We had a wonderful week's visit to Seattle for Christmas. I was totally dreading making that long drive in potentially bad weather with two little ones in tow. Particularly because to date, Josh has been less than a fan of riding in the car seat. 5 minutes out of town, we discovered that a quick rattling of his seat worked wonders to calm the screaming, and 7 1/2 hours later, we rolled into Shoreline with smiles on all our faces. We didn't even have to break out the new portable DVD player until the last hour of the drive.
We got to spend some quality time at both grandparents' houses - extra attention for Owen, extra snuggles for Josh, and extra naps for us. In Shoreline, Owen got to make gingerbread houses with Grandma and Kate and then we took a morning visit to the awesome Children's Museum in Everett. Grandpa even took an afternoon off work to spend some extra time with Owen.
In Bellevue, my parents hosted an open house for friends and family. We were able to connect with my aunt and uncle, cousins, Owen's "other nana" (Stephanie Pahlow), Peg, Laura, and Amy was able to come by with her family. Those bellies from our visit back in September are now two baby boys - Paul is just 2 weeks older than Josh. Plus, Sam and Owen again hit it off beautifully - running, diving, giggling, and forming their own charming 2-year-old hooligan gang.
Christmas Eve included tracking Santa on NORAD, a visit to see the holiday lights a the botanical garden, and some rousing music and games during our "Elves Party."
Scott also tackled the required assembly that lead to a new tricycle under the tree on Christmas morning.
We opened presents in our PJs, with my brother continuing his tradition of donning all clothing gifts simultaneously.
Then, it was off to the Lake house, where the Maxwell family was gathering in mass. The adults were able to munch and chat while the kids napped, and then we dove into the second round of present opening. Owen was still going strong, but Josh (and apparently our camera) didn't fare so well.
After a beautiful prime rib dinner, the lake house was full to the brim for Christmas night - 12 people in all!
We also had our traditional brunch with our "montessori families" and realized that we've gone through a full generation with that group - the Hathaways moved in across the street from us when Colin and I were Owen's age.
Our drive home was equally uneventful - the perfect ending to a full, full, full week. A Merry Christmas for all indeed.