Sunday, January 24, 2016

Christmas Day 2015

Vince and I woke up Christmas morning a little tired from our busy Christmas Eve, but our hearts were filled with joy for the day ahead...

It was a peaceful Christmas morning in Anchorage

Santa brought me a new stocking!! It even had
doxies on it- my fave! Can't wait to get a puppy ;)

Vince got some croakies for his sunglasses, movie gift cards,
and some new pj's; and I got a pasta roller and a doxie kitchen towel :)

We opened the rest of our gifts, made a good breakfast (eggs & bacon of course!), and got ready to volunteer for a few hours at Anchorage's main soup kitchen- Bean's Cafe.

People were already lining up when we arrived- exciting!

We got a quick briefing of the kitchen and manned our stations.
We were in the "back of the house," but we could see the dining room.
It was truly a wonderful feeling getting to help others on such a special day.

Vince and I didn't want to leave the soup kitchen, but other volunteers were showing up for their turns, so we cleaned up and headed home to prepare our own Christmas dinner. We decided on an Italian menu to celebrate, and I couldn't wait to get cooking!

The beginnings of my Roman-style gnocchi...

Tomato sauce from scratch

Final product: Roman-style gnocchi with fresh tomato sauce

Our porchetta-style pork shoulder turned out beautifully!

I made a simple saute of broccolini, garlic & olive oil to go with the pork


And for dessert? Tiramisu of course! We finished our dinner,
cleaned up the kitchen, settled into our jammies, and enjoyed some
Christmas movies before calling it a night. It was an amazing first
"married" Christmas, and one I'll always cherish :)

Christmas Eve 2015

Time flies when you're having fun (or working on a rotational work schedule)! Vince and I were at work for the three weeks leading up to Christmas and got home on the eve of Christmas Eve. We unpacked, settled in for the night, and rested up for what we knew would be a busy day. We had a lot to do- check the mail, get groceries, find a Christmas tree, wrap presents, prep for our Christmas dinner, and go to church- but we were looking forward to the excitement :)

Our first stop: mail! Our boxes filled my car to the
brim, so we had to go back home to drop off the goods...

The next stop we made was our favorite
butcher shop... Needless to say, it was busy!

From there, we set out to find a tree

Luckily, there were about 5-6 left in our size range...

In the car!

Then it was time to brave Costco... not as bad as I'd expected- whew!

After a few runs back and forth to the store (ran out of lights for the
tree on our first attempt), we got our first Christmas tree up and decorated :)

Time to prep- this was the beginnings of our "porchetta"

From there, we cleaned up the kitchen and got ready for Midnight Mass

The Nativity Scene at our church- sweet and serene

We got back from church around 1:30 am; time to go to bed
if we wanted a visit from Santa!! "The stockings were placed by the
chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nick soon would be there..."