It Was Holly and it Was Jolly: Christmas 2014

In total, I think we hosted 16 people, other than our family, for the Christmas holidays.

That’s a whole lotta crazy fun right there.

Let’s start with the Nutcracker. For the fourth year, my mom took the girls and I to Ballet Austin’s Nutcracker. As usual, it was fabulous. We’ve managed to time it so we arrive in just enough time to park, use the bathroom, pre-order our intermission drinks and find our seats right before the curtain comes up. This year, we cut it pretty close since I had a tiny window in which to nurse Gianna and make it back again for her next feeding! We even ran into my sister-in-law and niece after the show. Thanks, Mom, for making this such a special outing for the girls (your biggest one included!)

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There was cookie decorating. I think we’re still on a sugar high from those. The girls helped me do the cutting and the filling in of the icing. And, after they went to bed I stayed up ridiculously late adding all the details. Next year? I’m sticking to 2-3 designs! I’m pretty sure the girls rank “taste testing the icing” as the best part. All the boys wanted was to eat the final result.

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The kids had great end-of-year school parties but I neglected to take many photos since I was hopping between three. Will’s class went off-site for their shindig. I was just happy that all my kids wanted me at their parties and I didn’t get any eye rolls or “please don’t come” quips from them.

We hit the ground running after school let out and hosted Scott’s family for our weekend Christmas celebration. I think Uncle Cory wins quote of the week with this one. After unwrapping presents and figuring out where everyone was going to sleep, he walked in the living room and said, “If I didn’t know better, I’d think your house was robbed.” Yep.

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There was also the great helicopter debacle where the “big kids” somehow got the flying helicopters, given to the little kids, stuck in our trees. After 1,325 throws of the ball, we finally got them down.

christmas, blog_024We participated in the biggest conspiracy there is, gingerbread house decorating. I swear, unless you’re wood gluing those bad boys, they just don’t stay together. Somehow, Aunt Jennifer and I got roped into that job while the kids got to eat all the candy. #notfair

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Before everyone took off, we set the tripod up in the middle of the street and snapped a few photos. I’m super glad no one has video of me running back to jump in this shot.

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These girls. This cute. It’s almost too much.

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I like to call this one: Evelyn, impressed. Gianna, not impressed.

whitaker, blog_100We hated to see them go, but we managed to get the house semi-presentable again and then hosted my side of the family. You can catch that and our Christmas Eve par-tay in part two, scheduled for later today!


  1. Rachael on December 30, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Two words for you on her gingerbread houses: hot glue. My husband is a purist and sticks to icing but after years of tears when someone’s masterpiece collapsed, I’m never going back!

  2. Verdina on December 30, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Have you seen the picture of a collapsed gingerbread house with a toy dinosauer (sp?) beside it? I love that!

    I can only imagine what kind of crazy goes on between camera shots, but you and Scott are always smiling and I love that about you… roll with the punches!

    Wishing you a very blessed New Year!

  3. Bea on December 30, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Agree with hot glue. No one eats stale gingerbread anyway. Save the frosting for the candy!

  4. Melissa on December 30, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Long time reader but first time commenter! We have been gingerbread houses with my family for years as a competition! They are not pretty but we always have fun coming up with different themes. As far a getting them to stay together the secret is using regular cake icing (like pills bury) mixed with powdered sugar. It’s two regular icing cans to one box of powdered sugar. Sticks like hot glue! Hope that works for y’all!!

    • Kathryn on December 31, 2014 at 9:10 am

      That’s brilliant. Thank you, and so glad you’re here!

  5. Laura on December 31, 2014 at 12:27 am

    The absolute BEST icing for gingerbread houses is here:

    It’s amazngly simple, and has always worked well for my family. You can add a little more cream of tartar to make it thicker if need be.

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