that sign is like, “Welcome Home!”. Antonio’s has been a favorite of mine since I was super little- it is nostalgic <3 So darn tasty!!!

      Thanks for reading! Happy New Year to you tooo

  2. Wow! What a great couple of visits with family! I need to know what the pink and blue ovals are that say Choc. Obviously some kind of chocolate but what???? I don’t travel much but definitely wailing babies are a big pet peeve (although I understand they can’t help it and there’s not much a parent can do) Best white elephant gift I got was an adorable pink wireless speaker.

    1. Hi! Thank you for stopping by! The little ovals are just plain chocolate! It is from a local chocolate manufacturer called Malley’s Chocolate. It’s amazing chocolate if you ever get the chance to try!

      Awww yes I know 🙁 I always feel so bad for the parents- it’s clear they wish they could do something about it ! But it’s truly one of the most unnerving sounds especially on a red eye.

      Awww those speakers sound so fun! Love that!! Happy New year to you!

  3. I’m glad you had a good holiday, and how great that you got to see some snow again while you were there! I love snow, it’s so pretty. I hate driving in it though. 😛 We’ve had one snow here in Maryland so far this winter. They predict we’re going to get a lot though.

    1. Isn’t it gorgeous? Girll, I am with you though on driving- I had a horrible car accident in high school in the snow and freak out basically every time I’m in it on the roads now.

      Stay safe & warm! Thanks for stopping in 🙂 xo

      1. I had my first (and only so far) car accident in the snow. I’ve gotten better at driving in it though, but it’s still scary.

      2. Ah I’m sorry to hear that you experienced that too- but it does get better as time passes, but always scary. Have a great Wednesday, girl!

  4. I can’t remember my flying pet peeves at the top of my head, because I haven’t flown in years now. BUT I definitely remember having some moments in the past during which I was very frustrated by the travel arrangements. Ha, ha! The thing about being stuck on a plane is that you’re stuck. So there are always those moments that make the flight seem long.
    It sounds like the rest of the trip totally made up for it though!!
    Gosh, that pumpkin pie is making my mouth water, and I wish I could reach into my laptop and grab a slice. Looks… SO… DELISH! The cookies look like perfection too. (I think I’m just craving sweets right now). Ha, ha!
    I’m curious about Pepernuts. What is the flavor like? I’ve never heard of them.
    Can’t wait to hear about the rest of your holiday!! 🙂

    1. Ohhh yess sometimes just the arrangements themselves can be tough even if everything goes smoothly! And totalllly- there is no escaping everything. I will say though I have to be thankful that at least there was no horrific smell. I would take sound over a bad smell (which I’ve experienced on several planes). I’m just so sensitive to the five senses hahah.

      It really is the best pumpkin pie of alllll time. SO good. As are the cookies!! The raspberry thumprints were a new addition this year and so darn tasty!

      So Peppernuts (also called Pfeffernüsse) are like a spiced gingerbread cookie! They are not super rich in flavor, but just enough that it pairs terrifically with coffee or milk. I think it is a nostalgic flavor for us too, which makes them extra delicious! I hope your New Year is off to a great start, Nicole 🙂

      1. That does sound like the perfect cookie for tea, coffee, or milk!! My Memere used to make a ginger cookie that was similar. Light on flavor, but just perfect for the holidays! 🙂

      2. Aww exactly!!! 🙂 I love that you have a cookie like that in your family too. Have a wonderful Monday, Nicole! xo

  5. Mackenzie – You sure do know how to pack in alot in your days (or maybe I should call them daze as you have your days so jam packed). I remember Pool Noodle from other posts, never met Jade, your pup, before though. So those are Peppernuts – what a nice family tradition – I am glad you posted pictures up close and then eating them. I am glad you got some snow, as I know it had a special meaning for you and DJ … and that picture of the two of you 7 years ago was so precious!

    1. Hehe we did try 😉

      Thank you so much! It was a wonderful time in OH with all things that make home “home”! Thank you for reading & supporting. Next stop – TX 🙂

      1. Yup, you and DJ had a busy December – too bad you had to study part of the time … you had enough other activities going on to have to worry about studying too.

