Merry Christmas!

So, today is Christmas!

Well, we started Christmas last week with each other. Then this week on Sunday, we got together with our friend/neighbor Theresa to exchange gifts. We brought out a bunch of snacks and made hot chocolate and opened gifts. She made me a stuffed Tardis!!! If you haven't seen the series Doctor Who, you need to!

She found this amazing owl bank at Goodwill:

And this wonderful book for Trina!

Yesterday I worked a short day, and Trina spent the day making the last bits of food stuff, and putting it all together to head off to my parents' house. Our friend Chuck stopped by just as she was leaving to drop of a batch of beer that he and I made for the holidays - it was a dark ale with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and orange peel. Trina came up to get me at work, and we headed off to my parents' house, where my parents, my sister Amy, her husband Josh, and their little baby Blake were already waiting. We had a load of stuff in the backseat, so when we get there, we packed everything in and said hello to everyone. All the snacky food was already out on the counter - my sister made a layered mexican dip, my mom had bought stilton and cranberry wensleydale cheese, and we brought water crackers, we had marinated mushrooms, pickles, we made baked 3 cheese ravioli with garlic maranara dipping sauce, stuffed mushrooms, reuben dip with chips and crackers, sausages from a German deli in town, cheese fondue with dark and light rye bread, as well as sourdough, and I'm sure a number of other things I'm probably forgetting. We had crab to crack as well, but ended up not doing it that evening, as we all had so much to eat we got incredibly full. Of course Baby Blake was the focus of attention, being his first Christmas.

Grandpa Lew playing peekaboo :)

Grandma Carol getting some love time :)

We ate a whole bunch, and then decided to open our stocking stuffers. We always go around the circle, and go from youngest to oldest. That meant this year Blake got to start off the circle. We even had some unexpected things in the stockings this year, such as cello rosin and ginger candy, as well as the usual guitar strings, circus peanuts, etc...

We took a break in the middle of stockings, had a little bit more food... then we came back and finished the stockings. None of us were hungry again yet, so we decided to go for the main presents. We had a ton of fun giving and getting stuff - we gave Josh a 10 pound chocolate bar that he loved :) We also gave he and my dad some nice bbq implements, and my mom and sister got lots of wonderful socks :) Blake got all kinds of things, some great play stuff, books, socks...

We got a number of wonderful art prints from Marjorie at Marmee Craft and Emily at The Black Apple. These are the ones we got :)







Trina got this little book, which is funny, because I started calling Trina "pookie" a while ago, and it has kind of caught on in my family, so we all tease her with it, in a very caring, fun way :)

We got some great snacks, beef jerky, salami, chocolate covered coffee beans, wasabi & soy sauce roasted almonds that I'm eating as we speak. We got a Black and Decker electric drill, which will be wonderful. My sister made Trina a beautiful apron, and my parents got her a lovely scarf and some great pajama pants (I got some of those too). We got these wonderful lampshades:

Trina got this pair of boots and I got this iPod.

The Blake enjoyed sitting in the empty boxes while we cleaned up all the mess :)

We made hot chocolate and hot buttered rum, and got out cookies and peanut brittle and jello molds that my mom made and we watched A Charlie Brown Christmas, and then Josh and Amy and Blake took off, as Blake was getting really tired. I sat up and played with my iPod, and my dad flipped channels on TV, and we worked on a couple of last wrapping jobs we had to do for Trina's family Christmas the next day.

Trina and my mom made banana cupcakes and cream cheese frosting, which we were also taking to Trina's family Christmas. Finally my parents went to bed, and we finished up the last few things, and got to bed finally around midnight. It was a wonderful, warm, day, and Trina and I fell asleep in a warm bed happy to be with each other.

This morning, we woke up around 8, and I hopped in the shower. Trina got up and got ready, and then we both went downstairs. My mom had made cinnamon rolls and bacon, and I cracked 3 legs of crab and snacked on them. We had coffee and just sat around and talked with my parents about life stuff. It was so good. We talked so long we almost missed getting out the door on time, but we got everything together and got out on the road on the way to Trina's family. We had to get gas, and we drove around for about 30 min trying to find a place that was open. Finally we found one, and then got back on the freeway. About 30 minutes south from my parents' house, it started dumping snow. So much so that we could hardly see where we were going. We started squealing and bouncing around in the car, we couldn't contain ourselves :) It was even sticking on the freeway, so we pulled off the road and called Trina's family. It was snowing a bit in Albany (where they live) as well, so we decided not to risk getting stuck (as we just have a 1974 VW Beetle, which we aren't real confident about driving in the snow), and decided not to go. We turned around and went back to my parents' house and picked up the stuff we had left there, planning to get it on our way back home in the evening. It was really cold outside, so we made some hot chocolate and warmed up, and took some pictures of the snow :)

My mom sent us home with all the leftover food from the night before, so we came home. We found the kitties awfully skittish, and so we spent some time calming them down after we got everything in from the car. Finally they started to settle down, and so we pulled out the food and snacked on it, while I downloaded the Doctor Who Christmas Special, and put all our music on my new iPod :) Then we watched the Christmas Special, put all the food away, and now we're just relaxing. We'll probably try to make it down to see Trina's family soon and give them their gifts. We missed seeing them today, but we've also had a nice afternoon with our kitties :) Speaking of which, I need to go feed them so they stop whining :)

Hope you all had a wonderful Holiday season, I'll leave you with these last few pictures. Much love to all of you from us.


  1. it was so good to talk to you guys today. and so nice to read all about your festivities. hiking around here: http://www.torreypine.org/ was an awesome alternative to snow in portland. though i did get texted that we got six inches in denver overnight and it kept snowing during the day today. awesome weatherness all around. i'm so glad you guys got a white christmas!

  2. Wow...it looks like you guys had a wonderful Christmas! Congrats on the iPod...isn't the new one wonderful? I got the 80G and haven't even begun to run out of room yet...I'm sorry you didn't get to do both family celebrations...but, at least you got some snow! I had a 91 Bug and it was awesome in the snow...much better than a lot of cars actually, you just have to practice!!