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

Henry David Thoreau

Our Holiday Fun

Thursday December 20 to Monday December 24, 2018                                   Most Recent Posts:
From Flagler Beach, Florida to Severn Maryland                     Finally Meeting Long Term Friends for the First Time
                                                                                                  Camping in the Woods by Another Beautiful Beach

On Thursday December 20th we flew from Jacksonville Florida to Baltimore Maryland to spend some holiday time with our favorite people.  Here’s David, eating a snack I packed while not so patiently waiting for the plane.  He can’t walk the long distances in the airport any more so luckily they will provide a wheel chair.  I just have to be able to get it and our “stuff” checked in, through TSA and to the gate.

In retrospect, this end went pretty smoothly compared with the return flight.

Carrie picked us up and when we got back to her house we found Micky Mouse doing a side plank yoga move on the lawn of the house across the street.  Very Festive!

First thing to do is to snatch up that baby boy, Colin Harrison, who is 3 months old already.

Warning, if you haven’t already figured it out, this post is going to be very heavy grandchildren and their parents. 

Our baby and her baby
How could the time have gone by that fast?

Of course as soon as I get in the door Celia says “Nana, pway wiff me”.  We’re playing nap  now.
Notice the scrunching eyes.

“OK I up now – you up too”

Those who have had toddlers know that next day, same game.  And over and over and yet again.  This time our “babies” need naps too.

Her “baby” is Amanda who was Carrie’s doll when she was Celia’s age.  They don’t make toys like they used to.  My “baby” is Winnie the Pooh, a great favorite sage of mine.

Luckily for Carrie, Celia really loves  her little brother.  Sometimes a bit too much as he’s not so keen on having his cheeks pinched.

But she’s also very loving and gentle with him and loves to give him kisses.

There are two other members of the family as well.  This is Lila the beautiful.  Later on are  pictures of Sidney the pudgy.

Unfortunetely for Colin and Carrie and Matthew, Colin has some serious colic which makes him very uncomfortable and unhappy at times.  His Daddy is extremely good at soothing him.  Don’t you love the hat?

Meanwhile our princess takes care of her “baby” wearing her royal crown and shoes.

Nana takes many turns soothing Colin.  Celia is actually good about sharing her Nana with her brother.  But she looks a bit disapproving of all this crying.

Papa can’t get down on the floor and play any more so he watches from his chair and takes most of the pictures I’m in.  Thanks David and Carrie.

After everyone is in bed, I get some pictures of the tree with the presents under it.  We’re opening them tomorrow morning.  This is as tidy as it will be.

The stockings are hung by the Chimney with care.  I guess Sydney is guarding the stockings or keeping an eye on the little tree, not sure which.  Notice anything different about the stockings?


WELL . . . . .

Remember the stocking I made for Colin to match the ones the 5 of us already have.  Well, it, along with my stocking and David’s, turned out to be THE only things I forgot to pack for this trip.  I could NOT believe it.  Talk about bummed.  It’s Colin’s first Christmas and he has a substitute stocking.  I went to the Dollar Tree and got three stockings and wrote our  names on them in glitter ink.   Oh well,  it will make a funny family story.   Still here they are hung by the chimney with care.  Carrie, Celia and Matthew in patchwork.  David, Colin and I in Dollar Tree red and white.

Saturday is gift exchange morning and to watch the activities, Colin is in one of his two seats.  The seat on the right actually swings, the one on the left vibrates (anything to soothe a crying baby right?) and is usually in another room.

But today they end up next to each other and Celia puts her baby Amanda right next to Colin.  Too cute was what Nana thought  Which one is the “real baby”?

A Christmas tradition for us is morning pastries.  Celia has some donut bites before staring the gift unwrapping.   Amazing that Hello Kitty – her pajamas – was very popular when Carrie was her age and playing with Amanda.

Papa has his coffee and pastries in his chair.

Then Celia makes the rounds helping open all the gifts.  First she helps mommy with Colin’s present.

It’s a sit up chair for babies who can’t quite but really want to.


Celia’s first present comes with a pair of Hello Kitty sunglasses in the bow.  I think she  likes the glasses better than the present.  She wears them most of the day.


Carrie always gets a book from her mama.  This year it is Sisters In Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World.
Wish I’d had a chance to read it before gifting it.  Well maybe after she finishes.  Hope she has time to finish it with two children under 3 and a job.


This girl is just a laugh a minute clunking around in her sunglasses and mommy’s shoes.

Somehow Papa doesn’t have any help with this present. Maybe because there is no paper to be ripped off.


Gloves for the guy who is always cold.  Not one pair, but 6 so he’s set if he loses a few.


Time to help Daddy open his sonic toothbrush and Cleveland Browns comfy football watching pants.  Matthew didn’t model them sadly so no picture.



