christmas eve

2016

every year, christmas eve is spent at my mom and dad’s house.

my sister kim cooks dinner, while we help, and all is merry and bright! my dad blasts the christmas music, the wine is freely flowing, yummy aromas fill the house, and there is much excitement and anticipation amongst the kids.

as we walked into my parent’s house, i heard my brother huy’s voice. i thought, ‘oh, he’s on face time already!’. we had received bad news earlier on in the week that huy and tashina weren’t going to make it out here for christmas. we were so sad! well, as we were taking off our shoes, huy comes running up the stairs!!! wtf! we couldn’t believe it! i was soooo surprised and happy! he made it into town! yaaaayyyyyyyyy! he was only going to be in chicago for less than 24 hours but we didn’t care! it was a total christmas gift to have him spend it with us, albeit the short time frame.

olive was not afraid, this time around, of uncle huy! all the other times he’s visited she has been utterly scared of him. almost terrified! she was so receptive and actually gave him hugs, kisses, and wanted to be near him. a complete 180 to her behavior from a few months ago! i was loving it…it made me so happy to see her loving huy.

well, we fried the turkey, we made all the delicious food, and after hours of waiting, we finally sat down to eat! yum.yum.yum. my dad said a blessing and we all dug into the delicious meal! it was sooooo good as always. after dinner, we did the usual of cleaning up before we opened presents. the kids always wait soooooo patiently for that.

at last, it was time! but not without a hundred photos first! hahaha! this christmas is the first christmas where olive was fully aware of what was going on. she knew she had presents and it was the most darling thing to watch. she was so excited, grateful, thankful, and oh so darn cute opening up each one of her gifts. her excitement and joy filled my heart with love! it was awesome to watch her light up from all the excitement and gifts. we are so blessed and thankful for all that we’re given!

after the tornado whirlwind of tearing apart gifts, everyone settled in and enjoyed their presents. dessert was served and relaxation began. we were spent…so exhausted from being sick and tired from all the sleep we weren’t getting. an hour after the craziness, i was ready to go.

we packed up our zillion things, said our merry christmases and thank you’s and went on our merry way. it was a fabulous christmas eve, especially with huy surprising us! we enjoyed our family, the food, the libations, and the absolute joy these kiddos exude. life is good, christmas time is great, and family is the best. it was a merry christmas indeed.

God bless us all.

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[uncle dan with miss ellie]

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[crazy cousins]

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[festive, cutest table decor]

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[uncle huy with baby ellie]

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[family pic…minus ellie]

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[i love how happy my dad looks]

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[dem cheeks]

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[mama and her daughters]

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[cutest cousins]

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[so festive]

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[christmas table centerpiece]

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[photo by huy doan]

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[they make each other smile]

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[photo by huy doan]

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[photo by huy doan]

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[love these two!]

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[photo by huy doan]

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[ellie in her fur stole]

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[photo by huy doan]

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[a rare moment for ellie…usually that’s olive. hahaha!]

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[ready to open christmas presents!]

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[tearing into her presents]

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[pretty much what ellie did all night…lay around]

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[i think this might be my favorite pic]

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[super auntie thuy and olive]

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[she had a B L A S T opening up her gifts]

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[photo by huy doan]

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[sweet baby ellie]

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[olive’s stash]

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[facetime with tashina]

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[thuy’s secret santa gift…macarons]

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[mmmmm macarons]

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[b loving his gifts!]

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[a very sweet moment between uncle dan and olive playing together]

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[photo by huy doan]

xoxo

christmas eve

2015

ahhhhhh! it was finally christmas eve and we were so excited! i love the holidays and the joy that comes with it!

like i said in a previous post {now that the cat’s out of the bag!}, I have been sooooooo tired from this pregnancy! writing blog posts, decorating, planning, going out, whatever it was took five times as long having a toddler and being so exhausted every day. there were days where i didn’t want to do anything and that is soooooo unlike me. i am the energizer bunny. i can plow through anything and come out winning like a champ with extra energy to spare. hahaha! throw in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy during the holidays and i was ko’d.

anyhoo, our morning started calm and quiet. hc made a delicious breakfast quiche to start our day out. we just relaxed and completed odds and ends before we headed over to my parent’s house. while the girls slept, i made christmas popcorn and packed them into mason jars for our neighbors and saved the rest to bring over to my parent’s house for our family to munch on.

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[hc made a festive christmas breakfast]

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[yummy christmas popcorn]

once we arrived at my parent’s house, cooking our christmas eve dinner was in full swing. we hung out with everyone, sporadically helped out with dinner, the kids played, and everyone was just having a great time together. it’s always so fun to have my brother huy around and his fiancé tashina. they are so quirky, fun, and oh so creative. i love their style and the kids love them so much!

my sisters did such a great job setting the table and the kid’s table. it’s always so pretty and festive. once dinner was ready to be served, we all sat down, my dad says a blessing, and we get to manger manger the delicious meal my sister kim cooks! after dinner is when the kids get soooo antsy because they want to open presents! i must say, though, my nephews do ask but they are so patient and understanding. we won’t open presents until we are all done with cleaning up the table, the kitchen, and the dishes are all washed, cleaned, and dried.

of course the kids always go first! r and b are tooo cute when they open up their gifts, we always get hugs and thank you’s. sooooo sweet! each present for olive, we had to get started. someone would tear off a little piece or corner and away she would go. she definitely had fun opening up her gifts! she loved the big stuffed kitty aunt thuy bought her, one of her favorites! she also looooooved b’s roller skates! they were too small for b but olive wanted to put them on and she was amazing in them! she held her balance well, she would jump and land on her feet, and every time she fell, she would say, “whoa whoa whoa!!!!”. it was too stinkin’ cute!

