Seven days. Two nonstop flights and a third with a layover. This Christmas was a whirlwind, but I got to spend the holidays with my family, and the boy, and his family. Top highlights include:

  • My mom’s homemade Bailey’s. This year, she added dark chocolate to the mix, and it tasted exactly like a decadent, boozy milkshake.

  • Reuniting with the rest of the Tatem ladies. I just love them so much.

  • Feeling like a kid again when waking up to endless gifts under the tree.

  • Opening the first present of the morning; it’s one of my favorite traditions.

  • Eating my dad’s traditional Christmas Day dinner. We always have prime rib, mashed potatoes, and Yorkshire pudding. This year, he added brussel sprouts with bacon and figs to the menu. I’m already counting down the days until I can enjoy this meal again! Picture the Yorkshire pudding times 5 though…and I still wish I could have managed just one more piece.

  • Showing the boy what New Jersey is really like.

  • Combining two Christmases into one. I was sad to leave my family so soon, but it was more important that both the boy and I spend time with all the people we love.

  • Hitting the ice for some winter recreation. I haven’t ice skated since I was a kid, but I didn’t fall once! Living in LA, I don’t have many cold weather clothes, so I bundled up in all kinds of layers — including a tank top, a long underwear top, a fleece, a sweatshirt, a jacket, long underwear bottoms, yoga pants, and wool socks. Kind of like a marshmallow come to life, no?

  • Doting on Griffin. Our family’s big cat is so large that we carry him around like a koala bear. He loves to be pet and must have been in heaven having so many people around at once. His absolute favorite thing though is shoes; not eating them per say, but laying on them (rule of thumb, if you’re missing a flip flop, check under the cat).

This year has been a great one. I can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store!