Thursday, December 27, 2007

Longwood Gardens

Peter, Andrew and I went to Longwood Gardens today and it was such a great day!  I've never been there so I took about 150 pictures haha.  Check out our website to see some of the better ones:

Peter and Andrew had fun telling stories from their childhood and filling me in on the parts of the park that were closed for the winter.  

We stopped at the mall on the way home because I wanted to run into Yankee Candle to get some candles at their semi-annual sale when they are all buy one get one free.  After that, we went home and watched the first half of "It's A Wonderful Life" again haha.  We stopped the movie because folks were getting tired...good thing Peter and I have already seen the whole thing!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Nana's, Blackout, and Drexel Hill

Today was a day filled with excitement.  After we woke up and had breakfast, we showered and headed to Nana's house to see her and Aunt Marian.  We helped Nana put up her new tv in her bedroom and waited for Aunt M to arrive.  When she got there, she sneaked in and up the stairs to where we were and I caught a glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye and freaked out because I didn't know it was her at first.  I almost had a heart attack!  We had a yummy soup for lunch and then exchanged gifts.  We felt really dumb because we left Aunt M's at mom and dad's and Nana's (and Mima's) at home :(  We still got really nice gifts from them though including a movie, Starbucks gift card, a check, a cool trivet, and Nana's usual bag of random stuff with the actual shampoo/conditioner I use!  Aunt M wasn't feeling well so she called off work...she was sick in the stomach and we all felt so bad for her.  We just relaxed and watched "Polar Express" together.  I've never seen it and have been wanting to for the past few weeks and so I was glad to see it.  It was a pretty cute Christmas movie.  After the movie, we headed home because it was about 4:30 and we were going to be in rush hour traffic.  We were supposed to go see Tim and Vasti again but we were so exhausted we had to cancel.  We just needed time to veg out and unwind and relax.  We stayed home with Andrew and dad and they all watched and old tape with a bunch of "3 Stooges" on it.  In the middle of the last episode, the power went out.  We thought they blew a fuse but the whole block was out and even further.  Dad called in to the electric company and they had no news of it yet.  A few minutes later he called again and they said 429 customers were affected by the power outage.  Andrew and I enjoyed the power being out but I don't think Peter and dad did.  We decided to see a house on Drexel Hill that's always lit up real nice with crazy lights, etc and then if the power was still out, we were going to look for the crew that the electric company said was on its way.  

This is the was sweet, but hard to capture on camera.

They had tons of lights and little booth type things with Santa, etc in them all lit up.  Apparently they usually also have reindeer flying around, but they weren't on because it was raining.  Bummer!

The house blinked "Seasons" then "Greetings" then "Seasons Greetings" together which all corresponded with the lights on the house blinking too.  I tried to take a video of it all but my camera battery died.  

When we got back home, the power was on and so we resumed activity in the house.  When mom got home we told her of the adventures she missed out on.  Lucky for the electric company crew that the power was back on because dad was going to give them a piece of his mind!

Christmas at Mima's

Well, we made it in time for Christmas dinner at Mima's. Actually, we were the first ones there. We got there at 1:00 because we made such good time on the highway.  We had quite a ride, stopping at Sheetz for a drink and breakfast and to cash in our lottery tickets.  My mom always gives everyone scratch off tickets and this year I was the big winner.  I got a free ticket and $5.  So we paid for our breakfast with the $5 but still got $2 back and got a free ticket.  My free ticket gave us another $4 that we can cash in....but we're going to stop while we're ahead haha.  We had a nice drive....minus driving through the correctional facility that was a little creepy haha.  

We were told we'd eat at 2 so we changed out of our travel clothes and waited for others to arrive. No one else arrived until 2 and then Tim, Vasti, and Bella were the last to arrive around 3. We didn't end up sitting down to eat til almost 4.  We had a delicious meal with pasta, chicken, stuffed mushrooms, rice balls and much more! After dinner, some of us watched an episode of "Seinfeld" and then we all opened presents. Peter and I received very nice gifts of wine, olive oil made from Aunt Grace and Uncle Michael's villa in Italy, a picnic kit, cheese/cracker tray, and several very nice ornaments for our tree. We then had dessert of pies, jello, and cookies that I made and brought with us. It was all very yummy. We left Mima's after helping clear the table and packing up all of our things and arrived back in Philly around 10:30 PM. We hung out with Andrew for a bit but we were pretty tired and went to bed before too long. It was a tiring day, but a fun day.  

