This year for Christmas it was our "on" year with Andrew's family. The biyearly Christmas event has always been in Houston, but this year we were able to all meet at a half way point in Dallas. I posted the old picture of "the cousins" at the top because to be in or a part of Andrew's family you have to know about "the cousins." I remember when Andrew and I were still dating and heading to his sister Becca's wedding. He had me look at a picture and learn all the cousin's names. Plus now several of them are married, so there were spouses too. I remember walking into the rehearsal dinner for Becca and Ozzie and being greeted by all the cousins and officially meeting his extended family for the first time. I hate walking into a crowded room, wearing heels, and meeting everyone at once. But as soon as I sat down at the "cousin table" I quickly learned that each member of Andrew's family had a distinct personality, and that over time I'd come to love these people.
The cousins consist of Andrew's mothers children, her sister Joan's children, and their sister-in-law Carol's children. Which for Andrew growing up it was the seven of them, but now five of them are married, three have a child under 2, and two of those three are weeks away from having another child. So all of the sudden there is a ton of people. Two Christmas ago was my first time being at the Christmas get together. It was fun, but I'd say having three adorable almost toddlers this year stole the competition.
Before we left Andrew made a couple of delicious breads. The one he was working on in the picture up above was a Poppyseed Stollen, which turned out amazing. While Andrew baked the night before we left, Blanche and I wrapped Christmas presents (which was mostly tons of coffee Andrew had roasted) and finger painted (blog about my budding artist to come). We left Thursday the 20th after Andrew got off work and stayed through Christmas Eve. Our time there was mostly spent in Andrew's cousin Erin's house with her husband Matt. Some of the family was already there once we arrived and the family kept piling in through the weekend. Andrew's 9 month pregnant sister Becca even surprised everyone when her, Ozzie, and their son Jonathan came Saturday morning. I'd say for the most part we ate, drank, and were merry. That just seems to describe this trip the best to me. With so many people in the house there only seemed to be a few hours of quiet every 24 hours. Between the guys drinking and talking sports until 2am, and Asher up at 6:30…. there were a few moments I wondered if my merry would make it. But it did. Erin, Uncle Reg, Andrew, and almost everyone else as well seemed to be constantly making delicious food. Matt and Erin were wonderful opening their beautiful home, which Blanche loved walking around in. There were even a few moments where I was able to relax and have adult conversation without having to watch Blanche. The more I talk with Andrew's family and get to hear their own stories, the more I love them. I can honestly say I'm looking forward to the next Christmas get together, and wishing that the family could get together more than once every other year.
p.s. on the family picture… I'm holding Blanche's baby doll in her place as she was napping… and cousin Jess is going to photoshop Uncle Reg into it from the second one I took…. Haha.