A belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, friends! Did you have a wonderful Christmas? I think 2014’s holiday season might have topped the charts for me. We spent two cozy, leisurely weeks in Virginia, first with my family and then with Elliott’s. All the people I love the most all in one place… eating, laughing, giving gifts, sleeping in, talking in pajamas all day long. Let’s do it all again tomorrow!
But since we can’t (le sigh), here are some of the best memories:
Both children fell asleep on my lap on the flight from San Diego to Baltimore. I was so stressed out imagining how everything would go, but every single detail (food on the plane, attitudes on the plane, entertainment on the plane, you catch my drift) went so much better than I’d anticipated. Maybe that’s what happens when you expect the absolute worst? Elliott rolls his eyes at my pessimism about travel with children, but at least I’m never disappointed!
At my family’s house, Gil and Lena looooooved helping Grammie make peppermint bark, although they got a little sidetracked during the peppermint crushing stage.
Gil and Lena truly believe that “smile for the camera!” means to open their mouth or bite their bottom lip, respectively. We’ll see how long this lasts.
Christmas morning with my family! I gave the grandparents and great-grandparents a photo calendar again, the same simple gift I’ve been giving them for the past three years now.
Also Lena got footie pajamas, which is all she wanted for Christmas.
Gil didn’t really care about his presents (he preferred the unwrapping process), but he did pause to admire the generous Amazon gift card that did not belong to him.
The next day Em and I got a manicure and a pedicure (and an unsuccessful selfie), and my mom took Lena and Gil for a walk “in the wagon.”
And then we drove all of three miles away to enjoy the Garber family Christmas! Elliott spent most of his childhood Christmases in this house, but this is actually the FIRST Christmas we’ve spent at the Garbers’ since we got married 5 years ago. We’ve been overseas for every one of them until now. This felt like a homecoming in the best of ways.
This year we skipped big gifts and just exchanged stockings, which was a new tradition for me. I loved it! I had the best time picking out little treasures for Gil and Lena and then stuffing them with Elliott into the stockings I’d sewn by hand.
The Garbers’ beautiful dog Mia got her own stocking and her own new toy! Lena, meanwhile, helped everyone unpack and examine their stockings bit by bit…
Afterwards Uncle David told her a story (in her second pair of footie pajamas that she received for Christmas, so I guess she made that request loud and clear). I admired the beautiful contents of my stocking, all given to me by Jess, who knows me very well!
Unfortunately, Jess was pretty sick the whole time we were there. Not sure if Lena’s little visits helped her recovery or not…
On the last day of 2014, we visited the Botanic Garden with Elliott’s parents. I’ve always loved the Garden since we lived within walking distance of it on Capitol Hill as newlyweds. I even have memories of visiting the Garden alone with Lena when she was just a couple weeks old… and she slept through the whole thing snuggled into the Moby wrap on my chest.
The Garbers welcomed in the new year with stories, knitting, games, and “whoops, quick, let’s count down!” at midnight. My kind of party.
We spent some time on Capitol Hill and around D.C., most of it without our kids, and these were gloriously refreshing times for me and Elliott. Some of our happiest memories together come from these few blocks around the Capitol, and we love coming back. The photos above are from Union Market (SO COOL) and a chilly morning eating pretzel bombs and sliders at the delicious Pretzel Bakery where Uncle Jonathan works.
On our last day in D.C., Elliott and I spent the afternoon wandering through the Hirshorn Museum, relaxing at a cafe in Mt Pleasant, and then returning to the church we attended as newlyweds. So refreshing on so many levels.
Two of my favorite things: family loving on my children… and a new knitting project in my lap! I knitted up a storm while I was home, finishing three pairs of gloves and this beautiful scarf (in deep red) for my sister Emily.
And then… time to fly West again. We miss you, Virginia and D.C.! There’s no place like home.
This made my heart so warm and happy! Can’t wait to be in DC and play with you next Christmas!! Much love Garbers!
I know… can’t wait!!! Maybe there’ll be snow next Christmas…?
Spending time with family is an investment with incalculable returns in the here and now. So sweet, so special, so delicious.
Amen and amen.
What a joy and blessing to be able to spend Christmas with your families :) Thanks for sharing and happy new year!
You’re most welcome, Katie! Thanks also for the recent shout out from my nap time post. :)
I savored every morsel of conversation (and of Christmas traditions and food and drink!) with you.
Can’t wait for more conversations and traditions and food and drink in March with you here!
WE MISS YOU ALL!
We got your card today that you and Lena wrote together! Lena was SO excited when it arrived and gleefully showed me Santa in his sleigh with snow. :)
So glad we got to see you! Lucie had lots of fun playing with Lena and Gil, and Gus loved snuggling his Tia Becca. These photos are gorgeous and truly capture the happiness shared by your beautiful family.
Thank you so, so much for coming all the way up to Fairfax, Abi! Can’t wait to come down to visit your sweet clan next time. Maybe Jo can join us then!
We worshipped at Advent too!!! We actually lived underneath the Hinsons in a rowhouse for a year too! :) Small, small world.
What?! That is so funny! I love going back there and miss that beautiful church so much. I just want to be friends with everyone there!
Beautiful family, Becca!
Thank you so much, Josie!
That does sound like a lovely Christmas!
It was glorious. :) Hope you had a good one as well, Carrie!
“Both children fell asleep on my lap on the flight from San Diego to Baltimore. I was so stressed out imagining how everything would go, but every single detail (food on the plane, attitudes on the plane, entertainment on the plane, you catch my drift) went so much better than I’d anticipated. Maybe that’s what happens when you expect the absolute worst?”
This reminds me of the many conversations I have been having about the grace of the Trinity; there is enough for today and for now if we don’t spend it on the future. I’ve been asking for signs of hope and affirmation, and the eyes and heart to see them when they are presented and I just love that we are loved and cared about enough that the detail of a peaceful plane ride isn’t too small.
I’m so glad you had a wonderful holiday season! Hugs to you!