Christmas 2019 *Rewind* 🎄

Hey heyyy! It is a sunny morning here in Austin. I am eager to get out and go for a run. Ohh, JK, I just checked the weather. 37F! We’ll wait a bit till we are at leaasttt in the high 40s, 50s, 60s.

So this post is a recap of our Christmas 2019. I never got around to it last year since I hit the ground running with clinicals in January. I said maybe I’d publish it for “Christmas in July”… welp, that didn’t happen either. I think it’s actually very special that I am just getting to write this post now. This year we are not going back to OH, so getting to relive last year’s festivities, prior to COVID being on our radar, is going to be bittersweet (with more sweet than bitter! <3).

Prior to going back to Ohio last year, DJ and I exchanged gifts. He gifted me this gorgeous Tim Cantor Collection Book. I was ecstatic. He knows Tim Cantor is my favorite artist, and there were many pieces in this book I had not seen yet! I have this book and Affinité on display on our coffee table. I actually just flipped through this yesterday in the morning with my coffee 🙂 


On December 22nd, we arrived at the ATX airport. I grabbed an almond milk cafe au lait from Ruta Maya while we found our gate.


I was still pretty full from breakfast, but to get something in our stomachs before flying, we stopped at Haymaker in the airport. I had a veggie salad and we split some poutine fries that were as good as they look!


We met up with some friends at Burntwood Tavern that evening after landing and just chatted away for hours.

On December 23rd, I think spent most of the morning just hanging out with my MIL and Gordie while wrapping gifts. They are so awesome to let us ship all our gifts there every year.

Around 3 pm, I met up with Rachel to attend a Christmas production by one of the churches downtown. She heard about it from a friend at work, so we thought it would be great to check it out together and get dinner together after to catch up!

When we walked in, it was so cute with little cookie and coffee stands and a photo station.


After the beautiful Christmas production, we went to Humble Restaurant in downtown Lakewood. it was a long wait, but we didn’t mind since it gave us more time to catch up!


Also this place is so warm and inviting (I took this pic on our way out- when we got there is was jam-packed!). I had heard of the wine bottle Christmas trees- but I had never seen a chandelier before!


You know any place with a wood-fired stove is gonna be tasty!


We started with their roasted beets with saba, pistachias and ricotta. YUM.


We also tried their roasted stuffed artichokes- oh my gooooodness. Delicious.


We also split their caprese pizza which was divine. Everything we had there was phenomenal!


On the morning of Christmas Eve, we woke up to this thick layer of fog to go with our coffee and breakfast. Easily one of my favorite parts of being home is just chatting together in the kitchen while enjoying our breakfast and coffee.


Pool Noodle was feeling totally relaxed at home for Christmas too!

It was a wonderful Christmas Eve spent with family <3

On Christmas Day we awoke to have a wonderful breakfast and can you believe how stunning this tree is?!


My Mom-in-law made an absolutely delicious quiche for breakfast. I don’t know if there is any better breakfast food for Christmas morning!


We enjoyed another full day with great food and family <3


And, of course, had to get more pics of the sweet Noodle.


We had a spread of many delicious desserts- I had to try a little bit of everything. I mean how would you choose?! YUM!


It was also a Christmas of playing code names!! This is probably our favorite game to play. Also, just to go on a little tangent here- I never really enjoyed card or board games growing up, but as an adult I love them. Is that odd? Anyone else experience that?


We ended the evening with some spectacular ice wine! DJ saw me working on this post and went “that ice wine was SO good!”. We savored each single sip while sitting around a fire outside together. It was a perfect Christmas day!


We didn’t get too many pics through the weekend, but we did get this one. We laugh at how far apart and from one another we are in it, but hey, it works for memory sake. Lol.

On December 26th, we had the evening planned with my side of the family. On our way to their home, we swung by one of our old stomping grounds with a covered bridge.


At my cousin’s home, all my siblings and our niece and nephews gathered together to enjoy great conversation, great food, peppernuts (the traditional family Christmas cookie) and so much fun.


We did a white elephant gift exchange among the adults, and someone was gifted the Beanboozled game. We played the game until every one had a spin, and the reactions were hilarious!