      2. That’s okay! There was still plenty of time for R & R that made the studying so worth it. And thankfully I still have a couple days before hitting the books again- woohooo! Hope your year is off to a fabulous start, Linda!

      3. Good deal – you need some down time. Well that’s good you can manage it all and juggle things to have R&R too. It has been nice so far – hope it is the same for you Mackenzie.

      4. Thanks, Linda!! <3 Today was a bad bad day. We may be moving out of our apartment this weekend because the noise is horrendous... and our only option to get some sleep is to go another unit. But that on top of starting school so soon sounds daunting. We are going to try sleeping in our guest room tonight to see if it's any better... but I'll keep you posted. That R + R is not turning out quite how I expected. *sigh* tis' life!

      5. Good luck with that Mackenzie – I just now at 7:00 a.m. called the cops on neighbor two doors down – his doberman has been barking since 5:00 a.m. and yesterday it was 4:00 a.m. – he doesn’t care either. I thought the noise abated for you when the neighbors above moved out — they changed their mind? I am not one for calling the police, but listening to this non-stop barking just sends me up the wall and working from home, I have to have noise on in the background to drown out the barking during the day. I will cross my fingers you don’t have to move out – what a pain!

      6. Hi, Linda! Oh man I am so sorry you are dealing with it too. So yes, they changed their minds. I haven’t addressed it on here because the whole situation is sooo convoluted and I think it would just come off as one large venting sesh from me. But they are still here. 🙁 I haven’t been able to rest at home for about 6 months. We actually had some luck sleeping in the guest room & got some noise blocking headphones today to wear around during the day.

        Isn’t noise just THE most irritating? It seriously makes me go crazy!!! the barking would totally drive me nuts too! OH gosh, I hope your neighbor gets that pup under control. 🙁 Keep me posted on that situation too!

      7. Oh wow Mackenzie – I thought they moved out that weekend or imminently after you mentioned it in a post. That’s terrible that you can’t sleep or concentrate on schoolwork or just “think” and with noise there is no getting around it and they are right on top of you which makes it worse as it reverberates in the apartment. The landlord can’t do anything I guess … I’m sure you tried asking him as he/she came and said they were moving (supposedly). I can’t stand noise like that which is constant and loud. I don’t like the dog either – first time I’ve been around a doberman and it is a corner house – I walk on the opposite side as it rushes the fence, ears back, teeth bared – I like dogs, but don’t like this one. He lets it out loose in the front yard and it makes me nervous when I come back from walking. I one time told him to hold onto the dog as I wasn’t going to wait in the cross street for a dog. I’ve called five times now to the police and the only time the police have ever been called from this house in 52 years was for the dog. Owner is a registered s*x offender (did this so it doesn’t end up in SPAM) and younger than me, so no worries about that, but he is just rather swarthy looking and him and the dog … not a good fit for the neighborhood. He has lived here almost three years. I don’t think the police came as the dog continued to bark and I thought – doesn’t anyone else care … I was getting up early in the off chance the ice and fog didn’t happen and have stuff to do in the house, but, if I wasn’t an avid walker, I would not be getting up that early. I work from home and don’t start til 11:00 a.m. I hope your situation gets better soon … I feel your pain.

      8. Exactlyy… you nailed exactly what the frustration is. Thanks for empathizing. The noise blocking headphones are actually working really well! And we didn’t hear them at all for the second night in a row in the guest room- so I think we may not have to move until our lease is up (July). But then we are outtta here!

        Yeah that dog sounds horribly behaved too (and malicious!). The whole situation just sounds really unnerving and irritating (to say the least!).

        I hope by some miracle that dog shuts it and allows you to get some rest too… it’s the worst when you don’t feel like you can just relax in your own home. Sending hugs!

