Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Carolinas Christmas

December 16-31, 2013

We may have killed the Christmas tree already by December 15. Note the pile of fallen needles. We’ve have never had a tree lose needles this quickly. I guess it was too much of a shock going from cut down atop a mountain to inside our warm house. At least it was only $10 & we will be in NC for the Holidays soon.
We flew into Greensboro in time to spend the day with Chrissi for her birthday!
Uncle Joe & Ryan playing games on the iPad 
We went to Bonefish Grill as a family for Chrissi’s birthday.
On Tuesday we went up the Mount Airy to enjoy Snappy’s Lunch with my Dad. We then went to the awesome Antique Mall of the Foothills in Mayberry, a new must-stop destination whenever we go up to Mount Airy. 
We found a really cool rusty old pulley!
Wednesday we drove down to Charleston to visit friends from our old home. We met Tu for lunch at Jim n’ Nicks. Mmm cheese biscuits!
While at lunch Jackie got the best news via email: "Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that your license request has been approved by the Washington State Board for Architects." Jackie can now call herself an Architect in the state in which she practices!
It was great to stay with Tu and Lillian. Ethan has grown into a smart little boy. Kaitlyn was a little shy at first but she warmed up to us eventually.
Thursday we went for a walk in downtown Charleston.
Ooo how I've missed this quaint city and sun!
60 degrees and sunny in December in Charleston is a big reason why I miss the Holy City during this time of the year. Meanwhile Seattle has a chance of 2-4" of snow tomorrow.

Thursday night Joe learning with Ethan and Kaitlyn
Friday we went into my old office, LS3P to say hello. It was great to see all the friendly faces again. We went to lunch with Sandrine at 82 Queen. Man have I missed shrimp n’grits! 
We drove up to Charlotte to have dinner with the Pappas family. 
Andrew & Jessie’s daughter Madolyn has begun the stage of not wanting to be around anyone but her mom and dad. For a very brief moment, she didn’t know Jackie was holding her until she got a look at her and then the water works began! 
Jackie playing with Brandon & Elizabeth’s son Noah 
Holiday photo. We felt left out without a child, so we held the Hill’s dog Chandler.
Many many holiday visits over the years with John & Susie Pappas. There’s a story behind the loaf of bread, I promise… 
Sunday we went at mass as a family at Holy Family. We went up to Mom & Dad.
Joe playing with Liam on the ipad. 

Monday morning Joe and Liam playing Mario Kart 
Pat, Joe and Jackie with the boys went to Foothills Brewery for lunch. We enjoyed a fight of beers. 
It was a perfect sports bar atmosphere for the boys to play with cars and stay preoccupied while we had some adult time.
Liam doesn’t like having his photo taken 

Ryan selfie time after his bath 
Christmas Eve Family photo 2013
Our family has the tradition on Christmas Eve to open one present before bed.
Ryan is such a cutie
We gave Liam a hot wheel race track loop & jump
I got a new red scarf

Pat ready to open his gift
The boys testing out the hot wheels track jump
Christmas Eve dinner
Ryan eating his potatoes and hot dog for Christmas Eve dinner
Before bed Chrissi read the whole family ‘The Night Before Christmas’ 

Dad & Mom enjoying Christmas 
Liam enjoying Christmas 

Christmas morning: Santa has been very generous this year! 
Two boys excited for Christmas morning 

Excited boys! 
Jackie loving their excitement 
Christmas morning gift opening 

Liam’s way excited Santa brought him a nerf gun! He talked daily about wanting one to play with the neighbor boys. 

Mom opening her new breadmaker 

Dad got a new copy of the Billboard Top 40 Hits to replace his 10 year old copy and this one has updates. 

Liam having enough with the paparazzi while Jackie photobombs 
Liam is now loaded with Lego sets 
Jackie & Chrissi opening a gift from Mom, a blue quilted bag 

Andy got a DVD of Superbowl XLV when the Green Bay Packers won 

We will call this Christmas, the year of the Bose noise-cancelling headphones. Andy got a new pair. Joe got a pair for his frequent trips on the plane. 
Dad got a pair as well! 
Merry Christmas says Andy! 
After our morning break, time to resume opening presents. 

Ryan getting a good look at his new big boy underwear 
Perfect shirt for Pat 
We got Mom some new oven mitts 
Ryan opening his Curious George shirt from us 
We also got Mom a new rice cooker 
Ryan opening his Diggers sticker book 
The boys got Disney’s Planes movie
Uncle Joe constructed a soccer goal from PVC pipe and we found an orange (Liam’s favorite color) net online. The boys will have plenty of room to grow into the goal size. 

Jackie made Christmas ornaments for both Chrissi & Sharon of photos she took of Liam & Ryan over the summer in Wisconsin 
Merry Christmas from the Liang’s! 

Thursday we drove down to Charlotte to have lunch with Starr & Nikki. We had borrowed Dad’s new car for the day. As we pulled into a store, we had a cop turn his lights on behind us. The cop informs us that our license plates have expired. Joe’s immediate response came out: “You got to be kidding me!” The cop thankfully let us off easy without a ticket. We let Dad know he needs to get his tags updated. We drove cautiously for the rest of the day just waiting to get pulled again because of the expired plates.

Friday we went over to Raleigh to catch up with friends. We drove around the old campus. We stopped at the new NCSU Library. 

We felt like old farts in such a cool modern space. 
NCSU Library exterior 

Friday night Joe got in some baby time with Gary & Nicole’s daughter Emily

Emily is all smiles 
More kid time at breakfast with the McCabes Saturday morning 

Saturday afternoon all the Raleigh gang (and Knoxville) were coming over to the McCabes for a gathering while we were in town.
Joe prepping the filling for homemade dumplings 
Wes and his mini (Issac) 
Trying to get the 3 boys (Liam McCabe, Noah Hill & Issac Moyer) to play together 

Sunday morning lovin’ with Liam McCabe 
We watched the movie Despicable Me 2 with the McCabes before heading back to King from Raleigh.
Jackie & mom after the Packers vs Bears football game in their lucky shirts! Packers are playoff bound with the win! 
Monday we went for a walk in the woods at Jackie’s parents.
A tobacco barn off Cromer Rd behind my parents lot 

Family time in the woods 
Ryan getting a piggyback ride from his Uncle Joe 
Family time at the pond 

Throwback Thursday: homemade Christmas ornaments circa preschool age of me & my sis hanging on my parents tree
Christmas card chain 
Our dead Charlie Brown tree after we got home and took down the ornaments and lights 
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