We woke up at 6:30 to shower and pack everything up.  Here we are at 8:15 AM when we were pulling out of my parents' driveway.  You can tell we were pretty tired...we didn't go to bed til about 1 AM the night before!

Pulling out of my mom and dad's can tell the sun had just come up haha.

People gathered in Mima's kitchen munching before dinner was served:

Beautiful Isabella!

Aunt Grace with Isabella and her new present-a snowglobe from Mima.

Mom and Dad Formica :)

Peter was taking most of these pictures....luckily Laura was at least paying attention to him haha.

Aunt Grace is always snapping pictures so Peter got a picture of her doing what she does best!

Mima and Aunt Grace...this is such a good picture!

Tim and Vasti about to open a present...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Travels

Peter and I are currently in the car on Interstate 80, mile marker 227 heading east to Mima’s for Christmas dinner. We left Hollidaysburg around 8:15 this morning... and boy was I tired! We were up late last night celebrating Christmas with my side of our family and didn’t go to bed til almost 1 AM. Then I woke up at 6:30 this morning to shower and we had to pack up the car. Ah, the things we do for those we love J It’s about 10:30 in the morning now and we are roughly halfway to NJ. We just stopped at a Sheetz for free coffee (hot chocolate for me!) and some breakfast. I miss having a Sheetz close by in Pittsburgh. Having grown up in Altoona (where the first Sheetz was) there was like one on ever corner practically! One of my uncles actually was friends with the man who started Sheetz when they were little boys…cool, huh?
It was kind of sad packing up this morning because it felt like we were heading home, but we still have half of our little vacation left! We don’t go back to work until Monday and then we have Tuesday off, work 3 days and then a weekend! After that it’s going to be a little rough though because we just had so many fun trips and time off. Oh well, I guess that’s to be expected after Christmas, etc.

Last night at my house was…typical? Wendy came over so that’s always a little awkward. But we all had a good time and ate lots of food! My mom made turkey, stuffing, corn, green beans with mushrooms, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, ham, and cranberry sauce. Plus we had all the cookies/candy I made and brought coupled with the cookies Ash made. It was quite a feast! After dinner, we had round one of presents for Bryson, Ryan and Mark and Erik since they all had to leave. Peter, me, and my parents waited for Ash and Drew to come back and we all opened presents together. I was finally able to give my mom the extra 4 place settings that I got her for her good china! They are a discontinued pattern of Noritake so it was hard to get a hold of but I found some online via Ebay. She loved them! We got my dad a shirt, cashews which he loves, and a 3 Stooges calendar for 2008. Peter and I got tons of great presents too—sweaters, fleece pants and top, towels, a snowman fleece blanket, santa soap dispenser, Will & Grace season 1, a cup to match one I have that I’ve been looking for and pitcher that matches those, a griddle, and much more. After presents, Peter and I gathered up a lot of our stuff, putting it in bags, etc to get ready to pack it in the in the morning. Then we sat down with my mom to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life”…we do every year and it usually ended up being my mom and me. Ashley goes to Drew’s at that time now to open presents with his parents and my dad is always asleep haha. We didn’t make it through the entire movie though since we had to get up early. 

My mom's new fake tree that isn't wide enough haha, but still pretty plus tons of presents!

The beautiful table that I set:

Drew trying to teach Wendy how Ryan's new toy works...

Wendy and her two boys:

The boys rough housing:

This one is dark but I think it's cute of Bryson and his grandma:

More rough housing:

My nephew Bryson doing who knows what:

You can tell Ash is so happy with my gift to her haha.  Actually this year I did another gag gift for her before her real gift and it was angels that matched the choir boys that I gave her last year.  Growing up we hated those decorations and my mom was going to throw them out so I took them to give to Ashley haha.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas for Two

Since Peter and I would be traveling around this week visiting family, we decided to have our own little Christmas with each other on Thursday night 12/20.  After work, we exchanged presents between the two of us.  It was so quant and fun and we're so glad we did it!  Plus it didn't make sense to pack up all those presents to bring with us only to unwrap someplace else and pack up and bring back home!  

