Saturday, December 19, 2015

Philly Thanksgiving

Pardon the tardy post! For our second Thanksgiving we hit the road for Philadelphia. Time in the car together is precious because it's normally the most uninterrupted time Jim & I have to talk. We had been waffling on a girl's name (well, mostly I had been waffling) and we chose one on the drive. We'll see if it's the one! ;)

When we arrived at Erin & Russ' house, the whole family was there to greet us. This sweet little girl had grown so much since we saw her in July, at one month old. It was wonderful to see her and spend time with her! 
She's a very sweet,  content baby and Ian had been talking about getting to spend time with her for weeks.
What a joyful cousin photo!! Gramee was thrilled to have both grandchildren together.
Thanks for a few of these photos, Erin!! I especially love this one :)
On Saturday we had our big Thanksgiving feast and spent the day together. Some left for a little sale hunting for Christmas gifts while a few of us stayed back. It was nice to have some one-on-one chat time with Erin :)

The next day was Seraphina's baptism and the whole family was in attendance. Here she is, all dressed up and ready for her big event. What a cutie!!!

Christine, pictured below, is a fantastic aunt. She makes the trek to see us in Blacksburg often throughout the year and she stops by and visits Seraphina quite often. She reads, sings, and plays with them and encourages, & loves them so well. Thank you, Christine!!!
 I didn't snap any pictures during the baptism but she was baptized by Grandpa in her home church in Philly. We were so glad to be there.

 Russ' family attends the same church, so we took an extended family photo, as well.
Many things to be thankful for this season.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Thanksgiving in Paris

This year we celebrated Thanksgiving with Mom, Dad, & Willem. Phoebe & James were in Kentucky with his family and we missed them, but we look forward to spending Christmas with them in a couple of weeks!

My favorite meal of the year is BY FAR this feast. Okay, with Christmas Eve's roast beast a close second. I've never taken photos of the food before, I don't think. And, at the point of this feast, I was still feeling fairly well, so I snapped a fair amount of pictures. Unfortunately, I was hit by an unfortunate bug during the Thanksgiving holidays and travels.

We spent the morning visiting with some of my mom's cousins, whom I hadn't seen for years. And then it was soon time for us to feast on a magazine-worthy meal.

 My mouth waters looking at these stuffed mushrooms, sweet potato & apple scallops. mashed potatoes, green beans and almonds, kale salad, turkey, homemade stuffing, gravy, cornbread, cranberry sauce.... so savory.

 Ian took this meal seriously. Who wouldn't? Jim's obviously equally intent ;)
 To make room for pie, we headed outside for our annual hike up to the Paris View. We didn't make it all of the way there due to the limited daylight and how I was feeling, but we made room for pies. Yes, PIES. Pecan and pumpkin and a berry pie (a new addition this year).
 28 Weeks pregnant at this point, I believe.

 Ian hopped up each rock and recently found his pockets, which made his walk look quite proper.
 It's such a joy to watch these two interact. Love them.
 Äma always pulls out a bunch of books, from my childhood, to read and Ian soaks in the new literature.
 Grumps spent the last morning we were there making pretzels. We were thrilled to eat them as our snack on the drive to our second Thanksgiving with the Barlows in Philly. Thanks, Dad!!

Sweet picture. Thanks for a wonderful Thanksgiving, Mom & Dad & Willem!! Won't be long until we are all together again :)

Monday, December 7, 2015

"How 'Bout Dis One?"


Today was a rare and wonderful day. We had a relaxing morning with a breakfast fit for kings. We went and chose our Christmas tree, walking through almost the whole patch before finding the perfect one. Ian ran up and down the paths, eager and excited. He even got to ride on the gator with Papa and the gentleman who helped to prepare the tree to be put up on our roof.

Full of food I'd packed and relaxed, he fell asleep on the car ride home.  I took a shower while Jim worked in the yard around Ian sleeping in the car. When I got out of the shower, I glimpsed a very content duo holding one of the rabbits we recently acquired. Ian beamed from ear to ear, when it was his turn to hold the bunny. Jim said he didn't even look down at the bunny in his arms, Ian was staring forward with a look of amazement and joy.

We then brought the tree into our living room and rearranged the whole thing. We had to move things to make room for the tree, but it's also left us so refreshed and content since they've been moved. Sometimes you just have to move the furniture around to put an extra spring in your step!

I made quiche with Ian while Jim did more yard work. After the quiche was in the oven, we did a puzzle and played.

After dinner we listened to Christmas music and put the decorations on our tree. Last year we weren't living at home for the whole month of December, as we stayed with some friends in Richmond for a rotation. Since it had been almost two years since we've put up our decorations and ornaments, I had forgotten about some of them and was reminded of a few different people and memories. Familiar comforts.

The best part of the day was putting the ornaments on the tree with Ian. HE LOVED IT. He enjoyed each part... the unwrapping of the ornaments, the detangling of the hooks, and then the placement on the tree. Jim and I felt so much joy watching him today.

Jim laid out the hooks for us and Ian would walk over and get one each time we needed a new ornament. I loved his exclamation of "How 'bout dis one?", after he would choose which hook he wanted to use for that particular ornament. All of the hooks look exactly the same, but his choice of words just kept us in stitches.

We finished the night with Love Actually, a movie we watch once a year. It was great.


Would you believe it? Today was equally as wonderful. 

I took Ian to PMO and returned to the car to find six missed calls from Jim & a text. Before I could even read the text, he was calling again. The power was out at his clinic and he didn't have to be back at work until 1 PM!!!! 

WHAT?? And I happened to be free without Ian? Many a time I have thought about how nice it would be for us to have a small date in the beginning of the day, while Ian's at PMO. I never thought that it would actually come to fruition. And I happened to be completely ill-prepared for what I would do during my free time anyway (something quite unlike me). 

So, we met at Our Daily Bread, the best bakery in town for a yummy croissant and coffee date. He helped me run a few errands and we even had some spare time to walk on the Huckleberry. Pure sweetness! 

Lastly, for the first time ever, Jim got to see Ian in action at PMO... how content and focused he is with the centers. He got to meet his wonderful teachers and see their love for Ian permeate their smiles and interactions. And then Ian got to show him his sand box, truck, and spoon at the playground.

In a perfect world, this is how we'd start every Monday.

This life in the medical training field is very unpredictable. Family time is limited and sometimes even when he's home, he's typing up medical notes on patients or taking phone calls at any and all times of the day. Seizing and savoring these full days of time together or surprise morning dates are what keep us going. And they remind us of how life can be again in the future.

Added Note: It's 9 PM & Jim just walked in the door as was finishing this post. He immediately had to run downstairs to his office to call in a prescription for a patient. Catch my drift?