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

Henry David Thoreau

Our Real Holiday Joy

December 21-24, 2017                                                                           Most Recent Posts:
Thursday – Sunday                                                                                 The Season of Celebrating
Severn, Maryland                                                                                    David’s Trip to West Texas

Warning:  The following post is very granddaughter centric. 

The only thing that could get us to leave our paradise by the sea and get out our winter clothes is a visit to see Carrie and her family.  So off we go high in the skies on December 21st.  It’s our Solstice Celebration.

Carrie and Celia pick us up in Baltimore.  When we arrive back at the house Celia isn’t really interested in coming inside even with Nana.  She wants Nana to stay outside with her and go for a walk.  We’ve brought some ‘warm for them’ weather with us and she’s an outside girl.   YEA!!


We do take those walks.  She and I walk, the 3 of us walk.  Every day we walk.  She doesn’t seem to care how cold it is.  And after our first day each one is colder than the last.


We do a lot of playing.  Some of it is in Celia’s bedroom where she takes every animal off of her shelf and brings them all to me.

Then of course, I give them all back to her.  This could go on all day.

Some playing goes on downstairs with her mama in the princess tent.  Carrie’s friend Jess gave it to Celia and it’s darling plus a good place to put all the toys if you want to clean up the room.

One time we played on the kitchen counter.  Looks like she feels pretty smug with her Mama’s sunglasses on her head.  She’s a great imitator.   You do it, she does it or tries to.  So you have to be careful what you are modeling.


Even cleaning.  First she helps Nana and then she thinks she’ll do it herself.  Wouldn’t it be nice if she was interested in doing this in about 10 years.


We play peek-a-boo with the pillow.

Celia is usually very generous.  She really likes to give things to you.  Like all the animals on her shelf, or all her books.   Here, first it’s her turn with the shapes box.


Then she wants to give Nana a turn.

There is one thing she really doesn’t like to share and that’s her little couch.  I caught this quick picture of her sitting down just before she forced Sydney off.  Sydney likes the couch, Celia does not like her on it.  When I tried to sit on it, she didn’t like that either.  It’s hilarious!!

Reading is a big favorite of Celias.  Apparently yoga poses are perfect while reading.  Wish I could do that one.

Clomping around in Nana’s shoes is also a lot of fun.


Grandpa snaps this picture of Nana with her little girl.

The next morning we have to go to the bakery of course. It’s a family holiday tradition.  Carrie has found a great one nearby, the Bakery Express.

Boy do they have the goodies.  How to choose?

Celia has a wonderful time wandering from case to case and pointing.  Good thing she doesn’t know she’s not getting any of these pastries.  In fact, she has such a good time she doesn’t want to leave and we have to force her out the door.

In putting this post together I realize that I didn’t take any pictures of the delicious danish, chocolate croissants, donuts and cannolis that we brought home or any pictures of us eating them and saying YUM yum.

Later, back home, the pie baking team gets to work.  This is the audience.


This is the team mixing the dough and the filling.


The team gets to pick the type of pie and they choose apple made from Granny Smith apples.


Crimping the crust.  Almost ready for the oven


And of course our little girl loves raw pie dough so her Papa always makes sure there is a little left over for her to pop in her mouth.


Going outside is Celia’s favorite thing to do but very close to that is reading.  She loves books.

So Nana reads.


Mama reads. 

Unfortunately for Grandpa he doesn’t get to read since Celia has a cold and he hasn’t gotten over the one he already has so we can’t take any chances of his getting a different Maryland germ.   Daddy reads too but he’s at work today.

Nana and Grandpa told Santa that they would be at Celia’s house early and he should come on the 23rd for a quick stop before Christmas.  Do you think that’s what we hear? 

If that was Santa we’d better get to bed.  A little more reading before bedtime where there will be even more reading.


Next morning, the stockings are hung on the bookcases with care and the fire blazes on the TV.   It’s a 21st Century Christmas!

Looks like Santa has stuffed the stockings and Grandpa is ready to see what’s there.

Seems like I to pose my pictures to be sure to get a good one.  Candids often don’t turn out so well for me.  But not true of Celia Claire.  Any time you point the camera on her even zoomed from across the room, she’s got a great face.  Who would ever have thought eating a piece of taost could be so much fun?  


A little snuggle before the unwrapping begins.


Celia helps Daddy unwrap.

It’s one of two pictures for their stairway.  Everybody takes a look

I think they like it.  Celia is cleaning up already.

Grandpa gets an Ancestry DNA kit.  That should be fun. 

Carrie looks great in her new fleece hat, scarf and gloves.

Everybody gets books for Christmas.  Decorated Daddy gets one.  Looks like it’s making him crack a smile.

Grandpa gets one


Nana gets two.

Mama gets two.  Well, three really but only a picture of these two.

