1. Meet Penelope! (Or Cruz. Or Wolfdog. Depending on who you ask.) She is the newest member of our family and we love her so much! My husband and I have spent most of the last week making up stories for why she looks so mad.

2. Hubby and I had a gingerbread house contest and put the photo up on Instagram for judging. I, sadly, lost the battle. Here I was thinking the funny shape of my house (on the right) gave it character but all of Instagram informed me that it just made it ugly. Boohoo.

3. Christmas Eve dinner is always a table full of appetizers at our house and this year was no exception. I made Bacon-Wrapped Smokies, Stuffed Mushrooms, and Cheesy Crab Dip. It was all delicious!

4. We have a fantastic Christmas that included a morning of openings present, skyping with the family back home, and a delicious dinner. My husband made a ginormous ham and for sides I made sweet potatoes, corn casserole, squash casserole, and carrot spoon bread.

5. We are incredibly lucky that the Army not only provides free daycare for kids of deployed soldiers but also continues it for 3 months after the soldier comes home. My husband and I have been on 4 dates since he came home not even a month ago! This week we put the kids in daycare and headed to PF Changs. I got the seared tuna on fried wontons and it was fantastic.