      9. Thanks Mackenzie – people can be so selfish and uncaring sometimes, but I never have understood how or why they would want to listen to a dog barking, when they are right there. It would drive me crazy for sure. Are you using the Bose headphones – I heard them advertised before that you can’t hear anything when wearing them as they really hug your ears. You could use a machine for white noise too. I used to have a radio headset which had a channel of relaxing sounds – train rolling on the tracks, waves crashing against a rock, a babbling brook. I have a neighbor next door to me with a hot tub under my bedroom window. She has gotten out of the habit, but there for a while, every night, she’d go out there with a drink and her phone and talk on the phone really loud. Under my window … this was around 10:30 – 11:30 p.m. SMH

        I hope both our noises and/or the creators of the noises are both eliminated from our lives … sooner rather than later.

        Sending hugs back to you – we’ve got to stick together in these situations!

      10. Hi, Linda! Hope your Monday is off to a nice start. I agree- it’s baffling how selfish people can be sometimes 🙁 I did get the Bose! Wee tried allll the white noise everything, regular headphones, etc. etc. Nothing at all worked, so finally just had to swallow the money and invest in the real deal- it is worth it- works so well!

        That’s crazy she would do that right under your window!! Like what is the point of that?! Just do it in your own home! my gosh.

        yesss agreed. Thanks for chatting and empathizing with me in this situation. <3

      11. I have heard the Bose are the best noise-cancelling headphones out there … at least you have a solution, even if temporary. They say heavy drapes on the windows can help as well, as they are heavily insulated, but I think that is more for a home if you are in a neighborhood that is noisy. Even the carpet will help keep the noise down, but you have the noise coming from above, so there is no workaround. It made no sense to me why she put that hot tub there and she also put a privacy fence on my side … not to be snarky, but I had no reason to be looking over in the dark at one woman in her hot tub. 🙂 I stuffed my ears last night because I wanted to sleep in as we were supposed to have freezing rain and rain this morning, so knew there would be no walk in the cards for me. Didn’t hear anything, so whether the dog didn’t go out in the precip or my ears were packed with tissue, I don’t know. I used those soft/pliable ear plugs and they fell out and they are not good for ears anyway, as they can damage your inner ear(s). I’m here anytime you want a sympathetic ear as I’ve been there/suffer with it as well unfortunately. ❤

      12. yes exactlyyy. I actually considered carpeting our ceiling but then realized how non-feasible that idea was haha.

        Gosh that is so infuriating!!! I hope the dog’s owner just got the hint finally. My husband doesn’t get bothered by noises like I do– I have severe misophonia, like clinically- so I try to explain the rage/anger/annoyance/etc. and he doesn’t quite get it. it’s nice to know I’m not crazy for feeling this way! (although I do have to say he is sooo supportive in finding a solution even though he doesn’t understand). <3 Have a great day, Linda! Hopefully the rain has resolved a bit for ya to get your walk in :)

  6. I love the decorated tree with lottery tickets. I wish I would have thought of this, because one of my aunts is obsessed with scratch off tickets and this would have made for a cool gift HAHA. Looks like you guys had so much fun. I MISS SNOW! I miss seeing it and playing in it, but not living in it HAHA.

    1. thanks girl!! I’m glad you liked our last minute idea & there is always next year- I’m sure you’ll need a white elephant gift idea again 🙂

      Aww I feel the SAME way, girl. Thanks for stopping in <3

  7. It looks like you had an amazing time visiting family! It’s always great to be able to gather together with our families to laugh, reminisce, and catch. I haven’t heard of Peppernuts, but they look tasty! That photo of you and DJ is soooo adorable!! xx

    1. Truly!! You said it so well!

      Peppernuts are good, but I think the nostalgic flavor makes them even more delicious for us 🙂

      Thank you so much, Amy! xo

    1. Thank you so much, Jamie! It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience- had to pinch myself! Hope your year is off to a wonderful start 🙂

  8. What a great Christmas holiday!! It looks like you all had such a fun time being together again. What a busy season you two have had!! Your dog Jade is too cute, it’s obvious how much of a sweetheart she is just from her adorable face. <3 Also that picture of you & DJ is just the sweetest!!

