Merry Christmas

Santa found us far from home and treated us all very well this year. Although Brian does not agree with my collage mania, it is late at night and I wanted to post more photos than I should.

Brian got us a new lens for Christmas that is very exciting.

Colin looks a little dazed at the end of Christmas morning presents.

And our little Jane is ready to take off crawling and has two more teeth with two more close to cutting. She seems to be in a big hurry to grow up. She continues to be a very sweet little girl who is finding her voice more and more and can be very noisy.
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Today was Brian's first rehearsal since Tuesday since he had a day off and then a snow day. We maybe have 2 inches of snow but it does not take much snow to shut down Seattle. Brian decided to make a gingerbread house since every Christmas since 2003 he has intended to make one but every year he has not gotten around to it. He feels he had a lot of pent-up gingerbread house energy and went very crazy. He recognizes the insanity, but seems to kind of like it. It is a very darling 2 story Tudor with a shredded wheat thatched roof. Last night when he was almost done with it around midnight it started collapsing. He was up until 2am working on the emergency reinforcement. Crazy.

The windows are caramelized sugar.

Brian had to re-do most of the icicles since Colin woke up before us and put the icicles in the chimney. Then Colin found a bowl of decorating candy and was distracted long enough to not do more damage.

If I had been in charge of the gingerbread house we would have slapped graham crackers on a milk carton. Good work Brian, but yes, a little crazy.
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Brian, Jane and I got home from Boston Monday morning after 2 extra annoying hours on the plane due to some maintenance issues. We had to get ready to leave the next day for nearly three months this time! I kind of cannot believe we are gone for that long but we cannot complain to be working. We are in Seattle for Seattle Opera's "The Pearl Fishers" and the end of January we head to Raleigh, NC for "La Cenerentola". Here are some quick photos from the road trip from Utah to Seattle.Jane in Eden, ID (we think) at the Garden of Eden gas station/rest stop. After 6 months of not taking a binky, I gave her one to play with and it occasionally makes it in her mouth. She is asleep next to me right now with that very binky.

We were able to spend the night in Boise with Brian's cute grandparents. Colin was having a super tantrum because he wanted to take a helicopter that, as we told him, lives and grandpa and grandma's house. So charming.

Not from our trip but a recent photo of Jane and I.

We are fortunate to have a lot of family and friends in the Seattle area. We are currently staying at my sister's. This is her youngest child Maggie with Jane. Colin and Maggie are getting a long quite well and we are very happy to be here. We will also be spending a great deal of time with Brian's family when we have more time off . I wish we could be home for Christmas but better close to family than all alone.

Boston's Symphony Hall is beautiful.

The performances of Handel's Messiah went very well, even though Brian had a cold. Here was a nice little review:

“Making his Handel and Haydn Society debut was tenor Brian Stucki…He was completely at ease with the heartfelt “Comfort ye, my people” and sang his entire role flawlessly, delivering his words in the spirit of a story-teller, as did all of the other soloists. Emphases and tempi caused melody to flow, although sung, like the spoken word.”
Messiah, Handel and Haydn Society
Classical Voice of New England

The Handel and Haydn Society have performed Messiah for 155 consecutive years. Brian loved working with them.


Brian and I (and Jane) had a great weekend in Boston. Jane is a wonderful little traveler and everyone around us on our outgoing flight said they have never been by a more pleasant baby on an airplane. Colin and his Nana had a nice weekend also with only a couple of meltdowns. I missd Colin, but since we had to turn around the next day to leave for a big extended trip would have been very, very difficult. (Thanks Mom) It was my first time in Boston and it was lovely to see some of our country's history. We will have to go back and be real tourists since it was a hectic weekend with three performances.

I grew up reading "Makeway for Ducklings" so I enjoyed this tribute on the Boston Commons.

As we were walking Brian was commenting about how beautiful Boston Commons was in the Spring (since he had a concert that I was too pregnant to travel for in May). Right as he made this comment we stumbled upon this strange flowering tree. Hmm. . . Last January in Paris we also saw strange wintertime flowering trees.

When my Dad was in grad school in the early 1960's, my parents attended church in this building. We had a lot of family visit us this weekend from Connecticut and Vermont but I sadly never got a group shot. It was great to see Pat and April's family and Chelsea and Jake.

The Hadyn and Handel Society had a lovely meal for us after the last show. Here are 3/4 soloists, the conductor Paul Daniels and Michael Jendrysik who took good care of Brian.

Jane looks a little put out by being the only baby at a very adult dinner.

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We love the lights at Temple Square and headed over the last night Brian was in town. He is currently in Boston rehearsing for three Messiah concerts this weekend. Jane and I are joining him later in the week and Colin is going to have a fun weekend with Nana.

Brian was inchrage of the night photography as he is quite clever with the night photos. It was also a chance to play with our new camera.

Colin had to play with Lightning McQueen for a while.

I put Colin in a hat I bought in Peru 10 years ago for myself. He looked very cute.

Sometimes you have to touch the lights.

Thankfully as far as we know there have not been any more terror threats on the Temple. We pray for peace and tolerance of every one's beliefs.

Jane was over-bundled. It was quite a mild night.

Nana came with us, as did Elizabeth and her roommate Kim.

We met up with Zendina and family. The kids had a great time running around.

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My old college roommate Alisa was in town for Thanksgiving and let us meet her two children. Very cute little guy and gal.
When I was pregnant with Colin I was very happily invited to take their wedding photos on their beautiful day. Thanks for the visit!

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Some friends we met in Israel were in town and they came over for some photos. As Colin loves being in front of the camera, he kind of cannot help himself but get in photos.
Very cute family. We were so happy to find them when we were in Tel Aviv, and are lucky to have seen them a couple times since. They are expecting a new little girl next year and will head to Japan after Israel.

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Baby Will

We got to meet our cute nephew this week and took some photos. He's a very sweet little guy.

The baby kept sliding down the pillow we had with the backdrop so his dad decided to hold Will on his lap and hide. Brian helped by holding up the backdrop with both hands and one foot.
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It was a crazy Thanksgiving. Above is one of Brian's garden pumpkins that he had been saving to make extra special pie (below). It was very special, especially considering he has been working to make this pie for months.

The pie formed a star for the upcoming Christmas season.

I just liked this one.

Brian and Colin dug up more carrots from the garden Thanksgiving morning and Colin took the biggest one for his own. He really ate quite a bit of that carrot.

Brian's pecan pie, made with his secret weapon of Golden Syrup.

Just some baby cuteness.

The turkey fed us well.
Here was the complete menu:
Herbed roasted turkey (there was herb paste under the skin and surgically implanted in the breast meat)
Corn bread and Sausage stuffing
Fresh cranberry orange sauce
Mashed Potatoes
Sweet potato and apple casserole
Glazed carrots with toasted pecans and bacon (from the garden)
Brussels sprouts with Boursin and pine nuts
Amish honeyed beets (also from the garden)
Spinach salad
Parker house rolls
Pink Grape Juice (juiced from the vineyard by Mom)
Pumpkin pie
Pecan Pie

Things got too crazy with everyone eating to take any photos of our actual Thanksgiving, but here is the table a few minutes before dinner. Colin had a major meltdown right before dinner but happily bounced back.

Colin helped me test the light for Mallory's photos. He had a play-doh truck in his hand that Brian made. It was a fun night, thanks to lots of work from Brian and my Mom.

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