More white elephant fun… hehe


More family fun <3

On December 27th, in the afternoon I met up with my friend from childhood- Kylie! We met at the Nervous Dog Coffee Bar, and I ordered this delicious vegan cookie to go with some coffee.


I probably have mentioned this before, but a little fun fact- Kylie and I have been “pen pals” ever since DJ and I moved out to CA. It’s so much fun to stay up-to-date through snail mail on each other’s lives. I am always on the lookout for a cute card when I’m out and about!


After, DJ and I had dinner at Mustard Seed Cafe, one of my favorite restaurant in town (which is actually located within a grocery store).


It was all super yummy!

Later that evening, DJ’s younger sister had a basketball game that we were so stoked we could attend. The game was great! She played amazingly, and it was really sweet to watch DJ beam with pride watching her. We are so thankful we had the chance to watch her play while in town.

On December 28th we went to see my mom, Pete, Halston and Kevin. After catching up for a few hours, we went to Austin’s Woodfire Grill in Brecksville where my Grandma Violet met with us.


We had a feast of delicious eats!


After, we went back to my parent’s friends’ home (they graciously offered to let us all stay there while they were away for Christmas). It was so cozy & we spent the night playing games and laughing. A lot.


And then, sadly, we left to return to Austin the next day. we grabbed Sammy’s in the airport. I still remember how good that salmon salad was!


It was a Christmas we will never forget. I am incredibly thankful for these memories with friends and family and celebrating the birth of Christ. It was so much fun to relive this post!

I hope you all have a very wonderful holiday season, even if it all looks a bit different this year!

I’d love to know:

  • What is one of your favorite Christmas/holiday traditions?


22 thoughts on “Christmas 2019 *Rewind* 🎄

  1. I love this so much!! I couldn’t stop smiling while reading it – I’m desperate for Christmas! Haha! We are looking forward to starting some of our own Christmas traditions this year, since it will be our first year in the house 🙂 Of course, COVID is throwing a little spin on things, so next year might be our *actual* year of bringing family into the traditions. Until then, Kyle & I will test out all the holiday stuff – cookies, recipes, frosting, cookies, holiday decorations, games, cookies, food, cookies…


    1. Ah so glad you enjoyed this post!!! Thanks for your comment, Alana!! I totally forgot to ask you yesterday what you guys had planned the rest of December?! What you have listed here sounds amazing though 😍 I am so glad you didn’t forget the cookies!! 😉 🎄

  2. how fun to go back and look at last year seeing that this year will be so different for so many people. Covid is putting a lot of traditions on hold. Big ones for our family: watching the Polar Express, baking christmas cookies, opening stocking first and then having breakfast

    1. It will, but there is hope that next year we can gather with all our families again!! I love your Christmas traditions- thanks for sharing with me! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, Lori ☺️ 🎄 ❤️

  3. Oh soooo wonderful to read about our wonderful 2019 Christmas! I remember you taking photos of the ice wine, code names, breakfast!!! I am slightly misty now so wishing we could all be together but may this be our one and only Covid Christmas and next year we will truly celebrate!! We are still celebrating Christ’s birth so life is still ok. Thank you for sharing these beautiful memories! love, your Ohio mom

    1. Glad you enjoyed this walk down memory lane! ☺️ I had so fun writing it! It was such a wonderful Christmas. I am so sad too- but yes definitely next year!! 🎄 ❤️

  4. What beautiful memories! And we are ALL going to have great Christmas’s again.
    We are going to kick this Covid in the butt real soon!
    sending Happy Holiday Wishes to you and yours!

    1. Yes we are!!! ☺️ love that! Thanks for stopping in Nancy and for always sharing your positivity 💕 happy holidays to you, friend!!

  5. Mack! I say this everytime but you are a true Goddess! You are the epitome of beauty and inspiration! I adored reading this post! So much! And that quiche looked unreal 😍 what a lovely Christmas you had last year! I hope this year is just as special, even if a little different! Also that book from DJ is absolutely stunning 😍 what a great?

