Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Holidays with Matthew, Carrie and Celia

December 31, 2016 to January 3, 2017                                                              Most Recent Posts:
Saturday to Tuesday                                                                     Flying to Maryland to Visit Carrie and her Family
Severn, Maryland                                                                                        Time Out………. David’s Sick



The scene looked serene early Saturday morning.



But soon Carrie is showing Celia her stocking and passing around the gifts




After opening a few stocking stuffers, we move directly to those pastries.  This is all traditional for the Boyd family and this is the first time we’ve had our celebration in the Iwanowski home.   Father and daughter enjoy their sweets.





Then it’s back to opening presents.




It’s Give me Stout or Give me Death (what would Virginian Patrick Henry think?)  for David from a home state brewery in Richmond Virginia.  He’s very pleased.








Stout is David’s favorite kind of beer and the growler of Rogue Rolling Thunder is his very favorite of the ones Carrie and Matthew picked for him.



Another tradition is a Sierra Club desk calendar for Carrie.  She always asks for it and always gets it and is always thrilled that it happened again.  She looks up what gorgeous photograph is on the page for each of our birthdays.  Life’s simple pleasures!


Matthew has opened one of his gifts, a hummingbird feeder but amazingly there seem to be no pictures of that in our dual collection.  Right after that however he takes Celia over to the window where he shows her the birds in the backyard that Sidney, the tuxedo cat, is watching too.  This is one of my favorite pictures of the day.



Celia gets a banana toothbrush about which she seems to be totally uninterested.  But later in the day she discovers that she can chew on it with those new teeth and she likes that.




When I put Leonard Cohen’s lastest CD on my Santa list, I had no idea it would be his last CD and that his death would happen so soon.  He is one of my absolutely favorite poets and had I been in charge of the Nobel prize, it might well have gone to him rather than Bob whom I also like.  Thanks Carrie and Matthew!





The gift exchange takes place pretty much all day long – also a tradition.  We move from the lovely living room into the carpeted family room so Celia can roll on the floor and Matthew can make a comfy spot for Sidney to relax while he opens gifts.



I love these pictures of Celia in her Santa Dress considering one of her gifts.  The outfit is just too cute!



The camera distracts her.


Finally Carrie helps her out and a very different Santa suit is in the box.  Celia looks wonderful in them both and of course I am not the least bit biased.





A few more gifts are opened and a story read and then it’s play time for Celia and her friend Sidney while the grown ups make the mid day meal.








The dinner of course has way too much food and provides wonderful left overs for the next few days.




After the food, it’s time to finish the gifts.  We return to the stockings and the tree.
Celia is as interested in the wrapping and ribbons as in the gifts.



Carrie takes a look at my favorite picture of Carrie and Celia which we had framed and gave to Matthew for his office or wherever he wants to have it.  I posted the picture previously when I first took it and it is one of my very favorites.



Celia seems to have serious drummer talents as she displays with a rattle gift from her stocking.


Signs she will follow in her Gramma and Mama’s footsteps as an avid reader?



Speaking of reading, another of my favorite artists, Mary Oliver’s new book is now mine thanks to Carrie and Matthew.   Can’t wait to get started.



Santa thinks you can always use new sheets



Sidney was very interested in Matthew’s gift of a guide to the birds of Maryland and Delaware.  Hope he’ll find some local spots around his new house to go out and see which ones he can identify.  With his great memory he’ll be a star birder in no time.



David gets a couple more medalions for his hiking stick from parks where he’s done some serious hiking.  The infamous Delaware Water Gap with it’s rugged Buttermilk Falls trail and Acadia where he did a great deal of  hiking over 6 weeks a few years ago.  We hope to figure out how to go back there this summer and see what kind of hiking he can do now with this new heart condition.



After the presents are finished it’s time to play a game.  Carrie choose a new and different version of Clue which she borrowed from the Iwanowski home in West Virginia. Clue is probably her favorite game and she reads on the box that they seem to have made an industry out of it with spin off games, a movie and I think she said a TV series in the UK.  




David is checking his clues and Celia is checking the camera.




She’s a happy camper watching the action and actually has quite a bit to say about it.






She’s making some serious proclamations.  Wish we knew what they were about.



While they are all playing the game, I am in the kitchen making the traditional Solstice Cake.  Yummmy chocolate with serious butter cream icing.  Usually with a big golden sun on it.  Some of you have seen it on previous years.   It’s too late by the time it is baked to allow it to cool and ice and eat it so we’ll consider cake for breakfast tomorrow.




On this Happy New Year Morning, Miss Sunshine wakes up bright and cheery.  We do have cake for breakfast and of course I take pictures of our sunshine but forget to take them of the cake.  Oh well…..it is totally delicious.




In the afternoon Carrie takes us to a nearby preserve where we really enjoy their trails.  The temperatures have moved up to a balmy 50 degrees from a low of 36.   This area is a reclaimed wetlands and has a couple of ponds and numerous trails.








