The Reeds Do Christmas

Happy New Year, dear friends. Sorry for the radio silence.

It has been sort of an intense month. Pat's grandfather passed away December 4th. While he seemed ready to go, it was hard to lose him and see the effect on the family. It's really hard for me to talk about such things, so I will take the wimpy way out and won't even try. I will just say he was just a good soul, and I will always think of how warmly he welcomed me into the family and how when Greta was little he used to get down on the floor with her to play, which I thought was awfully sweet for a guy with Navy tattoos.

The shootings in Newtown, CT, shook me, as it shook just about everyone. Trying to explain it to my own six-year-old was just about more than I could take.

Then on Christmas Eve the shootings in Webster, NY, hit close to home. One of the volunteer firefighters was a good friend of Pat's family, and he was even at Pat's grandfather's funeral.

It seems like there is so much sadness in the world, but we do our best to find joy and do a pretty good job at that.

We went to Binghamton for Christmas, and we got spend a lot of quality time with family and saw quite a few friends.

It's sort of funny (not totally funny haha), but Greta and I were super sick the week or so before Christmas. The day we got to Binghamton I realized I was getting worse rather than better, and I ended up going to a walk-in clinic, which was a first for me. The kind doctor gave me a prescription for antibiotics (the kind you can take and still drink alcohol - score!) and told me a couple over-the-counter things to take to help me out. It was a bizarre scene at the CVS that is open 24 hours while we were waiting for my prescription. It was just one of those experiences where everything is hilarious when they probably shouldn't be. We had to wait a while, and Pat was mastering his skills using one of those grabber thingies. Here he is approaching me with it next to the adult diapers. See? Funny.

Also funny, Pat took Greta to the Roberson Museum and Science Center while in Binghamton. I was working at the time and Pat kept texting me ridiculous pictures, this one being my favorite.

On Christmas Day it snowed and Greta wanted to go sledding at the elementary school where Pat used to sled. I know it doesn't look like much, but this little hill was pretty steep.

The day after Christmas we went to Skaneateles to have Xmas festivities with the McCarthys. My dad always gets us a nice care package of wine. I love wine.

One other little gem for you: Greta's black ski mask she got from my brother last year is the gift that keeps giving.


Putting Presents Back in Christmas

File under: christmas

Christmas was lovely as ever this year. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at the Reeds, and then we spent the 26th at my parents' house. We got to see some good friends and family and gorge ourselves on tasty food and drink.

Christmas definitely gets more and more fun with Greta each year. She didn't want to ask Santa for anything, but she did want to write him a letter. Pat helped her, and I was amused to see she edited her letter, although I will say she needs to work on her buttering-up skills.

Greta was thrilled with almost everything she got for Christmas, but she needed some convincing here and there. Here I am trying to explain why the book The Secret Garden is a good gift, and I finally ended up saying, "Oh, you'll appreciate it someday!"

Luckily Pat is a better present picker than I am.

Here's the present I'm personally most excited about.

Ooh, another present we got for Greta that I found more enjoyment from than she did is Jenga. Pat and I played one rousing game. I love the expression on Greta's face in this picture.

Fast forward to the following day. Here is my brother gracefully crawling out of the new "castle" he got Greta.

My dad surprised my mom by getting matching Crocs boots for both her and Greta. My mom's reaction was priceless.

Greta got a potholder loom, which is a bit of a McCarthy tradition. Here she is also modeling her new boots from Grandpa, a Tinker Bell dress from Uncle Phil and Aunt Becky, and a hair bow from her little friend Oliver.

My dad got me a NaNoWriMo mug and T-shirt, which I was thrilled about. This is my new favorite mug, just barely inching my This American Life mug out of its previous first-place ranking. Sorry, Ira.

Pat and Greta have this week off and are enjoying some daddy-daughter time while I'm working (like a poor sap).

In other news I have been getting over a rather unpleasant cold and have a nasty cough that won't go away. I told Pat today I have high hopes that sometime in the next few days I'll be able to go a day without coughing so hard I almost puke. Sometimes it's the little things.

We hope everyone had a great Christmas and are enjoying the joyous joys of the joyful season.


Happy happy

File under: christmas

We hope everyone has happy, safe holidays and enjoys their time away from the usual grind.

So this is Christmas

File under: christmas


We hope everyone had the loveliest of Christmases. Per our tradition, we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Binghamton with the Reed family, and then we spent most of the day after Christmas in Skaneateles with the McCarthy family. Greta loved every second of it.

On Christmas morning, Greta work up at 7ish (her usual wake-up time) and was eager to go downstairs, but not until she put a dress and tights on age three. I think I was maybe 14 when I figured out it is best to spruce one's self up prior to opening presents on Christmas morning because the bedhead and ugly fleece jammies would forever be etched in silver and the family's photo album. If it wasn't clear before that Greta is a girly-girl, it probably is now. (I was not a girly girl; maybe she got it from Pat.)

