The trip to DC was long, but the plan of leaving early in the morning turned out to be a good one. We hit traffic somewhere in the middle of Virginia which added about 2 hours to our overall trip time -- 13.5 hours in total. Still, the snow was lovely, and the in-laws had dinner waiting for us, so all was well there.
The kiddo enjoyed playing in the snow, and we got several good pictures of her hurling snow-clouds (it was totally the wrong snow for snowballs) at her cousin, father and uncle. We survived the Christmas Eve service with minimal questions from the Bit (all of which I referred to her father) and just a touch of bitchiness on my end. (Really? Scared baby animals should not be used as props. Please don't.) Then home for unwrapping of the first round of presents and time spent with cousins and uncles and in-laws and general happiness.
Christmas Day was quiet and lazy. We all got a ton of books, so we sat around and read for most of the morning and much of the afternoon. We spent the rest of our visit in much the same manner, and finally made it back into town on Tuesday.
Upon arrival, we went into a mad frenzy of cleaning, straightening and organizing which, so far, has mostly only produced More Stuff in the Garage and hasn't really (for a casual observer) seemed to have an impact on the house itself. Still, things have been painted, spiffed, spruced and generally neatened, and we're nearing the point where we'll actually take on the study. (Aah, the study.)
New Years stocking-stuffing and opening was good. It's the first year that both girls seemed truly interested in stuffing the stockings, so that was happy and charming. They also very deliberately pulled everything out of their own stocking and looked at each and every thing that they got before going on to the next present. It was adorable.
We spent the rest of vacation visiting with friends, cleaning more, and relaxing. And now it's back to work for all of us. In some ways, I'm glad to be back to a routine and a schedule. In other ways, I'm still hopeful for a lottery windfall.
Here's to the end of 2009 and good wishes for a bright 2010. (2010. Really? It's 2010 already?_