Merry Christmas from the Mountain

Our Christmas was a little different this year. The DC bunch wasn't able to travel because they just welcomed a new member into their (our!) family on December 20th. Sweet little squishy Oliver Maxwell Traylor...

He was born on his actual due date! 7lbs 7oz and 21in long! Welcome, Oliver! We can't wait to spend next Christmas (hopefully!) with you and your big brother!!

Since Adam and Christy did Thanksgiving with us, they did Christmas with Christy's family in Shreveport.

So with that, Sean, Sid and I went to the mountain for Christmas to be with Grammy! Sean and I had strong feelings for wanting Sid's first Christmas to be at my mom's house. I'm so glad we did, even if it was a smaller, quieter bunch than we're used to. We had so much fun, even though we sure missed having everyone else there, too.

We were able to get on the road by 6:30, after I nursed Sid that morning. He was THRILLED to be in the car for 6 hours!

We got a little creative during his diaper change on the road! It was so cold outside, I didn't want him out of the car. So I shoved my pillow in his carseat and voila!, instant changing station!

We got there on Christmas Eve, which is pretty late for us. Usually we are there a few days early, but it all worked out. My mom had the house all decorated, which is always so enjoyable. We got to the house in time for lunch! Sid and Grammy had lots of fun play time that afternoon :)

Sid had a rough night. He has been to The Escarpment many times, but he's a little older now and he was just a bit off. Thankfully he settled in pretty quickly, and the rest of us started our Christmas Eve Party! It started with us trying to take a group selfie to send to the missing family...

It took us a few tries, but we finally got a good one (except we sent the silly one instead ;) ).

We had cocktails, ate tamales (Sean and I have a tradition of bringing fresh tamales with us each year), and then we all sat down to listen to my Cajun mama read The Cajun Night Before Christmas. This is a tradition my dad started many years ago. It was always so funny listening to him get into character. My mom nailed it this year! After she read it, we are pretty sure we started a new tradition with everyone taking a stab at it! I read it next, and then Sean. I have priceless video of Sean in character but I think he might divorce me if I actually posted it! I'm not sure we've ever laughed so hard! So. Much. Fun! I'm just glad we didn't wake sleeping Sidney up during all of this craziness!

Christmas morning finally came! Sid woke up around 6 (I think?). He slept in his special Christmas pjs that Grammy sent him that had Santa Clause on his feet!

Santa left these special gifts for Sid...

And some more...

Grammy made him his very own stocking. She stitched this entire thing by hand! How awesome is that?! She has been slaving over this stocking for months! She literally finished it the night before! It is so special and I know he will love it so much once he's old enough to understand :)

I loved getting to sit with Sidney as he carefully observed each of his new toys before touching them. 

After an hour he was ready to go back to sleep. I went to put him back down, and then the rest of us got breakfast made! We had garlic cheese grits, curried fruit, and bacon with brown sugar and pecan crumble. Oh, my, gosh. I'm not going to lie when I say it was drool worthy. Because it was! 

We enjoyed our breakfast and then began opening our gifts. 

Sean always gets the award for most creative gift wrapping. Oh yes, these are my lovely gifts from my crafty husband. 

Apparently this one was SUUUUUUPER heavy....

Doing some stretches before the heavy lifting...

You should note that he got the gift over to me without any injury. You should also note that inside the box was a glass water bottle. Oh my gosh, SO heavy ;)

Every year, my mom and dad were known to gift Sean some crazy article of clothing. A funny hat, silly pj pants, just anything to help Sean add to his costume collection (I wish I were kidding!). This year, my mom found these two things...quite funny when put all together.

my arm hurts. what? bite me. (Bite me was a favorite saying of my dad's)

Now listen to this story. On Christmas Eve night, I told my mom we had a gift for her that she needed to open early because she was going to need it for Christmas morning. 

Sid made her a special coffee mug :) I told her we even already washed it so that it would be ready for use on Christmas morning! She was seriously so excited and I could tell she truly loved the gift. 

On Christmas morning, I opened one of the gifts from my mom, only to find THIS...

SHE MADE ME A MUG WITH SID ON IT!!!! I mean. How did this even happen! Is that not nuts? I LOVE my mug and I'm pretty sure she loves hers, too :) All I can say is great minds...

When Sid woke up from his nap, he opened some more gifts. Then, we all slowly cleaned up and got ready for company! 

My mom invited The Robinson's, Katy and Nithin, and Becky and Seth over for Christmas meal. We were all used to larger groups for the holidays, so we all decided to combine ours with special friends. Everyone came over around 4 so they could get some Sid time before he had to go to bed. We had appetizers and cocktails while we waited for the meal to be ready, and for Sid's bedtime. 

I think I can speak for us all when I say we are all still talking about our meal. Mike was in charge of the prime rib, Janie did steamed artichokes with hollandaise sauce, my mom made 8-hr-soak-melt-in-your-mouth-can't-get-enough-but-you-should-because-super-rich mushrooms, and the most perfect mashed potatoes. Are you drooling? I am.

THEN...for dessert. Sean made Chocolate Hazelnut Crêpe Cake and Katy made chocolate pie with fresh raspberries on top. Seriously? After reliving this I need to go running (except I don't run!).

Layers upon layers of crêpes with hazelnut cream in between!

After the meal, Sean, Katy, and Nithin decided to go walk the driveway in order to make room for dessert! HA! I probably should've joined them, but that driveway is fierce. And in the cold? No thanks! I managed to eat my dessert juuuuust fine. We all had a small glass of Bailey's to wash it down. Don't judge! It's the holidays! The evening was a lot of fun and we are so glad we included our friends.

The next day, we took Sid to his first art museum, Crystal Bridges. They had an exhibit called State of the Art. It was super cool! Basically, two of the museums curators set out on the ultimate road trip to find out what was happening in American art today. It was 100,000 miles, 1,000 destinations, and 100+ artists. They found some very interesting pieces. It was a really entertaining exhibit. Sid rode in the stroller for a while then I carried him in the ergo, but he eventually got tired of it and we weren't able to complete the exhibit. It took up 3 galleries, so it was really large. After we left the art, we found ourselves hungry and eating in the museums café. Sean and I had black bean burgers (which were I think the best I've ever had!). We took turns entertaining Sid during lunch.

This piece was made completely out of lottery tickets! I wonder if the artist won the lottery while working on it? That's a loooot of lottery tickets!

This was the most beautiful, tapestry I guess you'd call it?, I've ever seen! The colors were so bright and brilliant! This picture just doesn't begin to do it justice! It was all thread and scraps of fabric sewn together.

We had a very merry Christmas. Even though it was small, and we were missing our family, we made the best of it and ended up having a truly special holiday. I think looking back in years to come, Sid will be pleased with his first Christmas, too :)

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