Tuesday, October 22, 2019

December 2018 Randoms

There aren't nearly as many random pictures as there would be if my phone pictures hadn't been lost in the ether, which still makes me sad, but at least it makes blogging easier and faster. 

A very long receipt from Target. 'Tis the season!

Festive cocoa for Sam.

We received a Christmas card from the White House. 

I liked that Barron's signature was on it too.

I finally replaced my old iPhone. I got an iPhone X, which was Apple's newest phone at the time. I figured I might as well since it takes me years to replace or upgrade my phone. I wasn't terribly impressed with the new phone at first but now that I've had it for ten months I really like it and it's a definite improvement over the old one. Anyway, I hope my old phone is enjoying its new life with someone else (I sold it back to Verizon). The screen side of the Otter Box around it had seen better days!


This is the hippo I got for the boys for Christmas. I put it on the counter before I brought it up to where I store the gifts, and I saw a few minutes later that where I'd placed it on the counter made it look like it had pooped out candy (see second picture below). 😄 The fun with Mr. Hippo had already begun!



Elf in the tree!

Hilariously bad selfies I attempted to take of myself, my mom, and my sister at The Elms in Newport.




A beautiful new Fossil watch that I bought for myself online from a great Black Friday deal Fossil was running.
I love this watch!

We hosted a holiday dinner for Peter's family.

Present time!

And those were the random pictures of December!

Monday, October 21, 2019

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2018

Christmas Eve is literally my favorite day of the whole year, and Christmas is my second favorite day. Two days in a row of joy, peace, and happiness (if all goes right, that is!).

On Christmas Eve last year, there was no snow on the ground and not really any in the forecast, which was disappointing, but it did snow for a few minutes in the late morning while we were over at my mom's house for a family brunch. It didn't stick to the ground or anything, but something was better than nothing! Nevertheless my dreams of a white New England Christmas went unmet. Maybe this year!

Can you see the snow in the air? Just barely? Also, that looks like a row of Christmas trees.


We took some family pictures at the brunch. Here are the four strapping grandsons of the family: Sam, Rocco, John, and Shane.

And here's the one lovely granddaughter with her cousins!

And here's my mom with her five wonderful grandchildren.


This is us: me and my brothers and sisters. It had been a few years since we were all in a picture together. Don't you just love my sweater? I do. 😁

Back at home that evening, Sam made Santa an origami sleigh. 

And an origami Santa to go in the sleigh.


And he got taken out by the Christmas tree again.

Peter cooked a delicious prime rib for dinner. For the first time in many years, it wasn't just the four of us, but five of us because my mom joined us for dinner. That was a nice change!

This was the tree with the presents set out after the kids went to bed. There weren't as many presents as past years because we'd opened our gifts from grandparents, in-laws, and other family already when we celebrated with them (whereas in Iowa, they weren't there to celebrate so there were a lot more presents under the tree until Christmas). 

A fire in the fireplace and It's a Wonderful Life on TV. Perfection!


 It was a cozy scene, but it didn't quite have the same level of magic as our living room/Christmas tree set-up in Iowa, I think. But it was nice to have the tree, fireplace, and TV all in the same room.

The stockings are always too heavy to hang up so Santa puts them on the couch after filling them up.

I didn't take a lot of pictures on Christmas itself. The boys got this big stuffed hippo (an inside family joke) that they were delighted with. Here's Sam picking its nose. Boys!


Hippo at the table for our traditional Christmas breakfast, a delicious little feast cooked by Peter. After that the cooking is done for the day.

The Willow Tree nativity set was lit up nicely by the sunlight that morning. How appropriate!
This is the entire reason for the season.

The hippo attacked Violet and she didn't care. I think she was in a Christmas coma from prime rib leftovers.

I relaxed and read for most of the afternoon into the evening, which is one of my favorite things to do on Christmas.

Sam hasn't outgrown this sweet Fisher-Price advent calendar yet and I'm so glad! We've been doing this ever since John was a toddler, so over ten years now.

This was my advent calendar for December. It was fun, and delicious!

It was a nice Christmas. I'm excited for the next one--only two months away!

Friday, October 18, 2019

The Nutcracker

The weekend before Christmas last year we fulfilled my wish to see Boston Ballet's world-famous production of The Nutcracker. Peter and I had seen it about ten years earlier, so it had been awhile. The boys hadn't seen it yet. They were in for a treat!

The Opera House in Boston is itself a treat. It's so beautiful!

I'm a sucker for chandeliers!


I'm also a sucker for fine ceiling art. December was a real treat for me with the chandeliers and ceiling art and the overall ornateness of the Newport mansions and the Opera House!



The boys enjoyed The Nutcracker, despite their grumbling about having to go to the ballet. Sam said that the beginning scenes of the Christmas party reminded him of The Sound of Music.

The only time you can take pictures of the performers is when they're done performing! It's understandable, of course.


The lobby isn't too shabby either!


It was a lovely evening in a lovely place seeing a lovely ballet. I hope it's not another ten years before I do this again!