We tried using the timer on our new camera for the first time since we got works quite if we could only get Cadi to sit still.  She was too excited with all the ribbons and lights haha.

Take 2...she still wasn't looking.

Last try...and still she's not paying attention.  

If you look closely, you can see that Cadi's little paw is playing with the ribbon.  She was having a great time with the presents-so cute!

Isn't my husband such a cutie?  I sure think so!

He's so excited for Christmas presents!

Peter decided to try to wrap Cadi up...she didn't like that too much.

Peter hid a present for me in my stocking!  It was diamond earrings :)

Peter had no idea what this present was because I put it in a random box...

But once he figured it out, he was thrilled!  It was a music box with a snowman that turns while playing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas".   He told me how he like musical things so much because it reminded him of Nana's and was so surprised I bought him one :)

I was so happy to get a new knife set- JA Henckles!  I have one Henckle knife from mom Formica from my bridal shower that I absolutely love and use all the time.  My other knives really dimmed in now I have a whole set I can use that will be easier on my hand when I'm chopping and cooking dinner....and I won't have to worry if my one good knife is dirty haha.  

We piled all the unwrapped paper and ribbon in one spot and guess who liked that spot the best?  Yup, Cadi!  She hid in it and played the whole time we exchanged gifts.  

Kind of hard to see, but this is my new knife set!

Me, wearing my new hat that Peter got me and unwrapping another gift.  

My handsome hubby getting another present of his to open :)

I couldn't figure out what this one was...

But it's an apron!  And it even matches our!  

Cadi checking out the craziness of opening presents.

Peter opening the first 3 seasons of "The Office"...

He can barely believe it haha.

This is such a great picture of Peter that I just had to add it.  He's so handsome and cute and I just love him so much!

Cadi kept climbing in empty boxes and making us laugh :)

Cadi also tried sitting under the tree and being a present haha.

This was such a fun time for us to have a little bit more of a private Christmas with just the two of us before visiting all the family.  It was great to take this time and be together just us because we knew we'd be so busy the next week and not want to go away from family to do that since we're traveling so far to see them.  I think we're both glad we decided to do this.  :)  

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday Adventures

We've been having a great time here in Hollidaysburg, but have definitely been busy!  After seeing Mark's job site yesterday, Peter and I grabbed some lunch and came home and hung out with Bryson for a bit.  Then we had dinner with my parents...yummy bbq pork and mac & cheese and coleslaw...all tasty!  Then we went with my parents and Bryson to see a local live nativity.  It's not as good as some that I've seen before where they actually read the scripture and act it out, but it had live animals and there were folks standing out in the cold so kudos to them!  Then Peter and I met up with Emily and went to the mall to help her find a Christmas Eve outfit and then we went back to my parents and watched Elf and 48 Hours Mystery.  By the time that was over at 11 and Em went home, we were pooped and headed to bed!  

Us on the way to the nativity scene...

Today was another action packed day.  We went to Hong Kong Buffet for lunch with my parents, Ash, and Bryson and had a great lunch together.  After that, Peter and Ashley and I went shopping at a couple quick places.  I just wanted to go to Ross's because we don't have one close to our house in Pittsburgh and I love that store.  We also realized we needed some last minute presents so came up with those.  Then Ash dropped us off at home before she went out with Cacie.  Peter and I watched some TV, he played an old school Atari with Bryson, 
and we relaxed for a bit before Ashley got back and then we helped her wrap presents.  At 5 we went to Garvey Manor to visit Pat and had pizza with everyone.  It was quite a crazy night with all 14 of us there but it was fun.  We exchanged gifts with aunts, uncles, and cousins.  When we got home, my mom had told me Ryan was coming tomorrow so I quickly ran out and bought him a present because I didn't think I was going to see him.  It's a not so good situation so we just never know...and if we buy him something he might never get it.  So since I hadn't heard I was going to see him, I just didn't buy him anything.  It's getting late again and I'm tired!  This coming week is only going to be more nuts with traveling, visiting family, running around, etc.  But at least we won't be at work for another week!

Us at Garvey Manor visiting Pat for Christmas...

Peter and Sarah playing first they didn't like each other, then they did, then Bryson hated Sarah for touching his Gameboy without asking haha...

Not sure what's happening here, but Peter's obviously against whatever my mom's saying haha.

My great aunt Pat with my aunt Theresa opening gifts.