Anyway, once Greta was ready to make an appearance, we all headed downstairs. The look on her face was awesome.

Not surprisingly, Greta got a ton of jewelry and princess gear. Here she is modeling some. (The polka dot slippers a nice touch too.)

Hands down, the coolest thing Greta got was a fire helmet from her Uncle Eric. It was originally from Pat/Eric's Great Uncle Ray, who was a fire fighter in Philadelphia back in the day. Eric wanted to be a fire fighter pretty much since he came out of the womb, and Ray passed the helmet down to Eric about 30 years ago. Eric did in fact become a fire fighter, and when Greta recently mentioned in passing that she is going to be a fire fighter, Eric passed the helmet down to her. Somehow I don't think Greta will become a fire fighter, but you never know! It was an extremely nice gesture. Here is Princess Greta, Future Fire Fighting Extraordinaire.

Christmas Part Deux. The definite hit was a three-wheel bike from Uncle Phil. What Phil hadn't anticipated was that she would expect him to push her around the house on it a bunch of times. Hehe.

My dad gave Greta a sled, and because they were pink, small, and cute, he also bought her some goggles (maybe he was planning for some extreme sledding?). Greta enjoyed wearing the goggles around for part of the day, and I enjoy that I have this gem to show future boyfriends someday.

And to redeem her after showing the goggle photo, here is my beautiful girl.

And now it's good to be home.

There are several other favorite moments this Christmas that seem worth mentioning, but the last one I will mention is that Pat showed up at my workplace on Wednesday with his gift for me - a new iPhone. I am SO excited about it. I am feeling a little guilty that all I got him was an alarm clock, but what was I supposed to do, buy him a Lexus?? Maybe for Christmas 2035.


As promised

File under: christmas

Today we went to Skaneateles for a family gathering in honor of my cousin Ryan. He is home for a brief respite from his Peace Corps work in Benin, Africa. I was more than thrilled to see him and hug him and get all Barbara Walters on him. (Once I started asking questions they just kept coming and coming. I was still thinking of questions on the drive home - he was not with us then - but those will have to wait until next time.) It was really a wonderful day.

Here is a picture of (most of) the motley crew. Because there were two cameras going no one knew where to look. Classic family reunion portrait style.

Since we got home from our Christmas travels Greta has been on her best behavior. To put it politely, I'll just say that we had been having some rather painful behavioral issues during Christmas. Pat and I have been a little more strict with her the last few days, which has really helped and she actually seems much happier. And Greta was super good today, even in the big group of people. Pat took this picture of her that I just love.

And she took this one of me. It seems notable to me because it really shows her improving photography skills.

As I mentioned in the previous post, my parents gave Greta a very special Christmas present. They took a wooden chest that my Grandpa Whitacre made while in the service and turned it into a beautiful toy box. They put a hinge in it so it won't smash Greta's delicate little fingers, and they decorated it like a ladybug - well two ladybugs - using her favorite ladybug boots as inspiration. If that weren't enough they filled it with toys! She thought the toy box was great but the look on her face when she saw that it will filled with presents was priceless. Greta absolutely loves the box (and its contents), and Pat and I are thrilled that we can travel lighter now that G has her own set of exciting toys at grandma and grandpa's! That's great news all around.

Here's the little personalized bug.

And yes, Greta is completely spoiled; I've come to terms with it. She's the only niece, grandchild, and even great-grandchild on BOTH sides of our family. What are ya gonna do?

Well, I'm trying to be concise here, people, because even though I am in denial about it I have to work tomorrow. That's right. Somebody (me) used up all of her vacation days so she'll be clocking in tomorrow. Why am I speaking in the third person? That's so unlike me. I mean, that's so unlike Fran. Er, goodnight!


Christmas was so four days ago

File under: Binghamton | christmas

I know, I know, this update is super late. What can I say?

Monday afternoon we headed to Binghamton for the Reed Family Christmas festivities. We had the best pizza in the world (Nirchi's) for dinner and had some QT with the Reeds. "The kids" got goofy glasses for an early Christmas present.

Greta, of course, wanted to join in on the fun.

Monday night we headed to the Scott's house to see some old friends and we laughed a lot. There are quite a few grandkids in the Scott family, and I'm always amazed to see their progress each year. One of the grandkids, a three year old, really struck my fancy. He hugged me immediately when I walked in the door and was pretty much glued to me until it was time for him to go home. He announced that he was "The Love Doctor," and after hugging me about 20 times and sitting on my lap for a good 10 minutes, he turned around, pulled my shirt down (exposing my bra) and asked me what my name was. I found this hilarious, and we are now friends for life.

Let's see, so Tuesday morning we slept in a little (thanks to co-sleeping, not our typical habit but one we admittedly enjoy) and then started opening presents. Greta got some fantastic gifts from Ma and Pa Reed (aka Patty and Franny), her Grandma and Grandpa Reed, and Uncle Eric. Pat and I got her this tunnel/tent thingy, which I figured could go either way. She actually loved it, as you can see.

