can’t stay away

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Well well well. Look who's back after three months of crickets around the blog. It's not like much has happened. On the national side, President Trump and VP Pence took office, major demonstrations for and against abortion crowded the streets of DC, the President has ordered a temporary ban on refugees entering the country, and Judge Neil Gorsuch was nominated for Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Scalia. On the personal side, I'm almost 2 months into a new job that I love, Brian and I were thiiiis close to moving but decided against it, we had a break-in where only my keys were stolen, and we purchased a G19. (Three of those things are related; I'll let you guess.)

new years weekend

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The morning of NYE (Saturday) we drove down to Williamsburg to visit Grandma Bonnie, Mary, Jim, Lisa, Nick and Evan. We spent a few hours at a nearby restaurant catching up with each other. The rest of the group gets together more often since they all live in the same town, but Brian and I hadn't seen these extended family members in several months. It's always a treat. Jim and Lisa (and family) are hopefully visiting Bill and Maura in February, so we will try to make a point to be there, too.

christmas eve

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Brian and I drove down to his family's home Christmas Eve and were welcomed with a delicious seafood dinner, with specialty bruschetta made by Sarah (which Bill hilariously called garlic bread). Christina made white chocolate and dark chocolate peppermint pretzels and I'm pretty sure I ate the vast majority of the peppermint ones over the course of the weekend. SO good.

We added our pile of Christmas gifts to the already overstuffed space under the tree, and there were rumors that other gifts were still waiting to be wrapped! The rush of being last-minute keeps the excitment going. ;)

siblings

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The four brothers – Samuel (19), Matthew (29), Conor (22), Brian (34)

What a great day! Brian and I drove to Bill and Maura's on Sunday for a pre-Christmas celebration. Matthew and Kristen flew in the day before in order to spend the week leading up to Christmas with the Smith side.  All the other "away" siblings were back from college, so it was a full house.

naples florida

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What does one do when they have a spare weekend? Fly down to Naples to see Granddad and Carol, of course! It's an especially compelling plan with the Polar Vortex sweeping snow, ice and frigid temperatures through the entire country. Florida was missed almost completely, and so we spent a 70+ degree weekend seeing the sights. Martin and Carol had a full itinerary for us – touring the neighborhoods of Naples, driving through the Everglades, trying fried alligator and freshly caught stone crabs, going out to fancy restaurants for dinner, touring spec homes in a newly developed community, and hanging out at the poolside cabana. 

weekend with family

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Thanksgiving was pretty busy this year between meal preparation, getting our pictures taken, helping Mom digitize her photo albums, and going shopping (Mom and me) or to the gun range (the guys). We had the photo shoot right after our Thanksgiving meal, which was probably not the best order, but we made it work. It forced us to not overindulge, but then we rewarded ourselves with lots of pie after we got back! So there was no lack of food consumption.


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