This was easily the longest holiday break I have taken off from work in several years. With the exception of a few peeks into email I spent 1 week and 4 days completely away from work. In addition, I did little work on my personal self beyond basic running maintenance, in fact, after shaving for Christmas Eve Mass I even took a full week and 2 days from shaving. I dare say I almost have what is the early stage of a beard. Albeit one with more gray than I last remembered. Much of the time was spent with the kids, family and friends. It was dreamy. There were a few logistical challenges with the holidays, but nothing worth words here. Some highlights:
- Holiday Baking – Stewart and I baked, and baked and baked. We had enough sweets to last from 12/23 through nearly New Years and we gave a bunch away to boot! We baked the peanut butter cookies with the kisses, pretzels with kisses/M&Ms, white chocolate pretzel rods, peppermint bark, gingerbread snowmen cookies (she was intrigued that these cookies had pepper as one of the ingredients!), pecan pie and some other items I can’t quite remember. Some of my most nostalgic memories of the holidays involve baking with my mom and now with my kids.
- Santa! Seeing the kids on Christmas morning and honestly moreso with their excitement on Christmas Eve is priceless. At times a bit tiring, but priceless. There’s nothing like it.
- Our 2nd Annual Baxter Christmas Pot Luck – we were at capacity with friends and their kids this year. Fun times – next year we need even more desserts as this year they went fast! Better yet – next year I just need to start with desserts first.
- Baxter New Year’s Day 12k Trail Run – over 7 miles of trails to run on within Baxter – and challenging terrain at that! Looking forward to the 3rd annual next year!
- We didn’t leave the Baxter Bubble except for a date night or two, a trip to Discovery Place and some light pre-Christmas shopping. I love not driving places. Thanks to all of our family who drove to us – with a 2 year old it REALLY makes a difference!
- Charlie moved into a big boy bed. One of our parenting “lowlights” from 2011 was dismantling his crib in front of his eyes right before bedtime. He said he was ready (and had taken several naps and slept several nights in his new big boy bed) and we acted…maybe a bit too swiftly for him (and potentially even his mom who even shed a tear or two). It’s funny to see him in it (there’s a picture of it below) and even funnier to watch him the first night as he was apparently not ready to commit to turning over in it. If there’s one thing we know about Charlie it is change is not his favorite thing. It might even be his least favorite thing. Oh yeah, we have a 9 year old, well-broken-in crib for sale if you know anyone interested.
- Fred the Elf – oddly I miss the 6am rush downstairs to find out where Fred landed after his trip back to the North Pole each night. We miss that guy.
- Cindy’s Christmas Village – I’d be ok with this thing being up all year but I’m told it would lose its luster…still very cool.
- Golf – Will, Dad and I walked 9 holes at Fort Mill Country Club on the day after Christmas in near perfect weather. Good multi-generational bonding time.
- “The” Puzzle – this year’s was a doozy. Charlie picked it out (see picture) and his is now banned from doing so in the future. 1500 pieces as 500 too many. We BARELY finished it before the New Year deadline. 8:37pm on New Year’s Eve and several of the border pieces did not get placed until the last day of completion!
As always the New Year’s Resolution edition of the blog is forthcoming. Per usual a recap of 2011 performance and then the 2012 goals. Geekfest, I know.
Enjoy the pics – and my apologies in advance for the quantity.