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The Longest Holiday

2018 January 4
by Becky


It just keeps going and going and going.

I’m curled under my favorite blanket, cup of tea by my side, fireplace blazing to heat our drafty old house, editing photos and watching videos of the past two weeks of holiday break. The break that is still technically going because, after only one day back at school, a dusting of snow has everything shut down yet again. So while the wind blows and Finn naps and Ethan plays in his room, I’ve got my sights set on jotting down a little recap.


I’d like to say we did “everything” this year as usual, but really we laid pretty low and picked just a couple holiday events to attend. One was the waterskiing Santa show that took place two blocks from our house and included holiday characters actually skiing down the freezing cold Potomac River. It was too insane to miss. The other was ICE! at National Harbor, just across the bridge in Maryland.


We wore these snazzy blue parkas while walking through a 9 degree tent to see incredible ice sculptures. Finn took off his parka in protest before we even got to the tent yet he somehow made it through the whole thing while the rest of us were freezing! This event was extra awesome because right next door was the big man.



Here it was mid-December and we realized we’d completely forgotten to make Santa plans. He couldn’t wait to tell St. Nick the full details of his gift requests, with no nerves and plenty of adorable smiles. And though I thought this year would be the end of Ethan’s Santa spirit, he seemed very much on board with hopping up there for a serious Transformer dominated chat.

Before we knew it, my family was arriving—my brother from Denver and my parents from sunny Florida. Coming to DC winter weather from 70 degree paradise is true grandparent commitment. It was SO COLD here.

Good thing the reindeer are impervious to wind chill…



As I’d mentioned, this year the boys had very specific gift requests, ones they’d described in detail to Santa and anyone else who’d listen. Ethan’s wish was a huge transformer that breaks into five or six little transformers, which was the first gift he opened and the one he played with for an hour before even looking for another present. Finn, meanwhile, ripped through several boxes to find the Power Rangers sword, costume, and figurine he’d been coveting for a month. Yes, we bought our kid a sword, I know it’s nuts, but at least we opted for the foam version as opposed to the hard plastic chainsaw version he’d spied at Target. In that pic above he’s showing his huge muscles.

We lounged in pjs and ate my first-ever attempt at cinnamon rolls—coming from a non-cinnamon roll person, I must say they were totally incredible—and we played with everything. I spent at least two hours building with the marble run extension kit that includes an elevator and jump while Ethan dominated everyone in electronic Simon Says. Finn and Grandpa built half the Snap Circuit book. Grandma facilitated some Qixel building. It was a busy and creative day.



By late afternoon we were camped on the couch watching Home Alone for the first time in a million years and, once the kids collapsed in bed (Finn in his Power Rangers costume), we dove into our Christmas dinner of standing rib roast and truffled mashed potatoes. I’d never made this cut of meat before, but this crazy-easy method turned out the most perfect medium rare beef.

Over the course of the week I spent hours and hours in the kitchen, it was blissful.

Since it was my brother’s first trip to DC, we made the sight-seeing rounds. It was really cold so “Stu-ber” drove us around to the monuments to minimize walking. Finn wore his Power Rangers costume everywhere.



Our final stop that day was the Library of Congress, a big check box on our list of places we’ve been meaning to go forever. It was so far beyond my expectations, I never wanted to leave. Not only is it incredibly gorgeous and museum-like with it’s huge exhibits, but there’s an awesome children’s section with regular story times. We’ll be back very soon.

And no holiday would be complete without Ethan getting a little older! My SEVEN year old made his annual request of sushi for his “actual” birthday dinner and the next day we had a little Pokemon Pool Party with his buddies from school.



After saying age five was the end of the big parties (the dinosaur party seemed like a good capstone), we caved this year what with the big move and all. He’s done such a great job making so many new friends, it was even more cause for celebration. Plus, I found Kids First Swim School and it sounded too fun to pass up. It was a super simple party, but I did get to make a really fun cake!


Now here we are in week THREE of no school. We’re already delayed two hours tomorrow, and since the wind is howling and temps are plummeting, it’s looking like another snow day is looming. Here’s hoping we have a normal schedule again soon…I’m all holiday’ed out.

Happy New Year!



2 Responses leave one →
  1. Linda Johnson permalink
    January 5, 2018

    Thank you Becky for sharing your family memories with me. Just love your blog and all the great pictures! The picture of your brother and the boys laughing is adorable! Ethan seems to get taller in every picture and Finn in his power ranger costume is hilarious! So glad you had your parents there to help you out and I know there was some GOOD food had by all!

    Keep warm!!

  2. January 8, 2018

    What a great Holiday season you all had! Ours was pretty great too. I know you had cold weather but ours was perfect. Not so now 40’s are bad.

    I’m so so sorry that I missed calling you on your Bday. Hope you had a relaxed one. I have to put all my dates on my new 2018 calendar other wise I can’t keep up. Things are back to normal around here. Dick is back to his little job & I am hoping to stay well. Feeling good!!

    Happy New Year hope this will be the best year yet!! Love GG

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