    1. Aw Jennie! You are just the absolute sweetest. Thank you for your kind comments always, beautiful!! 🥰💕

  6. Christmas this year definitely makes you appreciate the ones in the past where we were able to gather with all those that we love. Thanks for taking us along with you on the trip down memory lane. My daughter and I always bake a ton of cookies leading up to Christmas and we have an meal of appetizers on Christmas Eve. When my kids were little they were always able to open one present on Christmas Eve, which was a tradition brought over from my own childhood. It’s such a special time, incorporating old traditions as wells as creating new ones. I hope you have a lovely Christmas, Mackenzie. xx

    1. It really really does. Thank you for taking the walk down memory lane with us ☺️ and meals of appetizers are awesome!!! My mom and I was just talking about how much we enjoy an appetizer spread as a meal from time to time, so it’s funny you mention that ! Aw I love that incorporation of those traditions! Thanks for sharing , Amy! Have a merry Christmas too 🎄❤️

  7. Hi Mackenzie, The 60s sound better to go outside in ! Judging a book by its cover, this one looks like i need to go investigate Tim Cantor. It must be nice browsing it while having your coffee. Salad and fries look so tasty! How nice to meet up with Rachel, she is a supporting member of this blog, I remember her from previous posts. You both look so cute together, and I love your outfits! Humble looks so fun! The wine bottle tree is hilarious! It is a place i could go to for sure if I’m in that neck of the woods! Such a great sight , looking out at the fog having your coffee, love your nails btw ! That tree is amazing Mackenzie, and so beautifully decorated! Such a beautiful pic of you two! WE have code names also, on your recommendation I think , We played it for the first time Christmas 2019! The covered bridge is lovely , I am sure it can tell a lot of stories! How nice to have Christmas with your side also! Nice sibling photo . Nice to meet with Kylie , that is so precious that you are pen pals like in the old sense ! Today we are more key pals , but i love traditional writing better. I am grateful that you and me are keypals though! Good you got to see your Grandma on the trip also , and to get the chance to be with Your Mom and Pete , Halston and Kevin was special . Thanks for sharing a great time of family and friends , have a happy Friday, Terri xo.

    1. Hi, Terri! Aw!! So sweet you remember prior posts with Rachel : ) We had such a great time! I do my nails about 1x/year usually for the holidays- so thank you so much for the compliment!! Aw how fun you started code names ! Hope you enjoyed- I bet it will be more fun when the kids get older too. Haha- I like that- “key pals”- so true! I am grateful we are key pals too. Thank you for stopping in, Terri! Hope you are staying safe and warm!

  8. I was thinking of you this morning, and decided to visit one of your older posts; and boy! am I glad I did!

    Tim Cantor is one of my favourites as well – such a lovely gift from DJ. I first came across his work a few years ago on account of Imagine Dragon’s album covers. And poking around his website, well, what a talent!

    Is Poodle DJ’s parents’ dog? I used to have a Corgi (also with this colouring) named Brooke.

    And as always, so much delicious delicious food. Ahhhhhhhh.

    1. I was thinking of you on a long-ish drive yesterday, and I suddenly had a memory that it was you who introduced Tim Cantor to me some years ago. I think you’d mentioned him in one of your posts, and I was looking on his page and was so thrilled to find that he was responsible for the artwork of Smoke & Mirrors.

      1. Oh too funny!!! That makes me really happy though- I know his work is very unique, so that is great to hear you enjoy it too!

    2. Hi Ju-Lyn! How are you, friend?! Aw thank you so much for stopping in. Your comments ALWAYS brighten my day.

      That’s so awesome you love Tim Cantor too! Many people don’t know about him- so that makes me really happy!

      Pool Noodle is actually Amy’s dog (DJ’s twin sister!). Corgis have so much personality, we love that pup! That’s so sweet you had a Corgi too. Funny enough, DJ’s dog growing up was named Brooks (Although not a Corgi).

      Thanks for stopping in!! Hope you are having a nice week- how is the weather over there? Things are just wild right now over here- we are snowed in!

      1. Isn’t the weather wild? My Sugarland friend told me about the snow (his kids are thrilled, of course) and I just couldn’t believe it!?!!! Hope it hasn’t caused too much inconvenience to you.

        I love it when we find connections …

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