Friday, December 30, 2011


 Our Christmas started on Christmas Eve when we went over to a friend's house for Christmas Eve dinner. We had a delicious meal of crown rib roast.

Carter playing with his new helicopter

Inside is a knife sharpener from my dad to my mom, so on the tag my dad wrote: "Looking forward to sharpening our relationship together in 2012"

iCarter opening his gift from iMom.

(The gift was an iTunes gift card so mom had fun with the tag)

On Tuesday we drove up to Virginia to my aunt's house, to see her family, my grandparents, and my mom's brother and other sister. We didn't know one of the sisters was coming till the night before so it ended up being a surprise family reunion!

They have two cats, Dixie (pictured) and Rebel, who are always eager to play.

Mr. Gray here is the newest member of the extended family and consequently received the most attention

which he seemed to enjoy

David and Gray. One of my favorite pictures of the trip

We took a lot of pictures but I won't bore you friends with that, so here is the group photo

We watched 

(Emily thinks my cute design with "up" looks really dumb but I think its cute)

The next day we headed into D.C on the metro. 

The Capital

Inside the Library of Congress

We were not allowed to take pictures inside the exhibits, consequently I don't have many pictures. Thankfully, the lobby was the most beautiful part of all and I was allowed to take pictures of that.

A brilliant blue sky and a bright red scarf look splendid together

Summary of the Bill of Rights

We went to the National Gallery of Art next; I didn't find it very interesting to take pictures of paintings so here is just one, by Claude Monet.

We decided it was a lot more interesting to see this situation (leopard hanging is prey from a tree) in real life, in Africa

Can you imagine if these things were still alive!?

Walking along the National Mall.

(Emily is mentioning she has really cute boots)

The Washington Monument at twilight

The three girls in front of the National Christmas tree. Kind of a letdown if you ask me.  What's with that odd shape anyway?

Hanging out in the morning

On our second day in the city we had lunch at Meatballs, I had delicious chicken meatballs, on pasta with fettucini sauce

Emily and I went into the National Archives. Again I couldn't take any pictures. But we did see the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and the Constitution. The Declaration of Independence was surprisingly faded, almost all the signatures were completely faded, you could only make out the "J" and "H" of John Hancock's signature 

I thought this picture was funny with the people next to us.

And life on a D.C. street to close out this post

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Shortbread Memories

Last week my Papa came over to help us make his famous shortbread. The recipe has been passed down through the generations and in my opinion is the best shortbread in the world. Whenever I taste  the sweet dough and bite into the light, buttery shortbread, I remember making it with him as a little girl. I would sit on the counter next to a huge metal bowl and use my hands to mix the dough, no spoons allowed! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Shopping List

Store employees can be so helpful, especially when you're trying to find disposable slacks!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Cookies

Can't have the Christmas season without gingerbread cookies!

They must have been delicious because they were all eaten by the next day!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Music

One of the main things I look forward to in the Christmas season is the music. I love listening to the same songs I've listened to all my life and with them come back so many memories. In our household, we start playing Christmas music as soon as Thanksgiving dinner is over and it doesn't stop till New Years Day. 

Even though I enjoy songs I've heard hundreds of times, I still enjoy listening to new ones. Including this version of We Three Kings. 

Just this week I bought the sheet music so I could play it on our piano. It's quite fun to play.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thanksgiving Trip

This Thanksgiving, we found out on Wednesday afternoon (because of my dad's work schedule) that we could go to Ohio for Thanksgiving to visit our cousins. So we quickly packed up the car and headed out early Thursday morning.

We spent almost the entire two days playing games. And to keep us going we munched on this yummy trail mix. FYI, the perfect trail mix (in my opinion) is 2 part dried cranberries, 1 part dark chocolate chips, 1 part halved walnuts. 

We played Dominion

and Othello
 I used to think this was a simple game until I played with Genevieve. I quickly found out that there were numerous strategies and until I learned them I was going to lose miserably

And we sipped delicious, sugary, icy goodness made by Uncle John.

And munched on pumpkin pie

with lots of whipped cream

And one of our all time favorite games, Dutch Blitz. 

We played with 7 people--it was high speed to say the least.

Dad teasing Miranda about the rules.

High numbers are not good...

On Friday night we drove to downtown Cincinnati to go ice skating. But there was an hour wait to rent skates, so we bagged that idea and walked around instead.

On the way home on Sunday we were in a 5-car pile up, thankfully everyone was alright!