    1. Hey, girl! Awww she is a sweetie. She used to be so rambunctious, but has settled down quite a bit in the last few years. I miss her so much already! Thanks for stopping in, Chica! xo

    1. it definitely was a fun whirlwind!!! I think that is the PERFECT way to describe that week, hehe. Hope your year is off to a great start. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  9. What a lovely holiday! I love the Cleveland sign. I went once to Cleveland for a work trip but it was only one night! It seemed wonderful from what I did see of it haha. Honestly my biggest pet peeve is probably all the paperwork you need. I always print everything because I’m paranoid that my phone will act up the moment I need it. So the entire time it’s me putting everything away to make sure I don’t lose it only to take it out again to get it checked and scanned a million times!

    1. Hey, Pamela!! Thanks girl 🙂 Cleveland has definitely gotten so much better in the recent years- if you ever go back you have to check out 4th street 🙂

      Ohhhh that’s a gooood one. Yes, I am constantly making sure over and over that I have everything. I am thankful that they check so many times for safety, but gosh it is a hassle! I wish there was an easier way!

      Hope your year is off to a wonderful start, girlfriend! xo

    1. Aww that’s a great way to describe it- it was sooo nice & cozy. Aren’t Corgis too darn cute?!? I am bias, but I think Noodle is the cutest I’ve ever seen too 😉 Thanks for stopping in, Cadie! I’m excited to follow along this year with you toooo!

  10. It sounds like an eventful few days! Code names is such a fun game! I just played it for the first time a few weeks ago. All of those cookies look delicious! I had some amazing cookies over the holiday season and I have no regrets haha. Can’t wait to read more! I’d had to say my favorite white elephant gift was probably wine! Can’t lose with that!

    1. Hi, Em! Isn’t Code Names the best?!? We are obsessed. Any excuse to play we’re in! Girl- no regrets at all- tis’ the season 🙂

      YESSS- Amen, sista. I agree with youu!

  11. What a super fun visit you all had!! I’m sorry about the awful plane ride, but the trip looks oh so worth any travel hassle. The food and the cookies all look incredible! That throwback photo of you and Dj is so cute!! I hope you’re having a wonderful day!

    1. Thanks, Kori!! It was definitely worth it- and I’m just thankful we were able to make it this year since last year was impossible with the work sched.

      Hope you are having a wonderful start to this new year 🙂 Can’t wait to catch up on all your happenin’s!! xo

  12. I love the cheesy family pic.

    We traveled from DC to SF to Sacramento on Dec 22 and my 3 year old was a wailer towards the end of the flight. He just kept yelling, “No no no no no!” He really couldn’t help it. It was like 3am east coast time and we were putting him through a lot.

    1. Haha, got to get one cheesy pic or did you really celebrate the holiday, ya know?

      Awww poor thing!! I totally get it because they have such disrupted sleep schedules on those red eyes, especially the long flights. And at least it was the end of the flight! This wailer was at least once or twice an hour through the entire 4.5 hour flight (with blood curdling screaming)- so just toward the end of the flight sounds like a dream, hehe. Hope your year is off to a great start, Ralph!

    1. Right?!? I had never been in one before- them cars are WILD.

      Thanks, Allie 🙂 It was fun to stumble across that. Crazy how quick the years pass.

  13. Love all these pictures!! Family time is truly the best time! 🙂

    That pumpkin pie…I have never seen one so perfect! Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite desserts and that one looks phenomenal!

    And I love the dogs in this post – so cute little babies!!!!!! <3

    So happy you had a wonderful Cleveland Christmas! 🙂

    1. Hey, girlie! Thanks for stopping in 🙂 It was a wonderful time with family for sure! Very thankful since last year we weren’t able to all be together.

      She makes the world’s best pumpkin pie- I am convinced!!

      Hope your weekend is going well, love! xo

  14. Ahh! So annoying about the Uber drivers. I seriously hate when they go the wrong way and/or drop off or pick up at the wrong spot. I feel like it’s always a worry of mine when I order one. So sorry you had the worst kinds of people & babies on your flight. 🙁

    Hahaha I am always waking up that late & it is kind of sad to only have a few hours of daylight. 😛 The tree with lottery tickets was such a good idea!! I hope who ever got it won some $$$!!!

