But I digress...
Christmas this year was fun. My sister bravely battled (and conquered) her fear of airports and flew to West Virginia armed with a standby pass. That alone, perhaps, deserve a sturdy recognition since flying standby during the holidays can be as painful as getting a root canal. Getting to the East Coast wasn't too bad. She flew into Cleveland with no problems, and Mike made the 8 hour (roundtrip) trek to pick her up and down to WV. Going back to the land of warm weather, however, took a little bit more elbow grease. I think she must've spent the whole day after Christmas trying to fly back. She swears it was all worth it though. I'm ecstatic that as little time as I had to spend time with her, she was able to pick me up from my laborious slump. She made me laugh so much I thought I was going to go into labor. But that, I'm afraid, would've just been too convenient.
Mike's whole family came down and spent Christmas with us too. It was decided earlier on that because of my forseeable condition, that we would drive up to Ohio and spend Thanksgiving there and they would drive down to West Virginia to spend Christmas here. It worked out great because before we even found out that we were moving to the east coast... Mike and I collectively (as newlyweds) decided we would alternate the holidays between families so as to avoid any unnecessary in-law squabbles in the future.
While everyone did their last minute Christmas shopping, Mike and I baked our traditional Christmas sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies. Last year, we actually put em in tin cans and distributed it (although sadly enough, the one that was intended to be sent to his Gramma in Ohio sat helplessly at the bottom of a pile of mess in my trunk for months....). This year, we decided to be selfish and kept it all in the kitchen. Mike even made a special batch with Splenda to cater his diabetic dad, which I thought tasted short of just flour disguised as a cookie. For dinner, I cooked my mom's traditional baked ham basted with honey and pineapples. Then I got brave and tried a new recipe for beef brisket with veggies which actually came out pretty good. And despite the batch of burnt dinner rolls that tried to ruin the night, it was overall a nice, humble Christmas feast.
And for the first time since we set foot in this state, we actually went to midnight mass. Mike and I are such holiday Catholics... the last time we remember being in church was Palm Sunday. This, of course, isn't an epiphany.. since it's been a couple of weeks now that we've talked about going but never actually did. It is quite sad, since I used to never miss church (especially because I led the choir for a good couple of years). But even after showing up half an hour early, we failed to come early enough to score seats inside the cathedral and ended up watching the mass from a flatscreen tv out in the hallway along with all the latecomers.