Poor Colin, as baby #2 he didn’t have a baby shower and didn’t get a baby book but Nana and Papa remedied that.  Snoopy is also a family favorite.


Celia helps Papa unwrap another thing to keep him warm.




Then she helps her mommy and Colin open some new soft cotton bed sheets for mommy and daddy.


Sidney makes a home in one of the empty boxes.  She pretty much fills it up.


Nana helps Celia with a big box that is for her.  It’s a Little People RV like Nana and Papa have.


It opens up and has a kitchen and two beds for the people, a boat for fishing (too bad it isn’t a kayak), a campfire, two outdoor chairs and a dog we call Fido.


Papa takes his turn with Colin.


Too bad Papa has his hat on.  He and Colin have the same hairline.


Meanwhile, Nana and Celia are reading books in the chair by the fireplace.  Celia has on her ever present sunglasses and Nana has her Eore comfy pants that Matthew picked out for her.  He said Nana was the only person he knew who would wear them.  HA!


Swaddling calms Colin and then Celia likes to hold him but only on a pillow because “he’s too hebby”


Big sister, little brother.  Who will  love this picture the most when they are 20 and 22??


Nana takes her turn. Everyone wants their picture taken with the baby on his first Christmas.


Nana and Celia play stack up the mini play dough cans.


Of course Celia thinks the most fun is knocking them down.


Day is winding down.  After dinner we open the stocking gifts.  I cannot believe I have no pictures of the wonderful dinners Carrie and Matthew made for us.  Too busy eating I guess.


Celia helps Daddy with his stocking.

A couple of readers at the table and then it’s bedtime.  What a wonderful day we had!


Sadly, Sunday is our last day with them.

Celia really enjoys her little camper with its campfire.  I took this video of her with some of the songs the camper plays.  Unlike this picture, the video came out too dark.  But I love  it so it’s here anyway.  Take a look.  If you tilt your laptop screen forward it’s easier to see.

Kisses for the baby.

In the afternoon it’s an amazingly warm day in Maryland as in 60 degrees so we spend some time outside.  Don’t know why I have no pictures of our walk but I do have these two short videos of some leaf raking in the backyard.

Celia helping.                   Not so much helping.

Later, we decide to try some family portraits in front of the fire place.  We get the timer for this one of us all.

I take Carrie and Matthew with their children.

Matthew takes Carrie with her parents and children.

I take Carrie with her Papa.  I was always her Mama and changed to Nana with the grandchildren but he’s Papa to everyone.


I get these sweet pictures of Matthew and  his son.


Carrie’s Boys.


Monday morning is a blurr.  I have to round up all of our stuff, get it packed, get a lunch for David, have breakfast and say good bye all before 9am. 

Carrie takes us to the airport and drops us off.  A BWI worker with a wheelchair comes flying up to be the first and David gets in.  I want to check in at curbside like we did in Jacksonville since that went like clockwork but he won’t listen and I can’t understand what he’s saying as he rushes David inside the terminal while I struggle to keep up.  We go to the kiosk and I’m pretty furious as he takes over everything and gets our bag checked and then says “I’m leaving” and holds out his hand.   The whole point of all of this was that he didn’t want to wait in the line at curbside.  He wanted to get rid of us and on to his next tip.   Little did I know how much difference not doing curbside was going to make.

20181224_134441The bag is checked so we head to TSA and I start looking for David’s wallet with his id.  It’s not where it should be, it’s not anywhere.  I’m panicing.  I call Carrie who was going to be able to go to the gym for a yoga class while Matthew watched the children.  I tell her I must have left David’s wallet in the bedroom.  She goes back home.  They search everywhere.  She calls to tell me they can’t find it.

Matthew suggests it might have accidentally gotten packed into the checked bag.  That’s the last place to look but it means I have to get them to retreive the bag and then IF I find it, get it rechecked.   This takes about 45 minutes so it is really lucky we were two hours early for the flight.  I do find the wallet.  We do get on the plane.  We do get back to Jacksonville and despite being checked TWICE, the bag does show up.  Way to go Southwest Airlines. 

You can have BWI airport.  The hustling wheelchair guy was not the only surly employee.  Our experience at JAX was far superior.  None of this reflects on Southwest Airlines which was wonderful all the way around.

20181225_125518Moral of the story:  I should have done a run through of what I needed at the airport before I  left the house but it’s also true that had I gone to curbside, they would have asked for his id BEFORE the bag was checked and I could have found it right there with about 1000% less hassle.

Beware the pushy airport “helpers.  Beware BWI in general.

STILL, as can be seen from the photo above, we make it back to the beach and we’re still smiling. 

These days with our family were wonderful and truly priceless.
We know more than most the preciousness of time. 

Thanks so much Carrie and Matthew for taking such good care of us and allowing us to make your lives even more chaotic than they already are. 
We love you all!!