Thank the lord for the holidays! Not only is it the time to see family and share holiday cheer, but for me, it also meant the end of a very stressful semester. As in on the verge of losing my sanity, the stress of my finals made me sick, kind of semester. A flight home meant that the last final was submitted, my brain was totally fried, and I was able to escape it all for the next three weeks. Bring it!
I took a night flight out of San Francisco to Pittsburgh and arrived at 05:55 the next morning. Baby Emmeline picked me up at the airport and took me to her house in Pittsburgh to meet baby Van, born 3 weeks early on 09 December, 2017. The day I became an aunt!
So excited to see him in the onesie I got for him! After a couple hour nap, we bundled Van up to the point that you could barely see his eyes (it was cold outside), and headed into Pittsburgh to shop at the Christmas markets and have lunch.
We stayed out all day, and Van was so good, he slept peacefully as we toted him from store to store for last minute Christmas shopping. Back at Emmeline’s house we had dinner and watched It’s a Wonderful Life. My first time having cuddly snuggles with Baby Van.
There was a lot of holiday cheer at our house. My mom had been preparing for quite some time for 18 guests. My mom and dad had put up four Christmas trees, cleaned the house, prepared the beds, and cooked tons of food for our arrival. It was wonderful!
The morning after we arrived, we woke early and headed to Seven Springs for some skiing. One of my best friends, Megan, joined us.
On Christmas Eve we snacked all day and headed to church early for the Christmas Eve service.
TBS starts playing A Christmas Story precisely at 20:00, and my dad loves to watch it on repeat so we turned that on and hung out late into the night playing scrabble on mom’s elaborate scrabble board.
For Christmas we had an elaborate dinner with just the Hauser family, grandma included, oh and I can’t forget a Depalma showing up and never leaving until it was time for his dinner at the Depalma household.
Dinner in the living room, Mom made coleslaw, potatoes, green bean casserole, grandma provided the zucchini bread, and dad made the steaks. Delicious!
Hi Justin! Welcome to a Hauser Christmas feast. Afterward, we napped and dad and I watched the Steeler game. Boy what a game that was! I mean, it couldn’t have been more exciting to become the AFC NFL champs. Woo hoo!
Then, we all drove over to the Depalma house to crash their Christmas feast. I brought the Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia, Linnie and I’s Christmas tradition that began in Japan 5 years ago, and a bottle of moonshine dad got that came all the way from Arkansas. In Linnie’s words, “Its not good moonshine unless it can melt the shell off a garden snail.” This was the real deal.
We crashed the party, played cards, drank exotic drinks (including the moonshine), and even tried our hand at the Mannequin Challenge. It was truly ridiculous.It’s a Hauser Christmas tradition.
The next morning we were up early again, and this time we were skiing at Laurel Mountain, which has just opened this season after a couple years of renovation. The snow was not great, but the few runs that were open were fun and we rode them until our legs burned, and we were hungry for lunch.
The newly renovated bar area looks awesome. We sat downstairs and ordered a couple mimosas as we debated whether the snow was good enough to ski, and then we left it up to chance. A flip of the coin is what gave us the go ahead.
We stopped in at the Wicked Googly, bar and bowling alley for lunch, walked across the street to Joe’s bar to look at the over 200 animals that are stuffed in the back and upstairs to include an elephant’s head, a rhino, and much more! Then we headed over to the Ligonier Creamery for a quick bite of ice cream in an old style creamy, sitting at the bar with our ice cream Sunday’s. So Good!
Afterward, we sped home because our family from Wisconsin was on the way and we wanted to be there in time to meet them. Their arrival meant gifts, card games, local pizzerias, and a fun day in Pittsburgh.
The gang’s all here, 18 of us staying in one house, including 3 babies born within the past 2 months, 2 of which were twins. Let the fun begin..!
The Dinner Party
People went every which way before midnight, some to bed, some to other parties, and I was able to ring in 2017 with 3 Depalma’s, my mom, my dad, and my Aunt with a couple of their friends, and it was really fun! We stayed up till 2 in the morning and the low key impromptu New Year’s party was just what I needed after being away from home these past 5 years. I’m ready for 2017!
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