We arrived on Tuesday and went into the city, met Mark, and settled in at Amis, a cozy Italian place - shared a bottle (or a few) of wine, yummy food, desserts....so great. Nash was a rockstar - he hung out in his high chair, didnt' complain, ate cheerios, chewed on some napkins, banged the table with his spoon...haha - but really, all in all, he was so great. We made it through the entire dinner (apps, drinks, entrees, and dessert) without a meltdown. By the time we were leaving though - he was done. We changed his diaper (you know you're taking your kiddo to a non-kiddo friendly place when the bathrooms are unisex AND there is no place to change. oops!) and put his pj's on, and he was asleep in the car by the time everyone else was strapped in. He slept the entire way back to Pottsville (and so did his momma!).
The next day, our friends Rob and Claire stopped by for the night. Lots of food, lots of drinks, and lots of laughs....that pretty much sums it up. Rob and Claire are making a move to Paris for the next year where they will both be studying. We're so excited for them, and so glad we got to see them and hang out before they left.
Thursday was the 23rd, which is the annual Miller Christmas party. It's a family Christmas party...kiddos included...and Santa always makes an appearance. The Miller residence is an old barn turned into their home, and the perfect place for kiddos to explore. I think the tree this year was about 25 feet tall....I can't believe I don't have pictures of it, but it was the biggest decorated tree I've ever seen in person. Nash, once again, was a trooper...and hung out until about 10:00 when we left. Pretty sure the party carried on without us - but we had a big day the next day...Christmas eve!
|Not quite sure about this Santa guy...|
|There's a smile!|
Christmas eve is also Aunt Ann's birthday, and so Annie and Frank always host dinner after Christmas eve mass. Annie and Frank are a machine when it comes to prep work in the kitchen, so I attempted to help (grocery shop), obey instructions, or stay out of the way! :) Dinner was amazing - she always makes crabcakes which are to die for, and we weren't disappointed. YUM. This year was extra fun - Marky was convinced by all the littles that he needed to play some carols on the piano. So, in movie-like fashion - we all gathered around and sang along! One of those things that must be captured on camera of course. Santa sent all of the kiddos video messages - so that kept them busy for quite a bit. You should have seen the concentration!
|Christmas Eve at Frank and Annie's....not complete without the marble game!|
|Watching Santa's messages on the computer.|
|Carols around the piano|
|Everyone was in on it!|
|Thanks for playing Marky!|
|Nannie and Nash playing|
|Admiring Nannie's pretty tree|
|The paci game with Opa...never got old.|
Christmas day we spent at Aunt Ann and Uncle Bud's....where the Brandy Alexander's were abundant. Ohmy...so yummy, as always. Nash got super fun toys from the Koch girls, passed out after dinner, and we introduced the crew to the card game Shanghai. We attempted to play with a bazillion people, so it wasn't the quickest of games and interest waned quickly. We headed home for another good night's sleep - the next day was full of activity too!
|Being silly with all the cousins|
|Learning how to play the new game from the big kids|
On Sunday, Frank and Annie hosted an open house for friends and family who we hadn't yet been able to see. From 1 to 5, there were folks in and out - meeting and loving on Nash, eating yummy food, and enjoying each other's company. It was a really great way to round out our trip - it's not often that we actually get to see so many people in one trip to PA. Needless to say, Nash was the life of the party and the center of attention - how could he not be??
Monday was a day of rest....whew! We were exhausted, and thrilled to have a calm day before our return trip on Tuesday. We didn't do much - naps and football, that was about it - but it was perfect!
|Hanging out with Uncle Mark|
|Naptime with Opa|
|One loved little dude|
|And pooped little dude!|
We are so lucky that we are able to spend Christmas celebrating with family - the travel is a lot of work, but always worth it. And even though we wish we could be in two places at once (Indiana and Pennsylvania), it always seems to work out. We're so thankful for all the love that surrounds our family, and so thankful for the love and grace of Jesus Christ. He is the one and only reason for all Christmas celebrations, and I will be one proud momma the day that Nash is able to understand the Christmas story. Happy birthday Jesus - and Merry Christmas to all!