This Christmas season, Kyle and I crammed in as much holiday fun as we could muster.  We spent a lot of time with our families, friends, and one another, and looking back, these past few weeks have been filled with a plenty of love and laughter.
1. Kyle and I spent an evening at Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village with my parents.  We explored the village, soaked up the atmosphere of Christmases past, rode on the carousel, watched the toy trains race across the tracks, and watched fireworks light up the night sky over the river.  For dinner, we dined at the Eagle Tavern and had a multi-course meal of hearty soups and stews and meats while we sipped on hot cider and were serenaded with holiday carols.

2. Jazzy is the love of our lives, followed closely by tormenting her.  Here she is sporting her holiday kilt (Kyle's plaid pajama bottoms) and looking so pleased to be a part of this family.

3. As a surprise, Kyle took me out ice skating, something I'd wanted to do for the past several winters but that we'd never gotten around to doing.  

4. Seeing Tegan & Sara and The Killers was awesome.  January 29th can't come any faster.  I can't wait to listen to T&S's new "CLOSER" album.

5. The Encore Theatre in Dexter is a cute little theatre that puts on spectacular performances. Last winter we saw "It's a Wonderful Life" there with my family.  This year, it was "Plaid Tidings."  I didn't know what to expect with "Plaids Tidings" as I'd never heard of it, but it was witty, corny, sweet, sentimental, and riotous.  Totally loved it.  I wheezed and choked a lot.

6. Ignoring weather reports, Kyle and I drove out to Somerset Mall.  It's monstrous.  I was overwhelmed.  I felt a bit like a country bumpkin who couldn't handle the massive crowds and equally massive store directory.  But, I got to pop into Anthropologie, Sephora, and LUSH, and so I was a happy (and somewhat terrified) shopper.  Then we got to spend three hours driving home in blizzard conditions.  Kyle loooooooved me for that.

7. Like most tech-savvy people, we now have smartphones.  I can actually access the internet on my phone?  And use instagram without having to whip out my clunky iPad?  Yesssss!  Thanks M&D for the awesome Christmas presents.  Kyle will probably ignore us all now while he plays on his phone.

8. Shortly after Christmas, we received several inches of snow.  We bundled up, headed outside, had a snowball fights, and made snow angels.

9. As part of their Christmas gift, we took my parents to seen magician Aaron Radatz at the Village Theatre in Canton.  Great illusions, sleight of hand, stunts, and comedy.  Everyone of every age - from young children to elderly adults - loved it.  It was entertaining to watch and we spent the whole drive home discussing "how did he do that?!"  

10. While I'm not a huge fan of wintry winters (i.e. - driving in them), I love the look of snow powdering the trees.

11. For Christmas from Kyle's mom and dad, we received, among many other things, a beer puzzle.  It was cool and thoughtful since we're really into wines and beers, but it wasn't a hot item on our lists or anything.  Funnily enough, it was the first gift we opened immediately after our guests left and we were alone, and we spent hours over the next three days, crouched over the dining table, working speedily to finish it.  We didn't even realize it ourselves, but apparently we super love jigsaw puzzles.  Thanks Cash and Dawn!

12. Here we are out in the snow again, frolicking about with JazzerBat.  She doesn't really play in the snow.  She usually just runs out to potty and then runs back into the house.  But when we went out with her to play, she was all over showing us up by racing through the snow and leaping about while we trudged along, trying to keep up with her.  

13. In late fall, I went with my mom to a holiday decorating workshop at The Wooden Shoe Herb Farm near Battle Creek.  It started with a gourmet meal and was followed with a tour of the beautifully decorated grounds and buildings to inspire us with decorating tips as we moved into the holidays.

14. Because we love plays and performances (obviously), we added another to our calendar and saw U of M's student production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream."  It was edgy and progressive but also light-hearted and fun.

15. I'm glad we were able to spend so much time with our families, immediate and extended, this holiday: cookie baking, dinner parties, annual get-togethers, shopping trips, seeing live performances together, and exchanging gifts.

16. Christmas morning with our little family gift exchange between me, Kyle, and Jazzy is one of my favorite holiday memories.  It's a quiet pause in the midst of all the hustle and bustle as we go from one get-together to another.  We pour the coffee, open our stockings, make a huge deal of Jazzy opening hers, and then exchange gifts while Jazzy gnaws away at one of her Christmas treats.    

Happy Holidays!

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