And Mama gets a calendar which she says is THE must have Christmas gift every year.


Of course Celia gets books on her books.  At least a dozen.  She likes to read them aloud.  If only we knew what she was saying as she babbles turning each page.

Or knew what she was thinking.

Celia and Daddy share a spot on the couch with Lila their other kitty.  She doesn’t try to sit on Celia’s couch like Sydney does.

Grandpa loves his shirt.  He definitely is one awesome grandpa.  Nana got a shirt too but it appears no one took its picture.

You’ll never guess what’s in this box that Celia loves so much.

New SHOES!   Daddy helps put them on.  Shoes mean you get to go outside.

Nana and Grandpa give Celia a pair of snow boats and she’s out tramping around in them in no time.

Santa put bubbles in Celia’s stocking.  Mama blows them for her.  You have to look really hard to see the bubbles in the picture.

Santa also put lots of new socks in Celia’s stocking.  She and I count them over and over and over.  I say one, she says twoooo.

But all too soon we have to leave this sweet family to head back to  Florida.

On our last morning Celia and I repeat another favorite of hers.  I think she calls it “I crawl up the steps and you have to come and help me get down”.   Mostly that means she takes hold of the rail on one side and someone’s hand on the other.


Nana’s teaching her to sit down and come down the stairs safely alone.  She doesn’t master the idea in the short practice time we have but we both applaude when she gets it right.


I’m sure going to miss those hugs.

and those snuggles.

and that sweet little face looking out wanting someone to take her for a walk.  Can’t wait until she can come and visit and go hiking with us.   We’ll take her for walks as long as she likes.


We miss you when we go.


  1. What a wonderful Christmas!! You captured the pure joy of Celia and what a happy little girl she is!! I just found myself smiling and remembering when our grands were little. Treasure these years as they pass much too quickly!!

  2. Oh, I am so glad you got to see her (and her parents, of course!). She changes quickly. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I loved this! Beautiful capture of our time together and the wonderful faces and adorableness of Celia!! Love you so much. Sooo glad you came - thank you for coming!! I'm definitely glad I got your pictures - some great ones there!!

  4. Definitely a wonderful Christmas for you and David. Celia certainly is adorable. I love how she crosses her ankles as she sits to read. Awesome Hello, Kitty sofa. No wonder she won't share it:)

  5. Celia has grown so much since the last visit. Glad you all got to spend some quality time together.

  6. AWW what a great Christmas you had. Celia is just adorable and so happy. Shows the love she gets from everyone.

  7. What a great bunch of pictures from the huge number we took! She is a cutie all right, as is her mama too. ;)

  8. Nothing better than smiling granddaughters. What a glorious time you all had there making memories.

  9. So glad to see all the smiles. Love Celias's little baby teeth and wispy hair...and her sweet smile. I see her dad was sporting some Christmas bows too. Of course, the kitties had to be included in the celebration. Nice to see the piemaker and his now grown-up helper together once again. Loved her new boots....and the walk outside to try them out. Merry Christmas to all!!

  10. It looks like you had a good Christmas!

    I've fallen behind reading and commenting due to technical issues that appear to be over... I'll get caught up as I go along. Happy New Year to your family.

  11. What a wonderful photo journal of your time together! So many sweet moments you captured. Celia is darling, and how wonderful that she loves the outdoors! The joy all of you share in being together shines through in your post -- it makes me smile to read it. Must have been hard for you to leave (although I'm also fairly certain that you're happy to be back in warmer weather.) :-))

  12. I can't believe how fast she is growing. It seems like only yesterday that she was a newborn! What a gorgeous little girl.

  13. Celia sure warms my heart with her lovely smiles and snuggles. Time sure flies way too fast when you're with her. It's wonderful to see you so involved with her life, she'll always treasure your visits with her. Thank goodness you have the time to visit her whenever you like, a real benefit of being retired. :c)

  14. Tis the season to enjoy the grandbabies!! Darling pics of a wonderful time with family.

  15. That post was definitely Celia centric and I loved it. She's such a sweet little thing and I'm glad you were able to spend some time with them. She is growing so fast. Now, I need to go back and see where in Florida you are staying now.

  16. What a lovely little face. Definitely Celia centric and that smile is worth a whole post. Love this lifestyle but miss the hugs and cuddles, also.

  17. Looks like it was a very nice Christmas! Celia is like Finn in her love of books and being outside. Love the boots! Peter got Finn a "reading tent" which is more of a teepee. He loves it. Who wouldn't love a cozy place to read? I'm still shaking my head at the 300 and some pierogies. If you're going to go to all that trouble and mess, you might as well make a whole lot of them! Happy New Year! xxxooo

  18. It must be very difficult when it is time to leave! Im predicting Celia will just be like her mom and grandparents, a big reader of books.
    She is so so adorable!


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