the best part of the evening? being able to tell our mom and dad and famille that i am pregnant! i was sooooo excited, i could hardly wait! after the kids opened up a majority of their gifts, i decided to give my parents our present from us. my dad was the one to open it up. as he did, a big smile crossed his face…seeing what the shirt said. he held up the shirt {a white toddler tee that said big sister in vietnamese} and my sister kim asked, “who gave that to dad?”. i said, “we did! i am PREGNANT!!!!!”. there were gasps and cries of joy! oh i was sooooo happy to tell everyone the news! there were tears and hugs and lots of smiles! it was so awesome to share the news and see the elation on everyone’s faces! little r asked if he could have a boy cousin! hahaha! we will see little one, we will see!

oh what a merry christmas eve it was! it felt fantastic to finally share the joyous news and just let my prego belly hang out! i was soooo tired of hiding it! after we opened up all our gifts, i sliced the buche du noel cake and served the french classic treat to everyone and we just reveled in all the goodness around us. it was quite the blessed evening and we couldn’t wait for christmas day to share the news with hc’s side of the family! hooray!

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[my shirt says: santa, i know him! looooove it]

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[kids table! how fun!]

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[grace and hc]

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[buche du noel]

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[buffalo check greatness]

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[tashina, thuy, and r]

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[huy and tashina]

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[classic…of course olive is grumpy]

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[olive was so afraid of her dada]

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[so silly. i love it]

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[love these two]

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[desserts…fruit and cake!]

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[loving my dad’s outfit!]

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[she really enjoyed opening presents!]

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[she looooooved her stuffed kitty from super aunt thuy]

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[she loved bouncing around on the it]

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[dad holding up the ‘big sister’ shirt!]

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[christmas eve isn’t complete without a pj party pic!]

xoxo

merry merry christmas eve

2014

ahhhh, it was christmas eve! i love christmas eve. it’s the most wonderful time of the year! every year, it’s at my parent’s house. we gather there for food, fun, and gifts!

hc and i got ready {while olive was napping away}. i was hemming and hawing over what i should wear. i wanted to be festive and fun but i couldn’t figure out what my ensemble should be. well, i got a little dorky and totally went all cheesy chritmasy with my outfit du nuit. red and green it was. it was a bit loud, bright, and crazy but i totally rocked it like nobody’s business {no comments please}.

olive’s outfit was a bit classier. she wore ralph lauren plaid. yup, the cutest little red dress with a plaid ribbon, sparkle tights, and a red flower pin. hello, she had to match her cousin’s outfits!

once we got there, we said our hello’s to everyone and i went downstairs to see if my sisters needed help with dinner {they were chugging along quite nicely}. in-between helping with dinner, we were visiting with everyone and clinking our drinking glasses on this very merry evening.

we did a lot of goofing around, taking photos at every chance, and just relaxed. a perfect evening to sit back, unwind, and slow down from this hectic, hectic holiday season. it was pretty cool to just chill with our family. i was so tired that i actually fell asleep sitting up on the couch. what?! i never do that, like never. just ask hc. but never say never ’cause i just did!

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[red and green!]

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[the boys]

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[cheers!]

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[i found this picture quite funny. mmmmmm, wine…]

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[why, yes there is a tent in the middle of the room. and santa and rudolph were visiting olive]

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[super auntie thuy and olive]

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[tashina actually holding olive! or i mean, olive letting tashina hold her]

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[sweet baby girl]

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[silly faces]

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after much waiting, dinner was finally ready! yum! kim always creates the most wonderful entrees. everything is always so flavorful and delicious. we had a wonderful seasoned beef tenderloin, buttery mashed potatoes, savory mushrooms, corn, brussel sprouts, and a crisp, fresh kale salad. it was all so tasty and good!

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[christmas tablescape]

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[dinner place cards]

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[matching ralph lauren plaid outfits]

after dinner, our little elves changed into their pj’s. oh so cute. could this be any more adorbs?! we, of course, went photo crazy. after much admiration of them, we finally trekked upstairs to open up christmas gifts. it was so crazy and fun. of course, the kiddos went first. that’s the best part! olive, reagan, and bennett opened up all their gifts and ooh’d and ahh’d over all their goodies. the cutest part? olive learning to ooh and ahh herself! she would squeal every time we opened up a present…it was beyond precious to watch and hear her! i just about melted every time she did it.

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[santa’s elves]

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[this picture cracks me up! i laugh every time i look at it!]

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[elf feet]

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[gifts!]

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[presents, presents, presents]

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[my gift from hubby charming]

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[prints from rifle paper co.]

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[bose sound system]

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[christmas booty]

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[how many christmas presents can i wear?]

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[pout]

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[what a cool dude]

after the kids opened up their presents, all the adults opened up their secret santa gifts and had to guess who their secret santa was! score…i got mine right, it was tashina! ha! i’m so good. 😉 so, as usual, everyone tinkered with their christmas gifts and/or reveled in the kids excitement of new things.

thuy and i then brought up desserts and coffee for everyone to nibble on while we continued to play around with our new toys. oh what a night…it was a pretty awesome eve together. spending time with family is precious and it was definitely a christmas eve to remember! merry, merry indeed!

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[pj party!]

xoxo