Eric and I returned Thursday from a great trip home to see our families for the holidays. We left early last Wednesday, landing in Harrisburg to see a foot of snow on the ground. It was definitely cold, and I spent most of the trip with three pairs of socks on.
One of my favorite parts of the trip was watching the kittens who’ve taken up residence at Eric’s parents house. Once the snow melted they enjoyed some treats on the back deck.
The festivities started Thursday at my parents house where we changed up traditions. For the past several years we’ve had chili and sandwiches, not wanting to rock the boat too much we decided to have baked potato soup and cheesesteaks. Eric and my brother in law Mike handled much of the cooking, while the rest of us ate, enjoyed and played with the wee ones.
The Son-in-Laws take over the kitchen.
Three little boys on Christmas Eve.
After dinner, the kids opened their gifts first. My “middle” nephew was excited by his gift of Emperor Zurg, from Toy Story. It appeared to be a big hit. Thank goodness for lists to Santa (and a sister who shared the details) because I never would have chosen that on my own.
The kids checking packages for their names.
The adults have a Secret Santa exchange. This year, I was shopping for my dad and have been hard at work on a sweater since the week before Thanksgiving. I was really happy with the gauge on this sweater, it was loose and very fabric-like without having gaping holes. It seemed to fit my dad well (though, surprisingly, the sleeves were just a bit long). Something good to keep in mind for next time.
Opening the sweater
(I got distracted and didn’t take a picture of this…but thought you’d all enjoy the hand-knit blanket on the back of the couch. Courtesy of my mom and one of my favorite knits of all time.)
My Santa was my sister Heather who shopped on my wish list for the Wii Sports Resort (yay!) and off the list for these little individual bakers (double yay!). I wasn’t sure what to make in them, but as luck would have it my Everyday Food arrived for January and inside was a recipe for Spinach Frittata inside. If anyone else has recommendations, I’d love some other ideas on what to make.
My parents also joined the cooking bandwagon with a gift set of an immersion blender (since my mom read about the lentil soup disaster this fall), food processor, electric whisk and smoothie maker. We’ll definitely get some use out of this…it almost makes me want to make lentil soup again…almost.
From Eric’s sister, Michele, I got a book from Alabama Chanin. They use reverse appliques in their designs and primarily do hand sewing. There are some gorgeous skirts in the book and I spent a good hour on Flickr looking through the photo pool of other peoples’ projects. I’m going to try my hand at the simple headband design first before getting ahead of myself but I’m thinking that the skirts would be a great addition to my summer wardrobe.
There were lots of other lovely gifts and I always love giving out my knitted presents–I think they were well received–but best of all was getting to visit with everyone. Six months between visits to PA is just too long for me. I have to admit though, I was grinning most of the day Wednesday after returning to the sunshine and warmth. It’s good to go home, but it’s good to feel home too. I’m looking forward to 2010 and a great new year. Hope you are too!