Just before we left Pennsylvania, I finally downloaded the most recent newsletter from Powells. This is how it started:
This year we're changing the way resolutions are done. Instead of writing a list of our own personal faults that we intend to improve, we have decided to give everyone we know a list of their faults and things we wish they would resolve to improve. This can be quite helpful for the wayward souls who make resolutions about all the wrong things and don't even realize the true flaws they need to fix.
I love that.
The holidays always make me look forward to mid-January when I'm back to my old routine. That's not to say I don't like the holidays - I love them. And this year was especially noteworthy with the Pennsylvania set - it was our first opportunity to get a true family picture in something like six years. I'm so pleased with the picture, and what it represents.
A family Christmas portrait
And, while I'm at it, here are some more pictures from the PA holiday...
(L) The Star Barn along Hwy. 283 (and yes, this picture was taken from a moving car), which I adore. Someday I'm going to bring my tripod and spend a few hours taking pictures of it. (R) This was midday on Christmas, when we had to stop opening gifts long enough to get a snack - we needed strength to go on.
(L) Chris & his brother (and our niece in the foreground) playing with one of the kids' new toys, a track with racing cars. The races had long spaces in between because our niece's Polly Pocket doll had to undergo a wardrobe change each time. (R) Chris holding our nephew hostage during play.
(L) Chris reading to our nephew on Christmas day. (R) Our niece holding a musical snowman she'd nicknamed "Haydee," and which she'd also bedecked in Chris' mother's costume jewelry.
On our last day, we lunched with the kids one last time - at Red Robin, as our nephew speaks very highly of the hotdogs. Our niece likes the pizza (notice the slice it appears I'm wearing as a necklace), though she says it's "not as good as Uncle Chris makes." Good kid.
Yes, it was a good holiday out East. But lest you think it's all hearts and flowers, I'd like to leave you with a taste of this family's true nature. Just after we'd gotten a great portrait on Christmas, Chris' mother said, "Now let's do a fun one!" This was the result, and is - of course - everyone's favorite.