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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Friday Favorites #17!

Oooohhhh hello there. Thank you for taking a few seconds out of your crazy schedule to stop in and visit lil’ ole me. And I wish you a very happy friday to youuuu! I am sitting in the airport right now waiting for our flight. I am hoping to finish this up by the time we board so I can have it published for the morning. So without further adieu, let’s get to the faves!

  1. No Cow Chocolate Fudge Brownie. So I was mad at No Cow bar for a bit after they changed their initial formula. WELL, I think they changed it again because I tried a few other flavors beyond my trusty lemon meringue, and I am now team No Cow Bar hard core again. I love the lemon, blueberry, raspberry chocolate, and this double chocolate fudge brownie bar is literal dessert.

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2. Sabra’s Caramelized Onion Hummus. I tried to make homemade hummus this week, and it was no bueno. I tweaked it enough to make it edible, but had a hummus hankerin’ that it was not satisfying. So I froze it like I do basically everything. I went to the store and found this baby, and as the container shows, it only lasted a few days. This is my new favorite flavor for sure.

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3. Bible Reading Plan. I discovered an App that puts together a reading plan for you by themes (you can choose other ways for how you would like to read). I have never read through thematically before, and the way it highlights how the New and Old Testament are interwoven is blowing my mind. I am just loving reading the Bible in this way.

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4. My girl Rach got sent me this ornament for Christmas! I am so touched! She wrote in the card that she didn’t get it because I’m flaky but because it was punny. Does she know me or what?! LOVE it, love her.

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5. This week I have loved writing the Disney recaps. Being able to reflect on each day has helped tremendously with even remembering those little moments that can flee from the memory quickly. You can find all the parts of the Disney travels below.

Universal Studios Part One

Harry Potter World

Animal Kingdom

Epcot

Magic Kingdom

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6. Dis’ Sourdough bread from TJ’s. It’s so tasty!

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7. I received this Alex and Ani Cleveland Indians bracelet from one of my best (and longest) friends, Melissa, as an early birthday gift. How stinkin’ cute is this?!?! It is so treasured and I will wear it proudly!

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8. My TV obsession this week goes to The Great British Baking Show. Have you watched?!?! I watched the last two seasons (you can watch each season exclusively), and I am living for this show.

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9. This meme. Mine is bottom right, no doubt.

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10. Hunida sent me the sweetest little goodie bag & card for the holidays. I mean, my heart is absolutely melted! How. dang. thoughtful!! I just love this girl. If you don’t follow her blog ya need to right nowww. Isn’t blogging just the best for forming friendships like this? I am thankful for this one!

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Have a wonderful holiday weekend & A VERY Merry Christmas, friends. And I know the holidays can be tough and heighten the rough times too- so I’m praying for those that may be feeling a little more dejected during this season, that may have lost loved ones, or are just going through anything at all. Sending you all my love & hugs!

xo <3

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