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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Day 2012

 Marcus looking at the tree.

And then it was Christmas once again.  Santa remembered everyone this year, no matter how furry or small. When Lauren woke up and went down stairs to check out the scene, she came running to tell us that Santa had left presents all over the place - there was even one in Coconut's dish!

Coconut's time waiting under the tree finally paid off.

Speaking of which, Coconut was very satisfied that all that waiting under the tree had finally paid off.

 Coconut claiming presents.

Before we knew it, she was already claiming gifts for herself.

Opening presents on Christmas morn.

 Lauren digging in.

Father daughther scientists.

Santa got Lauren a microscope so she could be just like her Daddy.

Little scientist.

Another scientist in the family? Could be!

3DS from Santa.

But then Santa did a complete 180 on us and also gave Lauren more video games to rot her brain.

Me and my mushroom lamp.

Leave it to Mark to give me an authentic Artimede Nesso mushroom lamp.

Mad Men's Roger Sterling has one too.

Opening presents.

Soon it was evening, and time to open presents with the rest of the family.

With their new niece.

Uncle Craig and Aunt Phyllis really enjoyed spending time with their new niece.

#1 Aunt and Uncle.

And their swanky new keychains.

The Bad Man.

Marcus even gave Uncle Craig a gift. On Thanksgiving, we discovered that Marcus finds Craig quite intimidating. His tail goes right between his legs anytime he gets near him. So we've started to refer to Craig as "The Bad Man." Perhaps the hat was a peace offering?

Vera girls

Here are all us ladies modeling our new Vera Bradley bags.

Family portrait.

Our attempt at a family portrait. We took about 20 of these, and this was the best one. I think that about sums it up!

Christmas Eve 2012.

 A little cheesecake.

I can't believe that it's December 30th already! Why does time have to go so fast this time of year? :( Anyway, I better wrap up Christmas before it's 2013, so here we go!

Right from the beginning, we knew it was going to be a star studded, Hollywood style holiday.

Miracle of 34th Street.

Miracle on 34th Street!
 Kris Kringle?

Say, is that really Kris Kringle?

 Groundhog Day.

Groundhog Day. (Check out the photos from last Christmas Eve and see if you can figure out why.)

The Bucket List.

The Bucket List

The Postman Always Rings Twice.

The Postman Always Rings Twice (But first he rips open your mail).

Life of Pi.

The Life of Pi.



Dial M for Murder.

Dial "M" for Murder.

The Hobbit

The Hobbit.

Special Guest Star Tom Brady.

And the grand finale, special guest star Tom Brady! God bless us, everyone!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

52 Weeks of Cookie - Week 3

Growing up isn't easy.

My new Ma is always asking me, "Cookie, did you try to grow today?" I am trying to grow but it's hard work and makes me so sleepy!

 Cookie with Pappy and Grandma

Cookie with Uncle Craig

Wake me when Christmas is over.

52 Weeks of Cookie - Week 3

See what I mean?

Friday, December 28, 2012

A jolly happy soul.

A jolly happy soul.

Christmas has been my muse for so long, I felt like I had to get back in the saddle ASAP and shoot something that was not directly related to Christmas. We finally had some significant snowfall here in the northeast, so Mark and Lauren been spending lots of time playing in the snow. While I was at work yesterday, they built this cute little snowman.

Nice to meet you.

It was easy to convince Lauren to pose with him.

A frosty friend.

This is the look she gives me when I try to take her picture.

However, it was not so easy to get her to smile for the camera.

Laughing all the way.


Into the woods.

Then I had the idea of having her walk in our front yard like she was hiking in a wintery wood.


This one is my favorite - look at that expression!

 Reminder of things to come.

Leave it to her to find this dried flower blossom in the snow. She thought it was a four leaf clover.

Pineapple wreath.

A reminder of Christmas - Mark's annual pineapple wreath.

Snow covered.

Lastly, our snow covered house. According to the forecast, we'll be getting more accumulation tomorrow, so it will be a good day to stay home and edit Christmas photos.

Back to the future.


I know that I still have a lot of outstanding business from Christmas, but we all know how I love to procrastinate when I have a bazillion photos to go through and edit. But I promise to wrap up Christmas before 2012 comes to a close. Scout's honor!

PHHS Band.

Plus, today was kind of special. Today we had a unique opportunity to tour our old high school. The school district built a beautiful new school, so it was time to say good bye to the old building, which will be demolished to make way for the new elementary school.


It was a surreal experience. So much was the same - the frosted windows on the classroom doors, the tile hallways, the stairwells. Nonetheless, in spite of the newly painted lockers and the addition of a salad bar in the cafeteria, it was difficult to ignore how the passage of time made everything look so worn and hard used. The desks above are in the classroom where I spend my senior year in AP English. In fact, I sat right there in the second row. So many of my very good friends were in that class. Our teacher, Ms. Bowman, was one of the absolute best too. I read so many of the classics that year. Everything from Sophocles to Shakespeare to Joyce. *sigh* I used to be so smart before real life dumbed me down.

 PHHS VIP Award.

Here's something that was exactly the same. The VIP Award case. When you were nominated by a teacher, you got to put whatever personal and academic memorabilia you wanted on display. I was a VIP during my sophomore year.

Science lab.

Math and science department.


Of course, the gym was a must see. I met up with some old high school friends there, which just added to the experience.


Auditorium seats.

The auditorium. Throughout high school, I was very involved in theater. When I walked through the entrance of the auditorium, this wave of emotion washed over me that I never would have expected. All those forgotten feelings and memories came rushing back. It was so overwhelming that I started to tear up. Mark just rolled his eyes at me.

 Me all grown up.

And here I am, all grown up. I still have dreams of being in high school. I'm always in a panic because I can't remember my locker combination and I'm late for a class where we're having a test that I didn't study for. I guess no matter how much you grow and change, you never really leave those days completely behind.

We did get a chance to tour the new school as well, but I didn't take any photos. Suffice to say that it is like a palace inside. The highlight for me was not the spectacular new auditorium or the modern cafeteria, but the art classrooms on separate floors that have a spiral staircase that connects them. Teenage Melissa would have absolutely loved that.