Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas in New Jersey

We had such a wonderful visit with our family in New Jersey the week before Christmas—although it went by much too fast!

We got to meet our friends Patrick and Jessica's darling new baby boy and enjoy some catching up with Serena and Anthony who are due next month with their first.

A trip to NJ wouldn't be complete without seeing Aunt Sharon and her family. She is the best for sharing stories about family history, and for Christmas she so thoughtfully put together a package for each of the Barber kids with a letter describing their great-grandma and a coordinating gift. Her son Josh picked out the best Christmas gift for Frankie (toy trucks—a toddler boy's dream) and to this day, if you ask Frankie who gave him his trucks, he will exclaim "Dosh!" Their dog Trixie also made quite an impression and Frankie is still talking about how he saw Trixie "eating! chicken!" that he dropped/threw on the floor.

I loved getting to meet more of Frank's extended family. They are such a kind and warm group of people, although I joked to Frank that I felt like I'd walked onto the set of Silver Linings Playbook. All the football talk about the Eagles! All the Jersey food (pork roll, anyone?) and Jersey accents! It was great.

There aren't words to describe how utterly spoiled we were by our lovely Barber family. They kept Frankie constantly entertained with everything from toy trains to building a gingerbread house—and eating lots of Grammy's goodies! They also babysat for us several times, and Frank and I got to enjoy the new Star Wars movie and Christmas Eve Mass baby-free. We spent Christmas morning with them before flying home that afternoon to spend the evening with my family.

Christmas morning was different than what I'm used to in that the Barbers all take turns opening their presents, opening one and then the next person opens one, around the circle until (possibly hours later) everyone is done. I'm not sure how feasible that would be with a lot of kids, but as much as possible, I want to do that every year! I loved it. How does your family handle opening gifts on Christmas morning?

My brother-in-law Ethan took a bunch of cute pictures of Frankie and I wanted to share them with you all. On a related note, Ethan is graduating college this spring and wants to work in graphic/visual design. Frank and I not-so-secretly want him to move out to Chicago. I figured I'd throw this out there—do any of you guys have a job lead for him? Thanks. :)

Oh hey :)

So Frankie is a skinny little dude and has an ongoing problem with his pants being too big for him. To remedy this, Frank bought him a pair of toddler suspenders that he uses kind of a lot (and is very proud of). We never thought about how sweet he looks in them until he was getting ready for Church on Sunday and wearing his tiny suspenders... while brushing his teeth with his banana toothbrush (another favorite activity)... and my sister-in-law snapped these photos:

He's a dapper little man. (But not a Dapper Dan man. Name the movie?)

And finally, here's Christmas morning with his beloved Auntie Jenna ("Nenna") and Uncle Ethan ("Eating"). Yes, he genuinely believes his uncle's name is "Eating." I won't tell you what his nicknames for my siblings are, but they're even worse! :p

Merry Christmas, friends. Happy sixth day of Christmas, and may you have a lovely new year!


  1. I always enjoy reading your blog entries. Happy New Year :)

  2. Ha! That is US! Well, the accents and the Eagles and pork roll (which a box of is currently sitting in my fridge right now). Welcome to South Jersey. I hope you enjoyed your stay!

  3. Ha! That is US! Well, the accents and the Eagles and pork roll (which a box of is currently sitting in my fridge right now). Welcome to South Jersey. I hope you enjoyed your stay!