    I’ve never heard of Peppernut cookies. What do they taste like? They are so super cute. 🙂 & so is your whole family! Love love love the pictures of you all. ♡

    That Bacardi lounge looks way too cool & oh my gosh! It’s Pool Noodle lol! I freakin’ love that dog. 😍 Jade is a sweetie, too!!

    Oh & that photo of you & DJ as a baby couple is too darn precious. ♡

    1. Right?!? And I totally get that mistakes are made- but at least own up to it! He tried to cover it up with a lie, not cool!

      oh so peppernut cookies are like a soft gingerbread cookie! They are very delicate in flavor (not super sweet)- but great with coffee or milk. Mmm mm!

      haha- oooh our little Pool Noodle- he is such a punk. He ate all my christmas cookies I packed to take to my mom, lol. But gosh, he ccan do no wrong in my eyes. Love that little fur babe.

      aw, thank youuuuu <3

      1. Right?! Why did he have to lie!? & still dropped you off at the wrong spot… did you report him? LOL.

        I need to try a peppernut cookie, sounds wonderful. <3 I can't believe Pool Noodle at all the cookies hahaahhaha!!

      2. We didn’t report him, just gave him a bad rating. If we were running close to our flight time we probably would have been even more angry, but thankfully we had plenty of time. still incredibly aggravating!

        I knowww. He has a stomach of steel though-I was mainly just worried about him because he ate a TON. But he was just fine the next day! Pheww!

      3. Hahaha, I never know what to do about a bad Uber driver. I just ignore the ticket and try to pretend the whole encounter never happened! People are always like “why didn’t you report him?!” so that’s why I said it to you LOL.

        Aw crazy Pool Noodle. I’m so happy he was okay. <3

      4. LOL!!! too funny. There’s the part of me that’s like, “well he’s already been a hassle, so why let him give me more work to do?” .. so the poor rating I guess would suffice!

        Aw me tooooo. I was very thankful none of it had chocolate- that could have been so bad!

  15. Hi Mackenzie, that is too bad your driver sent you to the wrong terminal!But i do love the pretty red and green lighting display. So sorry for your flight also, I can empathise with babies in distress (been there done that!) but adults need a crash course in on board etiquette! Aww I love that sign Cleveland! I get teary eyed when I arrive in Dublin airport , I know I am “home” I love the tree with beautifully decorated lottery tickets. Cute pic with family eating peppernuts! Awww your niece and nephew are so cute! Do you think she will loan me that comfy blanket ?! I am excited for you to have had snow, I am with you , its great without the cold. How fun your friends are teaching DJ’s sisters .OOH I love that pumpkin pie , so yummy looking. We played wits and wagers on new years eve with friends, you need to get it , but we also have codenames but did not get to play it. It was fun to go to the basketball game I am sure! Love that corgi! Who is that cute couple in the photo…??
    Glad you got to see your pup!
    Pet peeve : when that guy in front of you sits, buckles and reclines as far as he can nearly in eye contact with you! then when people behind start bumping the back of your seat. I got a bunch of rubber kitchen scrubbers in a white elephant gift. I gave this just past in exchange. https://www.target.com/p/ninja-174-express-chop-174/-/A-51086639?preselect=46766107#lnk=sametab Take care, Terri xo.

    1. I totally agree- allll adults could use a crash coarse on onboard etiquette (and general airport etiquette probably!).

      Ahh i love that you have that same feeling going back to Dublin <3 So special !!

      Tehee- aren't they the cutest!? Actually my Aunt Pam and cousin made those blankets for them- how sweet is that?

      I know I have raved about the pumpkin pie quite a bit, but it really is simply the best. What I would do for a piece right now *sigh*

      Oohhh wits and wagers sounds like a ball of fun! Definitely going to look into it- can't believe I haven't heard of it before!

      DJ and I couldn't believe how young we look in that photo- for a while we just saw ourselves in it, but now when we see it we see our young selves. It was fun to stumble upon that photo!

      yes yes yes amen to that pet peeve haha. I feel you on that!!! I empathize entirely for suree.

