Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Merry Christmas to all

And to all a happy new year. Well, I think this is a new record for me. My Christmas post is up before Valentine's Day. It's amazing what one can accomplish when one doesn't have a post-holiday transatlantic flight and subsequent jetlag to deal with.

As per our usual routine when we visit my family, Jason and I stayed in the gorgeous Rockford Inn. Hannah and Doug, the owners, always have it decorated beautifully and it's such a cosy place to spend the holidays.

A couple shots of Rockford in the early Christmas morning fog and sun... Beautiful.

Christmas morning with my family has really gone to the dogs. Specifically, to my brother's dog, Spike. Spike can hardly contain his excitement over the festivities.

It's also gone to the cats. Smokey was alternately terrified of and in love with the balls of wrapping paper we kept tossing her way.

Spike wouldn't let up until he got his Christmas kiss.

I think Smokey's in there somewhere...

Moving swiftly on to Christmas evening back in Raleigh... Katie was very excited to open gifts but patiently waited while we did our Secret Santa exchange.

This one, not so much.

Damn Jenny and Ryan. The won the annual "Whose gift makes Charles the happiest?" competition this year. Duke tailgating chairs! Jason and I had this on lockdown for a couple of years but evidently, we're losing our edge.

Awesome Uncle Jason scares the crap out of the kids with "Crazy Christmas Cracker Fingers Man". Rawr!

Let the Dirty Santa festivities begin! Ryan chooses carefully.

Tie for the top two funniest gifts - a lovely self-portrait of Joe, lovingly captured in a holiday frame (and recycled from last year's exchange)...

And the rapping penguin, Joe's contribution to the gift pile, appropriately enough. I have a feeling both of these will show up at next year's Dirty Santa exchange.

This is where things start to go slightly downhill. We had our annual Cry Till You Look Like Rocky girls' movie night planned for the night after Christmas, even though we were one sister down. We even had on our matching pj's. Unfortunately, we lost another sister (and her husband) to a round of the pukes. Even more unfortunately, this was the sister that has two little girls that needed to be put to bed.

Super Aunts to the rescue! Jason walked in and thought he was seeing double, what with everyone in their matchies. (Jenny wanted to make sure I pointed out here that she was very great with child in this picture, lest someone mistake that belly for an extra christmas ham or two.)

The next evening, tragedy struck in my own home. I got the pukes that were slowly making their way around the family. And since we were hosting guests, I had to hibernate in our bedroom so I wouldn't spread my pukey germs everywhere. So I took my movies and my laptop and retreated. I was especially disappointed because Katie and Anna were coming over that night and I wouldn't get to hang out with them. To make matters worse, when they walked in the door, I heard Katie immediately ask "Where's Heather?" Jason had to tell her I was sick but he brought her to the door of the bedroom to say hi.

Showing first was Uptown Girls. Holy crap. If you have a little girl in your life, this movie will rip your heart out. I fell asleep somewhere in the middle for 20 minutes or so and when Jason came in later, the movie was just coming to the part at the end where Ray does her ballet solo and oh my God, I'm getting choked up just writing about it now... Anyway, Jason came in and I was a hot mess. Bawling crying. Then he tells me that Katie asked if she could come in to say goodbye and to tell me she hoped I felt better soon and I missed it because I was asleep. I started (completely irrationally) crying harder and telling him he should have woken me up. Umm, over-emotional much?

After Uptown Girls, I put on the Sex and the City movie. Once again, Jason picked the worst moment to come in to the bedroom because I was just at the part where Carrie takes the subway and walks through the snow on New Year's Eve to Miranda's apartment in Brooklyn, getting there just in time for the ball drop at midnight and tells her "You're not alone... You're not alone." He took one look at me and says "Oh my God, you're a wreck." And then, of course he gets the camera. All this amounted to my very own personal Cry Till You Look Like Rocky night.

All the while I was sick, this is what was going down in the living room. More gifts. Anna enjoyed the dollhouse Grandpa brought but she really had her eyes on the other gift from Grandpa.

The drum kit!

You would be amazed at the amount of noise this little thing can produce.

By the next day, I was fully recovered from the 12 Hour Pukes so we all took the girls to play at the park.

Two gorgeous shots of Katie and Anna... (Taken by Joe and Amy)

Since Liam didn't make it in time for the festivities, we decided to go about his first Christmas photo in a less traditional fashion. We call this one "Liam's first Christmas - in utero."

Katie decided Jason also needed a turn with the "Baby's First Christmas" hat. How thrilled he looks.

Once Katie got ahold of the camera, it was madness. Rudolph noses and Christmas hats all around.

Addison looks almost as thrilled as Jason to be wearing the baby hat.

Katie even disappeared upstairs and apparently discovered the art of the self portrait.

And last but not least, here's Chef Jason hard at work putting the final touches on our final Christmas dinner.

A traditional holiday...paella? Yes, paella. It's festive, right? It's got green peas and red peppers, doesn't it?

Well that just about wraps up this year's festivities. There's only the tiny matter of our TOTALLY AWESOME AND INCREDIBLY RELAXING POST-CHRISTMAS MOUNTAIN SPA GETAWAY. Subtitled: I have the BEST HUSBAND EVER. Coming soon...


Alice said...

Man, that was an action packed post! Loved all the pictures and the stories...especially watching movies that make you cry. Both scenes you mentioned in both movies made me bawl. And I'm not a pretty crier.

Glad you had a wonderful Christmas.

Suze - Cheshire, UK said...

Oh the wonderful 'Rockford files' - nice posting! Now send Anna over to ours to challenge on Guitar Hero World Tour.