It’s Christmas Eve!

Way to state the obvious, huh?

I don’t care… I’m SO excited!!!

Today started off with some holiday baking. I made a fresh batch of homemade peanut butter cookies for Ryan to take to his dad for Christmas.

Peanut Butter

More than one peanut butter fingers were consumed in the baking process. ūüėČ

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough

 Sadie helped me lick the beaters clean.

Beater Licker

¬†What a good dog. ūüôā

Yummy Cookies

While the cookies were baking, I prepared a breakfast fit for the holidays: Honey Bunches of Oats French toast.

French Toast

I made the toast batter with Egg Beaters, whole wheat bread, cinnamon and sugar. I then added several handfuls of Honey Bunches of Oats cereal for extra sweetness and crunch.

Honey Bunches of Oats French Toast

Ryan enjoyed a huge plate of this breakfast!

Ryan's Plate

Happy Boy

Now that breakfast is complete, I’m ready to tackle the day!

I have lots on the agenda:

  • Workout
  • Shower
  • Blog (x 2!)
  • Appointment to try on wedding dresses
  • Take jeans to get altered
  • Last minute shopping (stocking-stuffers)
  • Grocery store
  • Prep food to cook for Ryan’s family Christmas party tomorrow
  • Wrap a few remaining presents
  • Church
  • Secret Santa exchange (via conference call)
  • Look at Christmas lights with the fam on our boat

I am most excited for the last bullet on my list.

When we first moved to Florida from Illinois in 2003, it was hard wrapping my head around warm weather when I was so used to chilly temperatures. Somehow it just didn’t feel like Christmas.

To help embrace the warm weather and make a Florida Christmas feel legit, my family started a tradition where we hop into our boat (which is decorated with Christmas lights)¬†on Christmas¬†Eve¬†evening¬†and travel up and down nearby canals looking at Christmas lights. We pop in a Christmas CD, sing, laugh and hang out and it’s my favorite part of the day.

Christmasy Boat

 Rudolph Walk

 Our family has always embraced traditions during the holidays.

What traditions do you have in your family?

When we lived in Illinois we’d always go on a Rudolph Walk on Christmas Eve. Our annual Rudolph Walk was our family hunt to see if we could catch a glimpse of Rudolph’s nose in the nearby forest. (My wonderful father would head out hours before us to put a red light bulb in the forest,¬†way out in the distance.) Somehow we were lucky and saw him every year!

Rudolph

To prepare for the cold walk, we would layer our clothes, put on boots and snow pants and head out! I’ll never forget the walk during the first year that I¬†didn’t think Santa was the real-deal anymore. My dad and younger sister, Leslie,¬†led the way into the forest while my mom and I linked arms and took up the rear.

We started to tell my sister that we had to be very quiet because any noise might scare Rudolph away.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to walk quietly in snow pants, but it’s virtually impossible. The¬†swish, swish noise is very hard to avoid.¬†

Leslie was set on seeing Rudolph’s nose and was committed to not making a sound. She walked with her legs stiffly apart for nearly half a mile to avoid any noise. It was hysterical and my mom and I were grunting and snorting trying not to laugh as we watched my dad try to help her balance so she wouldn’t be too loud and scare the elusive reindeer away.

I hope you all have a wonderful day and are able to enjoy some special time with loved ones.