Last Wednesday night my parents, Jason and I all went to Willow Creek's Christmas Eve service. This years service was wonderful, everything I expected and wanted it to be. I absolutely love the tradition that we've started with my parents. I know next year will be different with us being in CO so I am already praying that I can come home at a time that allows us to keep this tradition alive. I said this in a past post but I highly recommend you check out the Christmas Eve service at Willow. You will not be sorry you did.
Thursday I spend a large portion of the day perfecting my baking skills. I attempted the brownies again and made some peanut butter cookies (the ones with the chocolate kisses on top). I also made those pretzels with the Hersey kisses and M&M's and pretzels with rolos and pecans. I learned a little bit about slippery cookie trays and trying to keep a dog out of the kitchen while baking. I learned how to clean chocolate out of the stove after it had spilled all over and burned almost setting off the smoke detector. I learned how to ice a burn on the finger from the spilling sizzling chocolate I was trying to keep away from the dog in the kitchen. I learned a little bit about how different temperatures and times are crucial to making different types and sizes of chocolate melt properly. Was it a success? Ehhh, it was more of a learning experience but it was a fun learning experience. Plus after I was done baking I was exhausted. It gave me an appreciation for hours my mom and other family members must have spent in the kitchen baking. It takes a lot of time and effort! But it wasn't long before I realized that I was coming down with some illness which was why I was so tired.
By Thursday night I really wasn't feeling well. (Jason had been sick all week and I thought I had taken more than enough Emergen-C, echinacea and zinc to avoid getting his illness but I guess not enough.) I was slightly disappointed because all the baking I had done probably should have been tossed. Instead I gave fair warning to those I shared with. Being the germ freak I am, I know there's no way I'd eat them if someone told me that. Anyway...Jason and I celebrated our Christmas together that night. We ordered take-out from Leona's, then watched Fred Clause (it's actually kinda cute!) then opened our Christmas presents. Jason got me a lot of new clothes since I don't exactly fit in the dress clothes I used to wear to work. I am super excited to have clothes that fit. :) By the way...I was super impressed with how well he did picking shirts and pants out for me! I have asked him to be my personal shopper moving forward but he hasn't taken the job yet. Our Chicago Christmas was very special, I'm so thankful for our tree, the stockings and that we have each other this year.
Cooper in front of all the wrapped presents (for both our families)