This great blue heron puts on quite a show.







Later at home Celia plays with her Daddy, rolls on the floor with her velvety Pooh Bear and takes some turns in what is probably her very best Christmas gift, a cadillac jumper from her Grandmother Joan and Grandfather Bob.  It literally has bells and whistles.











Monday I get some bath time pictures.  We gave Celia a Pooh bath towel when she was born but she’s out grown it so a new one was a gift to her and she looks so darling.











We’re up early Tuesday morning to make it to the airport so that Carrie can go back to work and the family can have their house and their life back.  Our first Christmas with Celia is a wrap.  Pretty sure this is about how we all feel!



On Wednesday we moved from Wellborn to Hillsborough River until January 15. 
Next post will be what we have done there.  I’m going to try to do one post per place as my New New Year’s resolution.  We’ll see how well I do.  Maybe I can keep from getting behind.


  1. That is one beautiful family you have, you must be very proud. Good luck on that resolution.

  2. I'd say Celia stole that entire show! What a darling.

  3. That Cekia is a cutie! Looks like you all had a great Christmas.

  4. Oh, you had so much fun! I love these pictures. Celia is perfect. I know that you hated to leave, but thank heavens communication is so much better than the old days when we would have to develop a roll of film and mail the pictures to loved ones. I was never very good at that, but I bet you were. Good thing my parents lived in town.😉

  5. Nothing quite so wonderful as a family Christmas like this one, full of love and fun, caring people, and a new baby. Thanks for sharing all of it, Sherry, it was beautiful.

  6. Some traditions are just awesome and the family Christmas is the best with family fun and love. Celia is so cute and such a happy face I know all enjoyed the family gathering. Thanks for sharing!

  7. What a wonderful Christmas...many traditions were past on and Celia seems to have enjoyed them all. What a happy little girl!!! The picture of Carrie holding the new Christmas outfit and the one following of Celia makes me realize that Celia really looks like her mommy...too cute:o)) Would love to see a baby photo of Carrie...

    Hope you have landed safely in Florida, found everything well with Winnona and had an uneventful trip to Hillsborough.

    Happy New Year!!!

  8. Great pictures and a lovely summary! Great Celia photos as always :) I think my hair looks good this length! Thanks for all you did to be with us for the holiday. Love you to the moon and back.

  9. What a fantastic first Christmas for the family:) Celia is such a beautiful baby. She loves the camera and the camera loves her:) Her Christmas outfit was so cute. What a happy little girl:) Our son's nursery was all in Winnie the Pooh. The Pooh bath towel and stuffed bear bring back wonderful memories since he, too, had both:)

    I don't know if you follow the blog Live and Let Hike, but this fellow lives in the DC area and is an avid hike with a wonderful blog. We found him when we were hiking Capitol Reef NP. He did a five month internship there and wrote about each hike. Anyway, he does a lot of hiking in Virginia and the surrounding areas. Check it our for ideas for the next time you are back home.

  10. Biased? Who, you? Naw, not a chance! ;c)

    PS: Celia is so cute, you are forgiven...

  11. It seems Sidney has his humans well trained.

    Celia's quite a cutie. That age, something like Christmas must leave them feeling slightly baffled.

  12. Celia is just darling—love the photos of her in her Winnie the Pooh bath towel. You guys know how to celebrate Christmas in style. Your traditions are so sweet, and it's wonderful to see the enjoyment that you all share in your family gathering. I must say, you all also have excellent taste in gifts—a Sierra Club calendar is always on my list, and you know how I feel about Mary Oliver. Clue is my favorite board game, too. :-))

  13. Celia is a beauty. It must have been difficult to leave her.

  14. A perfect way to spend Christmas is with family and you all sure know how to celebrate. Love the traditions and taking time to open and savor the gifts throughout the day. Celia is beyond adorable.

  15. What a perfect Christmas celebration. I love that you keep so many wonderful family traditions and how wonderful to have a new generation to share them with. I hope you made it safely to Florida and that Winnoa is keeping you warm and toasty on these chilly mornings. We are here at Lithia Springs for a few months and would love to see you two while we are so close.

    Happy New Year!

  16. I love Sydney too! What a lovely time it looks to be in their beautiful home. And, what a darling little santa Celia makes! Mary Oliver and Leonard Cohen - great!! What a neat capture of the blue heron shaking out too! So, I'm not sure where you are now but I'm guessing it might be cold? Happy travels to you!!

  17. Christmas with family especially with the new adorable addition completes the joy of the season. Celia is so darn cute and those big round eyes! She is a combination of her parents.

  18. I sure see Carrie in Celia's face. She is a cutie pie!

  19. what a doll. . .and a wonderful memory blog for Celia. That's what it's all about.

  20. Nice to see the pictures- Celia has beautiful big eyes!

    xxxooo Pam

  21. Celia won't remember this but she sure was a gift to us all and put on quite a show. We all had fun together but especially with her. I especially enjoyed the Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout from Rogue.


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