Monday, Dec. 24th, Christmas Eve. Tonight we maintained traditions by reading the story of Christ's birth from the scriptures and then we each opened one present, which made John realize that there were actual things in those presents and upped the excitement factor for him. After he went to bed, Peter and I enjoyed a savory candlelit dinner made by him, which we've done every year on Christmas Eve since we got married. We had a perfectly cooked rib roast, fluffy mashed potatoes, and green beans almondine, with sparkling apple cider to drink and hot apple pie with French Vanilla ice cream for dessert. I was stuffed, but the food was so delicious. It was a peaceful, relaxing evening.
Peter Rabbit! This is an impressive 3-D pop-up version.
Tuesday, Dec. 25th, Christmas. We spent a quiet day at home, just the three of us. Opening presents was fun. John liked his gifts and spent the day busy with his new things. His favorite presents were a planets book and a little $1 stocking stuffer dog toy that does flips after being wound up. It's funny how kids like the simple things most of all. We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast that really filled us up, so we had the rest of the breakfast we had planned for dinner instead--French Toast, sausages, and O.J. I had fun reading and resting as much as I possibly could all day.
John's biggest gift was a trampoline.
Astonished by the cool little wind-up doggy toy.
We are a family of bookworms.
Wednesday, Dec. 26th: This was a busy day of road trips to visit members of Peter's family. First we went to Grandma Bean's house in eastern Connecticut. She is Peter's paternal grandmother, and she's a lovely, gracious, 100% Finnish woman who is gentle and kind and always helps me to learn something new about Finnish culture when we spend time with her. As she always does when we visit, she fed us a delicious lunch before we had to leave.
After that we drove to Peter's maternal grandparents' house in N. Scituate, Rhode Island (Peter's hometown) and visited with them for a little while. I enjoyed talking about family history with Grandma Cost (her direct line of ancestors came over on the Mayflower), and Grandpa Cost was successful in convincing me that I really should get a Costco membership.
Next, we drove to Warwick to see Peter's sister Ruth and her family, who we hadn't seen in two years! Her husband is Chris and they have four beautiful, outgoing, well-behaved children who range in age from 3 to 10. For dinner, Chris cooked the most delicious chicken parmigiana I've ever had. We had a great time over there and are looking forward to seeing them again soon.
Thursday, Dec. 27th: Today we left for Massachusetts, where we're spending the next few days. In the evening we took my family out to dinner at a terrific restaurant in Foxboro called "The Stone Forge." We were only about a mile down the road from Gillette Stadium, where Peter's beloved New England Patriots play their home games. (That's as close as you're getting to the Pats this year, Peter!). It was a really fun dinner, made even better for me by the fact that John slept for three hours in the car in the afternoon so he was well-rested and in a good mood. Plus I didn't have to feed him or change him or anything because he had two great aunts who wanted to do all of that. Good deal! It was me, Peter, John, my parents, Jennifer and Elizabeth (my sisters), Ben and Nathan (my brothers), my niece Hayley, and Elizabeth's boyfriend, Jay. The only person who couldn't make it was Adam (Jennifer's hubby) because he had to work. The food was sooo dee-lish, our waiter was really funny, and we had a nice long table right in front of the fire. It was a great time had by all!
Guess who the center of attention was? Elizabeth, John, Jennifer, and Hayley.
Me, Nathan, Ben, and Jay (my two brothers and Elizabeth's boyfriend).
Smooching Hayley (whose beautiful face is always covered by her beautiful hair in these pictures!)
Our pint-sized Patriot in the heart of Patriots country.