The Girl With a Bunny on Her Head

We were out to dinner with Chelsea’s dad, my folks, and Kate the other night, and Maria was wearing a new hat she picked up at the Christmas Market in the city:


Anna has a matching one, with a cat on it… I’ll have to see if I can snap a picture.

Rockin’ around the Christmas tree

Our gang went out the weekend before last to get our Christmas tree. In recent years we’ve been going to a tree farm and cutting down our trees, but this year we’ve got an even more compressed schedule than usual, thanks to Maria’s Nutcracker adventures. So we found a local fire company that had locally-sourced trees, and we found our tree on their lot.

This year we had Nick’s friend Ben along with us for the ride. Ben is Jewish, but fascinated with Christmas, so he thought that going out and getting a Christmas tree was the cat’s meow:


Before long we found the best tree on the lot:


The kids checked out the fire trucks while I settled up with the management:



Loaded up and ready to head home:



Not too long now before that tree will have a ton of gifts at its feet….

Christmas portraits

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… for getting pictures of the kids:





Chelsea and I even snuck into a couple of them:



They get their looks from Chelsea, and their senses of humor from me, and for the latter I apologize to the whole world.

Happy belated birthday to us

I just realized that we’ve reached a milestone: The blog is now two years old. Happy belated birthday, family blog!

Nick and Anna take a creek walk

I continue to be stunned by how much the kids have grown in those two years. And at the same time, it’s funny to see how we are often still doing the same things, at the same time of year, year after year. Those first pictures from December 2008 have us taking walks in the woods, visiting with Chelsea’s dad at Christmastime, and taking Maria to Nutcracker.

Santa pic 2008

Posting with fresh images has been a bit sporadic for me lately, and for the most part that’s just a simple logistical issue. Chelsea has been taking more pictures at events recently, and she uploads her pictures to her computer. I need to start copying over her images in a more consistent way so that I can use them here. It’s always the simple stuff.

Stay warm out there! We’ve got frightful cold stretching all the way from Philly down South and into the Midwest. Our friends in Europe are under a blanket of snow already. Amazing how many different ways Mother Nature finds to mix and match winter weather.

Where did that camera get to?

As the kids get older, they also seem to feel a little… freer to use things in the house. One good example is my trusty point and shoot camera, which disappears now and then. When it comes back to me, I have lots of pictures of the girls playing with dolls:



It’s a little bit like the traveling gnome prank in the movie Amélie, only much more local.


We had a lovely and peaceful Thanksgiving dinner at the home of my Uncle Mick and Aunt Pat. Let’s give thanks for my dear sister, who not only brought her camera but also had the presence of mind to, you know, actually take some pictures. All of the following photos come from Kate:

Kate and Anna at Thanksgiving

Kate and Maria at Thanksgiving

Kate and Nuck at Thanksgiving

I appear to have been in mid-laugh in this picture:

Mike and Kate at Thanksgiving

Here’s one with my mom, who is in 7/8ths scale just like Main Street USA at Disney World. Makes the kids feel bigger and the adults feel nostalgic:

Mom and Kate at Thanksgiving

My dad even got in on the photo action:

Mike and Dad at Thanksgiving

Dad and Kate at Thanksgiving

Finally – and this is no small thing – Kate managed to get a decent family portrait out of my gang. I am impressed:

Spergers at Thanksgiving

Our Thanksgiving was delightful. Nick and I went out early in the morning for the Old Shoe Game, a soccer tradition in which the 13-year-old boys’ and girls’ teams play all of the coaches from the athletic association in a no-holds-barred soccer match for the ages. The coaches won, 3-1, and maintained their 30-year winning streak. Those old guys get around pretty good.

Speaking of old guys who can move, we left the Old Shoe Game at halftime to go join the Turkey Bowl touch football game on the other side of town. This is a 40-year tradition started by my dad’s friend Mike back when they were in high school. Nick scored three receiving touchdowns, and I picked up a touchdown on an interception. We’re pretty sure they will invite us back next year.

We even got some snow in the morning, the first snow of the season, to make everything feel properly cold and wintry.

After a restorative shot of Wild Turkey bourbon, Nick and I headed home for a little rest before the big meal. We brought the mashed potatoes, Gramps carved the turkey, and my aunt Pat and cousin John did a splendid job with the hospitality. It was a great day all around.

Maria’s new Nutcracker role

Who am I? Where am I? I’m hungry.

It’s been a wild week around here, between an intense work schedule for me and Nutcracker dress rehearsals for Maria and Chelsea. (Nick and Anna soldier on, as always.) The first performance of the year is tonight, though Maria’s first performance will take place tomorrow. (There are two casts.) You may remember that Maria has a new role this year, as a Polichinelle, which is a fancy French word for clown. Not only that, she’s a boy clown. Here she is in costume, and with one of the girl clowns.




Won’t be long before she starts auditioning for the more substantial roles in Act II – Tea, Hoops, Coffee, and Flower. If and when she makes it to Flower, she’ll also probably get to be a Snowflake at the end of Act I. We’re still a few more years away from that.

Happy weekend!