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Another transition that I’ve been working through has been the Holidays in Texas. It’s bizarre to deck my apartment in pumpkins for Thanksgiving when it’s still 83 degrees outside. It’s even weirder when the week of Christmas it’s in the mid 70’s. I rely on the change in smells, temperature, and precipitation to cue me into the coming holidays.

We spent Thanksgiving at the Ture household. It was beautiful, peaceful, and filled with good food and even better people! I brought my made-from-scratch chocolate cream pie, deviled eggs, and peas. Peas may sound like an odd thing to bring, but not if you’re a Nelson. In my family we have peas every year. They are not fancy, just simple with butter and salt. They add a new color to the plate that makes Thanksgiving dinner complete. One year we did not have peas and my cousin and I were in an outrage! It was dreadful 😉 I knew that if I had peas at this Texas Thanksgiving, I could have a little taste of Nelson tradition. (If I had known there would be no mashed potatoes OR squash, I would have brought those too!).

Mrs. Ture had a beautiful table spread, and everything was delicious! We were fortunate enough to have a local, fresh, pasture-raised turkey and it was hands down the best turkey I have ever tasted! Phenomenal!

After dinner we collaboratively worked on a puzzle. It was so relaxing and quiet. If there is one thing my family get-togethers are not, it’s quiet.

Onward to the Christmas season! It was fun to celebrate the season with a 2-year-old. We did fun Christmas crafts, made applesauce and cinnamon ornaments, and danced around the room to Holly Jolly Christmas. One day while I was trying to get her to sleep, she was in her bed whispering over and over, “Santa Clause, Santa Clause.” Precious. We were lucky enough to have Chris’ parents come down for an early Christmas. We were beyond blessed by their presents, and even more so by their presence (corny, I know). They spoiled our kittens rotten with catnip and mice, and we got to give them a taste of Austin. I made the kittens a stocking to share (last year I made mine and Chris’). I organized an Elf Quote Along get together complete with a Buddy the Elf style spaghetti eating contest, snowflake making, and caroling.

Chris and I got into the Christmas spirit by heading down to 37th st. to see some bizarre Christmas lights. There were people out on their front lawns playing music, crumpled up balls of lights as displays, bicycles on roofs, monkey doll Santa’s and more. While walking around the twinkling neighborhood, I sighed deeply and was once again reminded of how much I love Austin.

Christmas Eve Day was spent primarily in the kitchen. I had been going back and forth all week about what to do for food for just the two of us. I wanted to start new traditions and was dealing with the emotional roller coaster of not being home for Christmas. When thinking of things I would miss, of course I thought of family, but the things that reminded me of Christmas traditions were all the delectable goodies. And I knew I did not want to be eating frozen pizza and ice cream on Christmas. So I cooked a baked French toast casserole with a praline topping for breakfast, made a roast with sweet potatoes, made another chocolate cream pie, and Chris and I made gingerbread cookies together. There’s nothing wrong with leftovers. 🙂

Christmas Eve we went to our church’s service and then came home, had a fire crackling, and watched White Christmas snuggled up on the couch with our kitties.

Christmas morning was wonderful. Except that I had a very excited hubby waking me up far too early for presents. He is worse than a six-year-old! We exchanged gifts by the fire, and boy oh boy did he spoil me this year. He had already given me two wonderful gifts a week before Christmas. (He couldn’t wait any longer, I told you he was like a six-year-old). One day I came home from work and had found that he redecorated our bathroom with a design that I had wanted for our dishes when we were registering for our wedding. They are beautiful plates, but he refused to eat off anything with birds on it. Well little did I know he had been buying one item at a time of the same design but for the bathroom. He’s so sweet. And THEN he got me a pair of cowgirl boots!! I love them! Now I just need to get my behind to two-stepping!                                                                                                                                   Isn’t this a wonderfully corny photo?

Well, Christmas morning he got me a lot of wonderful little stocking stuffer items, but my main gift is the most thoughtful things he’s given me. He purchased me five books by my favorite childhood author, Roald Dahl!! Some of them are even first editions! And of course I bawled like a baby. 🙂 I definitely nabbed a good one!

A little later we were able to video chat with my mom, brother,and sister and watched them open our presents. It was kind of like we were together. Sort of. 

At the end of the day we went a spent the evening with friends from our church playing games. It was a great way to end the day. If you  managed to get through the entire post, congratulations! It was a long one. But like I said, I just hate skipping over things. So all in all it was a great holiday season. It was more quiet than usual but in a good way. It was a great second chance at a first Christmas as a married couple.