Merry Christmas from Queen Ketchup! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!
We got back yesterday from 5 nights in St. Louis with my family. It was such a great week! Five of our family members from Las Vegas came to town, so we had a "good old fashioned family Christmas" (can you name that movie??).
It was so nice to arrive at my mom's house because it was intensely decorated for the holiday (which was a welcome contrast to ours). They did a lot of St. Louis-y Christmas things before we arrived (since Bates' nap sched and 7pm bedtime make it a little difficult to get out), but while we were there we went down to the Botanical Gardens one day to see the Christmas trains and wreaths. And we went another day to the Butterfly House, which Bates loved!
Other than that, it was a lot of hanging out time. Games were played, movies were watched, and food was eaten. Oh the food. I could not eat until next week and still probably function pretty well because the calories consumed in those 6 days could carry me through. (But don't worry, we came home with a container of Christmas cookies and a ton of other food [including a whole casserole.])
Other highlights: I got to see two of my best guy friends from high school (one who I haven't seen in probably 5 years). I got to see my good friend Ali, her husband, and their 17 month old baby boy. And Jonathan and I had dinner with Sarah and her boyfriend at a cool restaurant in Webster Groves. We also went to see a movie one night while my mom babysat (Silver Linings Playbook - highly recommend).
Overall it was a good trip. We didn't get snow on Christmas day, but there was a little bit later in the week so Bates got his first glimpse. Santa was very kind to everyone (bringing me a "B" charm necklace, an ear warmer headband, a dress, and a scarf). I was worried Bates would get too many things, but it ended up fine. He got a lot of clothes and books, which is great (I was worried he would get hundreds of new toys and not really understand/fully appreciate them).
I hope your holiday was filled with love and family! (And food.)