I know I’ve already shared my 2017 goals and am looking ahead to the new year, but before it fades too far in the distance I wanted to share about June’s first Christmas! It was simple and very sweet. Here’s a little peek, if you’d like to see…
On Thursday, December 22, we fed June dinner, gave her her bath, put her in her jams, and then John loaded up the car while I fed her. After that, we popped her in her car seat and hit the road!! I drove north from 9pm to 4am (!), and June only woke up briefly on our one stop for gas. John took over driving for the last leg, from 4 until we arrived at his parents’ house in Connecticut at 6:30am (while I slept in the backseat).
You guys, this COULD NOT have worked out better – I would drive overnight a million times over, especially a baby June’s age. It was completely painless for her, and relatively painless for us — there was no traffic, and no stopping for meals or anything else, so we made fantastic time. The only downside was that because I drank a fair amount of coffee (maybe 8 ounces?) to help stay awake and LITERALLY never drink coffee – the most I had probably ever had before this was a single sip – I felt queasy the following day. Thankfully, by our second day in Connecticut, I was back to normal. Next time, I think I’ll plan to step up and down the caffeine intake a bit more gradually :)
We spent the first four days of our trip with the Thomas side at John’s parents’ house. Everyone was there, meaning eight adults and three kids (2.5, 1.5, and 1). Yes, it was a little crazy, but overall so much fun! John is representative of the whole Thomas clan in that they tend to be low-key and easygoing, so that helps :) We played lots of board games, did a 1000-piece puzzle, went for walks in the neighborhood, pretended we were tigers and seagulls with Wes, sang along with Johnny Guitar (John’s uncle-name!), and ate delicious food made by my mother-in-love.
On Christmas Eve, we went to the candlelight service at John’s childhood church and dressed the cousins in matching jams for bed, then spent Christmas morning opening presents and eating monkey bread. June got lots of clothes, a toy train, books, and some chunky puzzles! The grandparents also held down the fort one night so the siblings and spouses could go see Rogue One in theaters. (Loved it, but I really want to see La La Land!)
Midway through the week we packed up all of our stuff (LOTS of stuff)… then drove it ten minutes across town to my parents’ house and unpacked it all :) We spent the next four days at the Ayer casa. I got to see my parents’ new kitchen renovation (amazing!! Thinking of sharing photos here because it is so beautiful!), plus see extended family at a dinner we hosted and lots of childhood friends and my parents’ friends at a cocktail party one evening. In between, we went for walks, visited Sift in Mystic, ate peanut butter balls, followed June up and down the stairs, and played more board games. We also had a second “Christmas morning,” which my older sister Kate joined via Google Hangout – she and Cormac decided not to travel this year because my newest nephew was born at the very end of September!
On New Year’s Eve we again packed up our stuff and drove about 6.5 hours to Northern Virginia, where Natalie and Joe recently moved. This was the perfect stopover on our drive, and in addition to June getting to check out all of her cousin’s toys, we had a lovely low-key, pajama-clad, takeout-Chinese and Trader-Joe’s-raspberry-tart New Year’s Eve.
We made it home on Sunday with enough time to unpack a bit, go grocery shopping, and generally get ready for a new week. June was SUCH a traveling champ, for which we are so grateful! Time with our families is so precious, and this week did not disappoint.
Since Marget and Seth now live in California, there’s talk of a Cali Christmas in 2017… so June’s second celebration might look very different than her first! :)
Hoping you all had wonderful holidays, as well!!