She got a Greta-size digger truck from her Uncle Eric, complete with a hard hat, ignition, noises, and even some brand recognition. Let's just say she loves it so much we already need to replace the batteries.

Wednesday morning we headed out to Skaneateles for Christmas Part II with the McCarthy family. I was downright giddy to see my family. Although this picture makes me look like a doof, Greta looks super cute so I wanted to post it.

At my parent's house we had a very-bacon Christmas. There was pork everywhere: in the appetizers, in the side dishes, in the main dish, and my mom even made something we called bacon gravy. We even each got a pound of bacon as a gift. Hey, it's the holidays and McCarthys love pork, and there are medications to lower our cholesterol and blood pressure. Anyway, enough about delicious cured meats.

More on this to come, but my parents gave Greta an amazing gift. Here is Greta's expression when she opened it. I feel like she's looking at me like, "Is this for reals?" Like I said, more on that later.

Another big hit of the day was a farm toy that Phil and Becky got for Greta. She is enthralled with all of the little noises.

Not pictured is a gift that Phil and Becky got for Greta that I love: they're LL Bean pants with crabs embroidered on them. I often ask Greta if she's wearing her "crabby pants" when she's being difficult, so now when she wears them my question will have more meaning...or maybe it will cause confusion. Oh well, either way, they're very cute.

Tomorrow we're taking ANOTHER trip to Skaneateles (3rd time there in 8 days) and I am VERY excited about it. Too tired to discuss now, update to follow.


Happy happy

File under: christmas

Holiday Cheer

File under: christmas

It has been an insane couple of weeks, and I'm happy that Christmas is almost here so things can start to go back to normal soon. I'm feeling a little bah humbuggy at the moment, so I'll keep this brief. I can say that I'm looking forward to seeing family and old friends this week, watching Greta celebrate her first Christmas, and eating lots of yummy food.

I hope everybody's yuletide is bright, whatever that means.

Here's Greta with young, svelte Santa.


2003-12-29 15:54:50

File under: Binghamton | christmas

Fran and I had a lovely Christmas in the Bing-Hamptons. It was great to see my family and friends. We went to church on Christmas Eve with my parents, Uncle Frank, Eric, and Nurse Tiffany. This has been a tradition in our family for as long as I can remember. I think that makes about four or five trips to church this year. I would like to believe that that is enough to secure me a special little place in heaven. Well, that and the $1.00 bill that I put in the offering basket.

After church, we went back to my house for some shrimp cocktail and cocktails. Then, Fran and I went to the Scott family’s annual Christmas Gala. I went to school with the Scott girls (Emily and Sara) from elementary school through high school. I like to think that we have an open invitation to their party every year. If they ever want us to stop coming over on Christmas Eve, they will need to send us an unvite. Things got more crazy than usual this year at the Scott residence. We all started doing shots called "Dee's nuts," named after Emily and Sara's mom, Dee.

On Christmas morning, we opened our presents at my house. Fran gave me some sweet-ass Emergency Heroes Pez dispensers and a silk robe (Silky Jenkins Style). I also got a circular saw from my parents, so if anyone needs me to rip the crap out of some boards, I’d be more than happy to. We had dinner at my parent’s house and then we went over to Nurse Tiffany’s parents house for a few drinks. Fran and I finished the night over at our friends Kelly and Tim’s house. It’s always great to see my old high school friends.

On the 26th we got up and drove to Skaneateles for Christmas at the McCarthy house. Fran and I got a digital camera. We got the Canon A70 (don’t tell the folks at Kojak.) and some gift certificates and stuff. We also had the McCarthy’s world-famous eggs benedict. Later on that night, we headed home to spend the rest of the long weekend with Maynardo "the wonder cat." When we got home, my bride started feeling crummy. She has been home sick ever since. We think she may have bronchitis. At least, that’s what WebMD (AKA her doctor) told her. I am going to nurse her back to health with a heavy dose of my love, just in the nick of time for New Years.

All and all, it was a great extendo-weekend filled with family and friends.


Holy Crap! Did anyone else know that Jesus was so into sports and rock guitar?

2002-12-25 20:07:37

File under: christmas



Fran and I had another great Christmas. We hung out at the Scott family's house last night. They always put on a nice spread of cheeses, sausages, and tasty beverages. East Side, baby.

Fran got me a sweet-ass Ukulele for Christmas. So everybody better watch out. There will definitely be some uke on the next Sweet Vernal album.

Tonight we are hanging at My brother and sister-in-law's house (Eric and Nurse Tiffany). I've been eating shrimp like George Castanza.

We hope that everyone had a happy and healthy holiday. Now it is time to start getting ready for the New Year's festivities. So everybody is gonna need to try and keep it real and try to stay out of jail! If that is not possible, make sure that you post bail quickly.


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