Matt and I drove up to Reno the Friday before Christmas. Well that was a rough start. It took us 9.5 hours to get to Reno from Sunnyvale (read as: that took us twice as long, and then some), which was awful (but weirdly Matt and I made it through without wanting to strangle one another). Literally we were stopped in bumper to bumper traffic for at least 2 HOURS. I could have walked faster. But thank God for Taco Bell and Kenny G Christmas music. So Friday night was kind of a bust, and we went straight to bed!
|Our co-pilot for the trip!|
|Putting on chains for the first time!|
|I made a cake, it says Merry Christmas!|
When we woke up on Monday, there was nothing in our 12 days bags yet. We went to lunch with two of Matt's best friends (Jeremy and Bas) at BJ's and played pool at Bas' house. These guys are a riot, especially when you get them all together! Plus Jeremy lives in Naaasshville, so it's been a while since both Matt and I have seen him. For Christmas eve, Matt's family always goes to his Aunt Merrie's house for Christmas Eve dinner, and this is another tradition I've been dying to be a part of!! His aunt always cooks like a 12-course meal, and all he can ever talk about is the shrimp cocktail and the prime rib. Everyone was there, including Matt's grandparents, his uncle Chip (who is married to Merrie) and even Caitlin's brother Sean and dad Jeff (Caitlin is Brandon's wife). It's always great to see Matt's extended family because his grandparents are the nicest people, and his aunt and uncle are the biggest Lakers fan (well only his uncle, but Merrie by association has to be a Lakers fan too). The dinner was SPECTACULAR. Literally, this woman is a culinary genius. Being a big foodie, this was like a dream come true: everything was so original (creamy celery soup and pistachio-crusted grapes) and delicious (Prime rib, shrimp cocktail, prime rib, shrimp cocktail). Seriously, I would gain 400 pounds if I ate like that all the time. Definitely a feast to remember. Thanks for cooking Merrie. After dinner, we did the gift swap with everyone. There were so many presents everywhere! Thanks for including me in everything and making me feel like part of the family (definitely loved my Starbucks gift card and bath set). When we got back to Matt's house, his parents gave us our last 12 days presents. And guess what I got!??!???! A ONESIE!!!!!!! YES, full on footed pajamas. And yes, I was ecstatic. Literally Abby and I looked at each other and were like, "Can we put these on?" "yes!!!!!" So naturally, I spent the rest of the night in a onesie. And I'd never been happier :) :)
On Christmas morning, we woke up to a Christmas breakfast. His mom made french toast and bacon, and all his brothers came over. Another recipe I'll have to save for later: baked french toast. Seriously, I feel like I ate my way through Christmas. After breakfast, we did presents. Matt's parents really go all out for this. Every single person had a pile of presents, myself included. I can't stop saying thank you, but thank you Connie & Jerry for including me in everything (and also for my new Chi straighter, cooking gear/recipes, gift cards, and everything else). It was so much fun going round and round in circles watching everyone's faces light up over their presents. Plus his family is so close that it really is just magical being part of it. When we finished with presents, we did their annual movie on Christmas and went to see the Hobbit. I loved it, I think it's a great story, and I'm hoping to read the book soon! Plus when you're surrounded by popcorn and family, even the worst movie could be good. Afterwards, we came home and unloaded our stockings, which were filled with little gadgets and trinkets, like Lakers pens, Giants stickers, recipe cards, etc. Probably the most random assortment of stuff ever, but you can tell Matt's mom really thought about what was going into each person's stockings! We also did the Walmart gift exchange, and I gave Brian his indoor basketball set (which I think he really liked). Guess who got me? MATT. No wonder he wouldn't shop with me when we were at Walmart. He got me a cupcake holder (which I had pointed out while I was in the store) and plenty of candy (because I have a sweet tooth like no other). He really is the best isn't he? Afterwards, his mom whipped up a last minute dinner, which included a full ham and twice baked potatoes. Even last minute meals are very homemade at the Evans household. Unfortunately, I had a plane to catch right after dinner, so we said our goodbyes and Matt drove me to the airport. The whole time I was hoping that I would get snowed in, but unfortunately, my plane just got delayed for two hours instead. Overall, this was probably one of my favorite Christmas holidays to date. I love Christmas with my family, but it's much more low-key than Matt's family. His family really just relishes the Christmas traditions and you can just tell they love each other so much. I'm so incredibly grateful to have been with his family this year. Thank you for a wonderful celebration of family and love and baby Jesus. I can't wait for many more Christmases to come with the Evans.
|Lily also got presents!|
|Merry Christmas from Matt & Margaret|