      I would be THRILLED to receive that ninja in a white elephant gift exchange! You bet I would be trying to steal it. I can't believe it's only $18?! Have you used it? does it work pretty well? Usually Ninja products are incredible!

      Thanks for stopping in, Terri 🙂 <3 <3

      1. How nice your Aunt and cousin made the blankets, even more special now! You need to check out wits and wagers on your next target run, so fun for adults and teens! That is a great perspective on the photo of you two. The way we play the gift game is: every couple or single person buys a gift for $20 total. I bought the ninja at target and added two plastic bowls along with the ninja to reach $20. You wrap item or items and put into a box (plenty of spare amazon boxes collected leading up to Christmas!) and wrap it as a present. We had 8 players in total. What happens is a kid picks the first present and puts it on the table . It is easy to do around a dining table. We take dice and the first to roll a double goes first. We put on oven mitts and a santa hat and that person starts to try and open the present! As soon as they start the person on their right rolls the dice for doubles . If the present is not opened the by the time the doubles are rolled they stop take the gloves and hat off and pass to the person who rolled the doubles. it continues that way and whoever has the box fully unwrapped before the next person throws doubles gets that present! So they are out of the
        game and keep that present , exchange with a gift receipt, or do a swap deal when the last present is opened. So it is fast paced you unwrap as fast as you can with oven mitts and roll dice as fast as you can to get the mitts . It is fun. My Sister-in-law won the ninja , I don’t know if she used it yet. I won some chocolate treats and a wine bottle stopper in the gift I opened! I hope I explained it good, Terri xo.

      2. I’ll definitely be checking out that game!!

        Okay that is the BESTTT way I have ever heard a white elephant gift exchange done! I love that!! How fun (and hilarious)!!! I may need to implement this with my family next year .Thank you for sharing with me- seriously sounds like such a blast. And the chocolate and wine bottle stopper is an awesome gift to go away with too 🙂 Happy Monday, Terri!!!

      3. I am going to keep asking throughout 2019 if you purchased wits and wagers Mackenzie ! It is hilarious and fun to exchange gifts , trying to open them with oven mitts on and you got to be fast because as soon as the person next to you rolls doubles you hand the gift off to see if they can open it . It goes in a circle , we clear the dining table at my MIl’s house and its one box at a time until its opened! The gifts I recieved (won I mean! ) were nice , speaking of wine , is it time for a glass?? Happy Monday Dear, Terri xo.

      4. Yesss! I looked into it and it looks hilarious. There are youtube videos on how to play and everything, and seriously looks like a ball!! Definitely going to make sure to have it on hand for the next family get together 🙂

        Oh I so wish it were time for a glass!! 5:00 somewhere?! xox

  16. Only in CA would a Tesla drive you to the airport! Ha!

    It looks like y’all had such an incredible time, & it’s so great you were able to see so much of your families!

    Wow that gameday food looks ah-mazing. 🙌

    Pool Noodle! So.freaking.cute.

    That throwback photo of you two is so precious. You were just beebees.

    1. lol, right?!?!

      I could have spent the entire game in that food place- haha, but I guess we wereeee there for the game 😉

      Aww, right? For the longest time I just saw “us” in that picture, but now it’s like looking at two children versions of us- so crazy how time goes. Thanks for stoppin’ in , girl!

  17. Omg what a nice little xmas recap! That sure was a lot of traveling in a matter of days but I’m glad you guys got to see your families and get all together. I miss that the most I think lol
    And is the corgi’s name pool noodle?! How adorable. And your other doggo, Jade!! Cutee! How old is she?
    Great recap cant wait to keep reading to catch up. I’m almost there Haha.

    1. lol – isn’t Pool Noodle so creative?! I just love it. And aww Jadey- I might be a little off…. I think she’s about 12 now. <3

      1. She’s a sweet little thang, she used to be more spunky but the age is definitely wearing on her <3 Have a great week, Rossy! Always love our convos!

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