Monday, January 20, 2014

Pre-Christmas Holiday Fun/Travel

I am super behind in blogging about my fascinating life :) (ha ha... well, I am behind, but I don't think I would consider my life fascinating!)

Anyway, I had a truly wonderful holiday season though with lots of fun with family/friends and memorable experiences. I also think I have some pretty cool pictures to save and look back on.

So, here my summary over the next few blog posts.

The DC Temple
Always a highlight of the Christmas season for me to go, see the lights, attend a concert or two, etc. This year my favorite concert was the hand bell choir, simply because I had some friends participating in it! But, afterwards I could not resist walking around the temple and taking pictures of it all lit up with white lights. Just beautiful.
They also have a nativity display. I think some years it is "LIVE", but that would be the worst ever to participate in that because it is so dang cold. I am OK seeing one of statues.
I started out my holiday travels by going up to Boston. It was kind of a quick trip, but SO worth it! The weather was cold and icky most of the time I was there (but I really wasn't expecting anything different! Boston usually welcomes me back with open arms of cold/bad weather just to remind me why I left :)

Anyway, I had the privilege of staying with Evan, Madison and the girls in their new place in Belmont! The highlight of course was spending time with Holland and Mary. They each have their own distinct personalities, but yet they also play together (as best they can) too!

Holland is a pure delight! Usually very happy and cheerful. No stranger danger and will be gladly picked up by anyone who's willing. She's starting to learn to say "Please", "Help", and gives the best kisses and hugs EVER! I also love her curls. She is super fun!!

Mary turns one this month (January) and she's developed a lot since I saw her in the summer. She's a fantastic sleeper (so is Holland) and is starting to smile more and more.  She loves to be held (or simply noticed :) and is also discovering toys and making her way around the room to get in to just about everything!

We took them to the mall on the 23rd and got a picture with Santa. It was hard to get them both looking at the camera and smiling, so we tried the book and that worked well! I LOVE this picture of them! They both love to be read to... even by Santa!

Another highlight from my trip was going to Peter & Debbie's for dinner on Saturday night. It had been almost two years since I had seen them (mom's funeral). Such a great reunion with them as well as Matthew and Uncle Donald! My relatives are truly so kind of fun to be around.... and great cooks as well! Peter is a master chef and is starting to market his own sauce to Trader Joe's and such. I am going to have to look for it in the stores soon! They live downtown and have a spectacular view of the Charles River. It was a really fun night!
Although we're not the most photogenic group :)
Other highlights I didn't get pictures of... going to see Juliette, David and the boys (Cecilia was in NYC with her grandparents). Oh my goodness... just being back in their house, chatting with them, etc... felt like old times. I feel like I am such a part of their family, even still! And, I love those boys so MUCH! They're getting older now, but they still have the same funny humor and silliness that they did when I watched them. Leo is sensitive, but so caring and thoughtful. Jeremiah is just silly and a ton of fun. Cecilia is a fashionista that is filled with passion and drama. Juliette and David have such a great relationship and support each other 100% through the ups and downs. I love seeing them and learning from their example. Such a FUN NIGHT!

I also had a really good run there in the city. It was fun to pass by some pretty memorable places like the Charles River, Mt. Auburn Cemetery, etc.

On Christmas Eve, Dad and Chris came up in the morning and we all exchanged gifts. The girls were LOVING their new toys/dolls and Holland was having a bit of trouble sharing Mary's stuff with Mary - or letting Mary have it :) We had a famous Chinese take out for lunch and then dad drove me to the airport. I have to admit I was SUCH a back seat driver as I was worried I was going to miss my flight... but luckily I made it!!

A wonderful trip and an easy flight back to DC so I could pack for my trip the next day

Going through old photos I found this one of my grandfather. He ALWAYS dressed up like Santa for us and it took us years before we figured it out. Such a GREAT man!

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