Sunday, December 30, 2012

Holly Jolly

Christmas, In Brief:

We had two - one with just the four of us, and another extended one that involved my entire family, separated by a rather lengthy car trip. Fun was had all around, and we even got sleep! Except that night in the hotel when all four of us shared one room, and Lucy coughed a lot. But all the other nights, sleep! And fun! And presents, oh so many presents. M. and I did exceptionally well with the gifting, I think. I got him a new hobby (beer making!), and he got me, among other things, a fabulous new winter puffy coat that magically doesn't make me look puffy, and a tripod. There was a little snow, there were a lot of cousins, there was even some church time (ack! we survived, but barely! Note to self, next time, don't sit in the balcony!). We drove home on Thursday (a very long, long drive), and we're now faced with the prospect of reintegrating into real life again tomorrow.

Christmas, In Photo:

I could go on and on, but instead, I shall overwhelm you with photos and go to bed, because it is late. I have no photos from our little Christmas at home on Saturday morning, these start with Sunday afternoon in Massachusetts:

My mom dug out my wedding dress and veil for Lucy. The dress is sadly pretty stained, but the veil looked as beautiful as ever. Doesn't she look saintly?

Since it came down to her ankles, I wouldn't let her wear it for very long.

Tried to capture an "artistic" photo on the sly.

Looks much better without flash. Would prefer it if Finn was in focus instead, though. Too bad he moves so damn fast all the time.

This is my two-year-old niece Josephine. Isn't she cute?

This is what the kids wore on Christmas Eve. Lucy is wearing an old dress of mine, a velvet jumper. Finn wore this sweater for exactly 5 seconds after we walked in the door from church, then whipped it off in favor of the Angry Birds T-shirt he had on underneath it.

Needless to say, I didn't have much luck getting them to pose prettily for me.

My mom and brother somehow managed to color coordinate on Christmas Eve.

After a big dinner, stockings were hung (by the chimney, with utmost care, of course). Finn is the only grandkid to have a stocking knitted for him (by one of my dad's co-workers) - such privileges are often afforded to first grandkids. Everyone else had to pick a generic stocking from a pile.

Lucy picked the one with Rudolph (or "Redolph," as she likes to call him).

Then my brother read all the kids "The Night Before Christmas."

They MOSTLY listened intently, and there were only a couple of potty breaks and other random interruptions.

The kids fell asleep, stockings were stuffed, and morning came. Surprisingly, not as early as I thought it would. We actually had to go into Finn and Lucy's bedroom to rouse them. Here are the kids waiting to bust into the closed family room to see if Santa came. Santa had zip-tied the door shut just in case there were any midnight wanderings...

Once the stockings were emptied and the Santa gifts were properly played with, we all got out of our jammies and moved down to the living room to open family gifts.

The display of gifts was a tad overwhelming in an "embarrassment of riches" kind of way.

Lucy waited patiently to open her gifts, and helped Bumpa with his.

Finn got a little antsy that he had nothing to open (since we had already exchanged gifts, he had fewer than his cousins), but finally scored with a new Angry Birds backpack and the Lego Star Wars game for his Nintendo DS.

My dad got a new hat.

Some of you may have seen a similar photo on Facebook - me snuggling with a happy Lucy.

All the girls received a sack of girly princess things (nailpolish, tiaras, rings, wands, necklaces) from my brother and his girlfriend. Here is Penny modeling the tiara and wand.

My siblings and I gifted Mom with a couple of rustic looking hand-hooked pillows for the Maine lake house - the moose was a must.

Me and my oldest cutie.

The night before we left Massachusetts, I headed over to my wonderful friend Natalie's house for a little kid-free get-together. Here is a photo of my two sisters (Stacey on the left, Kristin on the right).

And one of the group of us - me, Amy, Stacey, Natalie, Kristin, and Helen in the front. It's hard to believe that we've known each other for almost 30 years (since first grade!!).

Back in Maryland, I unpacked one of my gifts from my mom - a real, honest-to-goodness, Le Creuset dutch oven - and made a pretty kick-ass vegetable soup. I love, love, love this pot!!

And M. started his first batch of beer.

In just a few weeks, he won't be holding a Sam Adams, he'll be holding a... hmm, a what? Clearly, we need to come up with a name for this brewery. Anyway, soon he'll be holding and drinking his own homemade beer (and so will I! I get extra bonus points for helping M. start a new hobby that ALSO benefits me!).

Hope you all had wonderful holidays, too. See you next year!


  1. Your comments are hilarious. I want that moose pillow!

  2. Philip homebrews as well. Working on his 6th or so brew. This latest one to come out of fermentation was a pumpkin ale (as a treat for me). I get you on that double-benefit ;)

  3. Ooh, pumpkin ale, that is definitely on our (or my) "must make" list!