Scenes from Saturday + Calamari & Cookies

All I want for Christmas is a crowded table. The kids want the presents. As a parent, I just want presence.

I love seeing them excited about the gifts but I get more excited when they don’t disappear into phones or air pods but pile into the kitchen to help with a meal and then gather around the table together.

That seems like a good measure of success as a parent.

I have to admit the single digits and the fear of braking a hip on the ice had me indulging my indoor cat instincts and just riding the trainer.

Sweatband and two fans are a necessity to keep the sweat at bay and avoid an indoor flood.

With the clock creeping toward nine, we started to wonder where Allison was. Turns out she was already awake, just excited to start tracking Santa.

Not a bad way to learn geography. Not as good as flash cards, but still.

It was cold but still not cold enough for Dash to consent to wearing a coat.

A red smoothie for Christmas eve. Had to get something other than cookies, sprinkles, or green M&Ms into her.

Is there a better smell than baking bread filling the house in the morning.

Quite happy with how this peasant loaf came out. One of my better looking recent attempts.

Gotta up your game when the wife makes homemade pasta.

Prepping cookie plates and bags for delivery.

A mix this year of the classics (chocolate chip, sugar, oatmeal) and more contemporary (marbled spiced shortbread, Italian gingerbread ricciarelli, cherry biscotti).

Got the elves out of the house for a few hours to do some drive by cookie drop offs.

We somehow came back with almost as many cookies as we left with.

Michelle is a very good cook but we have opposite approaches in the kitchen.

She likes to… spread out.

The first “fish” of the day. The air fryer worked pretty well for the calamari.

The first champagne of the day.

Was there any doubt that my Elf name would be Glitterpants Grumpybum?

We looked so respectable we were able to get seats in the actual church.

The annual sisters Christmas Eve gift exchange.

We ended the night by hanging the stockings with care.

Merry Christmas!

I hope you have a crowded house today.

MIKE'S WINDOW

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