The holidays, were, as always for us, a blur. I keep trying to find a way to capture some semblance of slow in a season that seems to thrive on fast, but so far, I’ve had little success. Between being pregnant (and getting ever moreso with each day), planning for travel, and trying to make most of our holiday gifts, there seemed little time or energy left to enjoy the quiet.
But we made it, we’ve survived, and as I type, I sit in my parent’s living room, thinking about how strange it is to be back “home” when it’s not really home anymore. I miss being home. I miss being home for Christmas. It’s been lovely to spend the holiday with my family, but it’s been hectic.
It all started with the plane ride, always a highlight for Peanut. Though I think she likes the idea of flying much more than being trapped on a plane! The next day, we had pictures taken with the ever fabulous Lori of Images by Lori. If you live in Pleasanton, or anywhere in the Bay Area, really, go see her next time you need family shots, kid shots, belly shots, baby shots, etc. She’s truly, truly amazing. Ryan was a grump, but Lori still managed to get some great shots of her, and not only did we get fantastic belly pictures, but Ryan’s 4 year pictures as well (it’s only a month shy).
Wednesday we went to the Nutcracker in San Francisco. Amazing, as I suspected it would be…the dancers are phenomenal, choreography to die for and costumes were amazing. Ryan, unfortunately, was a little bored. I misjudged her abilities to sit through things like that, plus we met up with Uncle Mike and Aunt Allison as we were going into the show, so I think she was just super excited to see them and had a really hard time sitting still. She ended up dancing in her seat area for most of the show, humming along to the music. Each time a song came out that she recognized, she’s whisper-shout “Nutcracker music!”. She was also disappointed that she wasn’t going to be onstage. I’m not sure how, but she was under the impression that she was going to be on stage in her fancy dress. Maybe in a few years…If I take her again next year, it will probably have to be a children’s performance, or at least something a lot less pricey!! Traffic was awful coming home, and Ryan cried for about 40 minutes on the way home. WAY out of character for her…she’s usually so easy going. We survived though, and she stayed up far too late playing with her Aunt and Uncle.
We did Christmas Eve as our big food/present day, and had a blast. Michael and I took over the kitchen, and cooked up quite a meal. Mike and Allison brought a fantastic butternut squash soup along with an apple crisp dessert, and helped us in the kitchen. The four of us had a great time, and it was another opportunity for Michael and I to spend a little more time with our sis-in-law. We’re so glad she chose to join our crazy family…
Ryan loved opening presents from everyone, including the highlight of the day, her new bike from her Aunt and Uncle! The bike is awesome, and she loves riding it. It’s a big girl bike, 2 wheels with training wheels, and we’re still working on a plan to get it back to Seattle.
Christmas Day we all crept downstairs to see if Santa had in fact come to Nonna and Papa’s house…he did!! Mommy and daddy are mean, and made her wait for us to brew coffee before we’d let her open anything, but she was patient. And as she was slowly opening her gift, she was telling Nonna and Papa all about how she asked Santa for a cash register and she realized what she was opening. She got SO excited, shouting that Santa did get her letter, and did bring her what she’d asked for and it was so cool and Santa is so cool, etc, etc, etc. It was sweet to see her so excited about all of it. She’s at such a cool age for all of this. She got lots of other fun gifts from Nonna and Papa, and mommy and daddy. She also enjoyed handing presents around to everyone else.
This morning, we headed over to Vic’s in Ptown for a fantastic breakfast. Standard issue eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast and yum, was it good stuff! We’ll be heading back tomorrow for brekkie with a crew of old friends, some of whom we haven’t seen in ages. We love how we can connect with this group, and it’s like no time has passed, and yet we all mesh seamlessly into one another lives, still. We’re older, chubbier, have kids now (or don’t, and to be fair, some are thinner), and yet, are still entirely relevant to one another. It’s really astonishing to see how connected we’ve stayed over the years.
And in the end, it’s that connectedness that makes the holidays what they should be. Whether busy, slow, mellow or crazy, connecting with friends and family is what it’s all about.