|Happy almost first birthday to Jill!|
|opening presents, she played with the blocks then decided to climb right in and|
|put her feet up!|
|Jill and her great-Gram Del|
|with her professional Black Friday shopping aunties|
The Ghost of Thanksgivings Past: late nights at the bar leading to the Hangovers (deserving of a capital H), following by football games and full Canning family gatherings. One year I couldn't pull myself out of bed in time to leave with my parents for Manchester, CT. My Dad told my Aunt Lori, Uncle Jay and rest of the fam that I was in bed with "the Irish flu." My brother and I made our way there. It was painful but we knew it was important to our family. You don't miss holidays.
Years later, dynamics have changed significantly. Cousins are married and starting families of their own. Holidays are split between in-laws. Before Jill, we used to drive all over creation to visit both families. This year, we're spending a wonderful long weekend at Tony's parents' house in Burlington, VT. Del, Jill's great-grandmother, is here from Athol and Andrea and Chris are visiting from Maine. The dinner was delicious: turkey with gravy, stuffing with sausage, roasted veggies, garlic smashed potatoes, soft rolls, salad, apple pie with ice cream (options also included raspberry and pumpkin thanks to Del) and bountiful amounts of white wine.
Jill didn't want to miss out on the Black Friday shopping. She woke up with a stuffy nose at 4 a.m. and didn't crash for a real nap until 9:30. Andrea, Kathleen and Chris left around 5 for their annual Christmas shopping tradition. You couldn't pay me to go shopping today. Circling the parking lot, fighting the crowds, waiting in line. Online shopping sounds much more enticing! But they braved the crowds, stole great deals and didn't get home until after 1. A bunch of their shopping done and suddenly I was slightly jealous!
Today we celebrated Jill's 1st birthday with the Musantes. Kathleen picked out Thomas the Train decorations earlier in the week and Tony and I picked up her matching cake from the Shaw's bakery this morning. Our cart's contents were funny: a themed 1st birthday cake, diapers, organic baby food, all things signifying caring parents. Then you saw the two 12packs of Blackbeary Wheat and the pack of earplugs to help me stay asleep tonight while sharing a room with Jill. ... the duality of child rearing, Tone says.
Jill carefully examined her cake frosting before smooshing it between her fingers, examining the texture and sneaking a taste. No choking. No puking. And no allergic reaction on her skin. A success! I can't believe she's almost 1!