Christmas 2016

We had another amazing Christmas with our families and enjoyed seeing all of our friends from home. We left New York on December 18th and had a bit of a "Home Alone" experience....Tyler set our alarm for 5:45am so we could have time to make sure we packed everything, showered, and would leave by 6:45am to get to the airport. Well, our master plan didn't quite work out that way and we slept through our alarm and didn't actually wake up until 7:20am for our 8:45am flight!!!! We hustled and were out the door in 3 minutes and managed to get to the airport in 28 minutes (a serious record!). We thought we had plenty of times to check our bags and apparently just made the cutoff with 45 seconds to spare :) After we checked our bags, we could relax a bit and get breakfast before our flight, which was a nice treat considering everything else was so nutty. All in all, it was a relatively easy trip and we got to spend the week visiting with family and friends. Here's a recap of our trip!
Sunday, I helped my mom clean out my old room and then we had Chinese food from our favorite place. On Monday, we had a bunch of errands and then came back to Tyler's house to decorate the tree with his family and have dinner. Finley was a huge help decorating the tree! 
 Riley slept right in the middle of all the action and didn't seem to mind the paper towels from all of the ornaments. On Tuesday, we had a few meetings, the girls got our nails done for our annual date (such a treat!) and then Tyler and I headed up to the city to see Thomas, Michelle, and Maya and then we each grabbed dinner with our friends before heading home.
 On Wednesday, we picked Josh up at the airport and as a family continued up to the city for a night out. My dearest mother and brother were keeping themselves entertained with the filters on Snap Chat on the way up to the city.
We stayed at the gorgeous Palace Hotel, which was in a great location and all beautifully decorated for the holidays. We checked in and then walked around Union Square and did a little shopping before we had to get ready for dinner.
We walked to Tres to enjoy Mexican food....the tacos and Churros were amazing!
 Some of the best churros I've had!
 We then walked to AT&T Park to see Luzia, which was so much fun! We then spent the night in the city and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before heading back home on Thursday. We ran more errands and then had Chinese food with Tyler's family for dinner....we can never get enough of Chinese food!
 On Friday, Tyler organized his annual basketball game with middle school and high school friends. The wives and families met the guys at the Goose for beer and burgers. While the boys were playing, I met Michelle and Maya for coffee and a walk before lunch.
 Jamie and Amanda and their three kids came and are so adorable!
 The babies of the group....Thomas and Amanda with their babes.
 Thomas was making Maya squeal...it was pretty darn cute! On Friday night, we had dinner at the club with Tyler's family, which is arguably my favorite dinner :)
 On Christmas Eve morning, we had brunch at Tyler's house with the Daiss, which is always such a nice tradition. 
 Linc and Katherine
 The spread
 Decorative gingerbread houses all lit up.
 Mark and Katherine
 Linc all dressed up!
 Corn hole with the gang.
 Finley in the tree house inspecting the "fairy house" Tyler made with her.
 After brunch, we headed to my house for my mom's annual Christmas Eve party with family friends. My mom made quite the spread of appetizers and Josh and Tyler were in charge of the bar :)
 Kelly and a sleeping babe.
 Our annual Christmas photo....Maggie, Mandy, and Clara.
 For dinner, we always have Indian food...one of our favorite traditions.
 Christmas morning at my mom's.
 I made this baked french toast for breakfast, which was soooo good! I will definitely be saving this recipe and making it again (see below for full recipe).
 We then headed to Tyler's to open presents and then had a delicious dinner with our combined families. Love this picture of Kendall, Gannett, Graham, and Finley just before dinner.
Tyler and I took this photo before dinner...I somehow look exhausted for having slept 11 hours the night before!
 On the day after Christmas, we headed to bowl with the family and had a great time!
 This wasn't your average bowling alley....everything was super nice!
 Following bowling, we came back to Tyler's house to hang out and have dinner. Finley really enjoyed watching Tyler play with Riley in the backyard. She just kept laughing and laughing :) Today, we spent the day running errands and packing before heading to the airport to meet our friends in Fort Lauderdale for New Years!

Pioneer Woman Baked French Toast

Ingredients
  • FRENCH TOAST
  • Butter, For Greasing
  • 1 loaf Crusty Sourdough Or French Bread
  • 8 whole Eggs
  • 2 cups Whole Milk
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
  • Topping
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • Freshly Grated Nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 stick Cold Butter, Cut Into Pieces
  • Warm Syrup, For Serving
  • Butter, For Serving
  • 1 cup Fresh Blueberries, For Serving

Directions
  1. For the French toast: Grease the baking pan with butter. Tear the bread into chunks, or cut into cubes, and evenly distribute in the pan. Crack the eggs in a big bowl. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover the pan tightly and store in the fridge until needed (overnight preferably). Or you can make it and bake it right away---delicious no matter what!
  2. For the topping: Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and some nutmeg in a separate bowl. Stir together using a fork. Add the butter and with a pastry cutter, and mix it all together until the mixture resembles fine pebbles. Store in a plastic bag in the fridge.
  3. When you're ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the casserole from the fridge and sprinkle the topping over the top. Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture or for 1 hour-plus or more for a firmer, crisper texture.
  4. Scoop out individual portions. Top with butter and drizzle with warm pancake syrup and sprinkle with blueberries.

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