As I was looking through old blog posts for recipes, I realized how much my life has changed in the past couple of years. Of course, the littles are not nearly as little anymore. Once they all started school, it was not necessary for me to be a stay-at-home mom anymore. However, the fact that they are the center of all of our decisions did not change. When I reflected on what my life was like before I had children, when I was home with children, and when, over the course of four years, they all started school, I realized that a few things had remained the same. I love my children and my family with all of my heart, and I am passionate about education. Becoming a teacher seemed like a very natural and logical step. As I do with everything, I have poured my heart into it. I love teaching, and I know that it is a huge blessing that I work at the same school as two of my children, while one is still in the same district, just a quick car ride away.
I do, however, miss writing and cooking something more than what I can manage to throw together at the end of an exhausting day. On Christmas Eve, I decided that I wanted to change that. I want to write again, take more pictures, and continue my little online scrapbook. It brings me so much joy, and I know that my children will love reading it one day, too.
Without even intending to do it, I developed a little breakfast casserole on Christmas Eve. I wanted something that I could just throw into the oven with the cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. This breakfast casserole definitely delivered. It will definitely become a Christmas morning tradition.
Sausage, Egg, Potato, and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
2 baking potatoes
1/4 cup butter
1 pound of sausage
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup goat cheese
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
- Grease an 8x8 glass baking dish.
- Peel the baking potatoes and cut them into small cubes.
- Add butter to a cooking pan and heat over medium heat. Add the potatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes, until soft but not falling apart.
- Remove the potatoes from the cooking pan and add them to the glass baking dish.
- Add the sausage to the same pan and brown for about 15 minutes, until cooked through. Drain the grease on a paper towel-lined plate.
- In a bowl, mix together the eggs, whipping cream, goat cheese, salt, and pepper.
- Add the cooked sausage to the egg mixture.
- Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes and mix together.
- Cover the mixture with the cheddar cheese.
- Store in the refrigerator over night.
- Preheat the oven to 350 and bake for 30-35 minutes.
- Serve with sour cream and salsa.
I always wonder if Christmas will be everything that my kids anticipate that it will be. When I see their faces, I am always reassured. However, as they get older, we are able to have more real conversations about Christmas and what it means to different people for various reason. Today, I asked Gabriel if Christmas is any less exciting now that he is older. He told me that it is just exciting, and it becomes more and more about family. His response made me so happy. While I know that there are things that I could always do better or differently, I always try to keep our focus on our family. To hear that family is what matters and that it is at the center of all that we do, filled my heart with immense joy.
Christmas began with the finding out what Santa brought followed by opening presents.
Then, we had a Christmas Day breakfast of cinnamon rolls and breakfast casserole.
After than, we had a day of playing and relaxing before enjoying Christmas with Nonna, Gran, and my sister’s family.
What a perfect Christmas. Family is what really matters. Always.
I will admit that there is stress and chaos associated with the holidays. However, once Christmas Eve arrives, I am in my happy place. It is one of my favorite days of the year.
Over the years, I have tried not to have very many specific traditions because, when something comes up and those traditions cannot happen, I do not want anyone to be disappointed. However, there are a few things that I do try my best to do every Christmas.
On Christmas Eve, I make a pancake breakfast. The kids either make snowmen or Santa Claus. I love watching their creativity at work, and eating together, as a family, is one of the best ways to begin one of my favorite days.
Last year, we started a tradition of letting the kids have a sibling exchange on Christmas Eve. So much happens on Christmas Day, that their love for each other was being lost in the mix. I wanted a day where they could celebrate each other by exchanging gifts. They joy on their faces let me know that it was absolutely a great decision. They smile as much when they watch their siblings open the gifts that they chose as they do when they open their own gifts that their siblings chose for them. The pure love and happiness on their faces is just priceless.
Candle Light Services are one of my favorite things. We almost did not go this year because we had been enjoying the comfort of home all day long. Gabriel kept pushing for us to go because I had mentioned a few weeks ago that it is my favorite part of Christmas Eve. Sean started singing me my favorite Christmas Eve Service song, and, with tears in my eyes, I knew that we had to make the made dash for us all to get dressed and presentable in 30 minutes. I am so glad that I have children and a husband who love me so much that they wanted to make my evening special.
We ended to day with pizza and movie night. I made individual homemade pizzas, and we watched Elf. It was the perfect ending to the perfect family day.