Category Archives: Family Stories

Christmas Eve 2010

Posted by: Maggie

As usual we spent Christmas Eve with my Dad and his side of the family.

We went to my Dad’s house in the afternoon for drinks, appetizers, and gift exchanging.

The gifts were mostly wine and gift cards! The best kinds! Except for Eleanor, of course!

She got an awesome Tinkerbell doll, which she is already obsessed with! And a rad Tinkerbell backpack!

After my Dad’s we headed to my Aunt’s house for dinner with the extended family. I managed to get my cousins to wrangle all their girls together for a second-cousins photo! It took forever to get them all together. The bigger girls were very cooperative, but Eleanor and Mia (who is just 4 months older that Eleanor) were partners in crime and kept escaping every time we put them in place!

We had to take a separate boys second-cousins photo because it was so difficult to get the girls to cooperate.

Until this visit Eleanor and Mia had pretty much ignored each other at every family function. Christmas Eve they finally discovered each other and immediately became the very best of friends!

Eleanor’s Third Birthday: Part Four – A Hanukkah Dinner Finale

Posted by: Maggie

Eleanor’s very last birthday celebration was a combination birthday party with Josh’s family and Hanukkah dinner. We did separate parties for my family and Josh’s because they don’t get along. Just kidding! Our apartment is just too small for all of the family. Just my immediate family is twelve people! So with Josh’s extra six, it’s just too many. So we decided to do separate parties and combine it with our annual Hanukkah dinner with Josh’s family.

After reading this post, by one of my favorite photographers, I decided to make an apple pie for dessert. I have said repeatedly that I don’t really bake very well, but I like to try to get better at it. I’ve never made a pie of any kind before, but making an apple pie seemed so incredibly simple I totally thought I could do it!

I started by peeling a bunch of apples.

Then I threw on some sugar and salt as per the recipe in Jasmine’s post.

Then I ran into a little trouble. I started making the dough, but discovered that I was out of regular baking flour. All we had in the house was whole wheat flour. I thought, well, I’ll just make a healthier pie crust (I don’t know anything about baking). It started out okay, it was looking pretty good. Until I started to roll it out. Then it just crumbled into pieces. Woops!

Oh well! At least I tried. I didn’t have any time left since I had to get the latkes ready for dinner, so I sent Josh to the store to pick up some white flour (for next time) AND some frozen pie crusts.

The pie crusts worked just fine.

After I stuck the pie in to bake we prepared the rest of the dinner. I made latkes and Josh made some delicious veggie dishes (a garlic broccoli and a green bean gratin) that everyone raved about.

After dinner Eleanor opened her presents.

She got the most awesome light-up fairy wings and wand and the Tinkerbell movie from her Aunts Beth and Jenny! Such good gifts!

And from Grandpa Gross and (soon-to-be-Grandma) Raisa she got a collection of Dr. Seuss stories and a Jessie doll! (I say soon-to-be because after being together as long as Josh and I have been, they are getting married the day after Christmas! And I’m shooting the wedding! Wish me luck!)

After presents we had my very first ever apple pie!

And, you know what?! It was awesome!

I guess I can bake something! Sorta! At least I tried to make the crust! I think I’ll make another for Christmas and actually make the crust myself this time!

Eleanor’s Third Birthday: Part Three – The Birthday!

Posted by: Maggie

Growing up my family had a birthday tradition. On each of my siblings and my birthdays we got to skip school, and go out to a movie and lunch with our parents. I loved this! It felt like such a special day and particularly in a family of five kids it was nice to have a day that was just about me, where I had my parents undivided attention.

We’ve decided to carry on the tradition in our little family. So last Tuesday we kept Eleanor home from school, and went to see Tangled and have lunch at P.F. Chang.

The thing about skipping school on your birthday though is that you don’t get that extra attention at school for your birthday. You know, the kid with the cupcakes is everyone’s best friend that day! So I’ve decided to start a new tradition: afternoon classroom parties!

After lunch we stopped by Eleanor’s school with a big box of cupcakes! *

It was such a fun birthday day (for all of us – skipping work for lunch and a movie is the best)!

*I got tons of cute kids eating cupcakes photos at school, but I have a policy of not posting photos of kids without their parents’ permission. Sorry!