This was the first year in my 33 years that my home did not have a Christmas tree. Which was sad and depressing, but putting one up alone would have been equally sad and depressing. Not to mention I can’t even wrap my head around the feasibility of putting one up alone (we do real trees in our house). So, no tree this year.
But even though we didn’t have a tree to hang it from, 2016 still deserved an ornament to commemorate the year. Back in January 2016, I declared 2016 the year or house and health. I had big plans to get the house in order, and to get healthy. The house thing happened. But because of the house thing, and the “screw it” attitude we have prior to a deployment, the health thing did NOT happen. So, I wanted an ornament that would remind me of our home. And that is definitely what I got!
I ordered this from Lots of Happiness and there are no words as to how much I love this ornament. The detailing is INSANE. She has shingles on the roof, and even our house number etched into the white frame. She was so communicative and helpful, and got this done so much quicker than I expected. I can’t recommend buying a replica of your home from her enough! I seriously have no idea how any future ornament is going to come close to being as awesome as this one.
So, in other Christmas news…
I loved 2015’s black and gold gift wrap so much, I used that theme again this year. And I have to say that I loved it even more. The kraft paper and white that were in the patterns provided a really nice overall look.
Graham came home on the 19th, which obviously was the best thing ever! He flew into DC on the 19th (it’s obnoxious how much cheaper it is to fly into DC than it is to fly into Norfolk). Hermione, the cats and I LOVED having him home. Pretty much every night was spent like this, and it was completely perfect. We had such a great time while he was here. We had a few days in Virginia, just the two of us, then went home for Christmas, then came back to Virginia, then went back to Charlotte for New Years Eve (after a quick trip to DC for our “anniversary”). We ate, we shopped, we binge watched The Crown (excellent, by the way) and finally saw Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them. We ate SO much while he was home. We had brunch at Bay Local Eatery (which I’ve mentioned before here). Graham loves their bloody marys, I love their sorbet mimosas. I had the shrimp and grits, with a fried biscuit and a side of tots. Graham had a kitchen sink scramble (eggs + about 6 kinds of meat). Mine was excellent, his was good, but would have been better with some vegetables. Of course we has a sushi date at Kero. All four of the rolls we shared were absolutely perfect, His last night here, we had Indian food at Aago. He had the chicken tikka masala, I had the chicken jalfrezy, and we shared an order of garlic naan. Aago is, hands down, the most delicious Indian food we’ve had in Hampton Roads and I highly recommend checking them out. For our 5th Anniversary (part 2), we headed BACK to DC for the day/night. I made reservations at my favorite restaurant in the city, Zaytinya. The food here is so, SO wonderful. The service was excellent, and it was only about 2 blocks from the hotel we were staying at. I won’t bombard you with the photos of all nine of the dishes we ordered, but every dish was excellent. After dinner, we headed to the Kennedy Center and say a production of Into the Woods. Into the Woods is my favorite musical of ALL TIME (and do not get me started on how much I HATE the Disney film that came out a few years ago). This was one of the more enjoyable live productions I’ve seen. The set was very minimal, the same actors played multiple parts, and it had a hipster feel to it. So, while it isn’t the version you’re familiar with thanks to the DVD of the Bernadette Peters version you’ve watched a million times (or is that just me…), that’s what made it so enjoyable. For the first time ever, I felt like the cast was trying to emulate those actors. They were doing their own thing, and looked like they were having a great time doing it. After seeing the show, I made my stop by the Lincoln Memorial. I always stop by the monument (since it’s my favorite monument and Lincoln is my favorite president). For New Years Eve, we carried on with a tradition we’ve had for about 6 years now: we spent a low key, fattening, alcohol laden evening with good friends.