Tuesday, December 31, 2013

So This Is Christmas

We were reunited with jb, we had a lovely Christmas at my parent's home and now we are back in Philly staring down the barrel of a new year.  We are all very (very, very) happy to be home, but also so glad we were able to have that extended visit in Pittsburgh.  That's a tough balance to strike, especially when it comes to a month-long visit.

We are still ticking along with our Darkest Days of Winter calendar since unlike the 24 day Advent calendar, DDoW stretches beyond December 25th to encompass January 7th (when we celebrate the Julian calendar Christmas).  We've done some new activities like making bird feeders out of pinecones or making ornaments out of pasta, but we've also gotten to repeat some favorites like decorating our (2nd) tree for (2nd) Christmas and drinking hot cocoa (you can never have too much hot cocoa).  This in-between-Christmases time feels like suspended time and it's been nice to have a few days to reconnect as a family of four and be at home.

December Christmas could not have gone better.  We baked quiches the night before so we could just heat them up in the morning to eat as everyone gave/opened presents.  The kids delighted not only in their own presents, but were SO genuinely excited when other people got a gift they enjoyed.  My favorite moment of the morning was when Zoe opened a bag of clementines and literally jumped for joy - complete with arms raised and a spontaneous "Woohoo!"  

The "big" gift to both Leo and Zoe from jb and I was a dollhouse - which they have both been wanting for some time now.  They were both thrilled - though Zoe didn't let go of the clementine she was holding to "help" open it.

We snapped our yearly jammie photo - then the kids took a nap while we prepared for our dinner guests.

Abi (re)organized the "activity" scene while the kids slept.  The reindeer mayor didn't make the cut.  

It was capped off by a lovely evening with family.  We were joined by members of both my side of the family and jb's.  It makes for a long table, but awesome company.  

Zoe wore a dress that my Abuela had made for me when I was her age.  

Back view

Front View

Leo and jb looked rather dashing as well.

And tonight we welcome 2014.  I haven't even really had time to reflect on the last year - or think about my wishes for the upcoming one.  I guess today is the day to do that.  Happy New Year!

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