We took the over-land route to the stable across a few acres through a foot of remaining snow to deliver treats to Fletcher and pals, per Princess Magnificent who would hear nothing of using the driveway.
This is my official capacity: Ring leader. Shown here: A small portion of my circus.
One or both benevolent members of the road show are always at my heel. No Achilles, you need not tempt yourself.
You recognize this, I know. This is the first year my oldest child really knows what is happening. It's important Santa goes for the full ride. He digs chocolate chip, peanut butter cookies, with fleur de sel. Yah, Santa is pretty swank in the sweet tooth.
We were behind on this as naps ran much later than usual. But nonetheless, they baked during Christmas Eve dinner. No problem. Dinner, you ask? Lobster Newburg, tiny potato souffles, broiled tomatoes.
Santa came and turned on every single light in the house! And somewhere Little Augury and The Aesthete are certain they will have to come over to hang the drapes under the cornices as I complain bitterly they will only get in the way of the view.
Do not ask about the star on top of the tree. It is not a long story and very tragic. A new wound.
After we opened all the gifts and opened every single Santa toy and every secured part, we walked again. These are my lions in winter.
It was warm enough during the day. This is the mist rising from the hills. Though we arrived for Christmas only two days before from New York, Middleburg was suffering under the weight of winter for a week and half, it finally began to give way.
A painless lunch, Ruth Reichel's Matzo Brei, a big salad, artisan rolls, and a pinot noir. Matzo Brei: I will post the recipe for you. It is an outrageously underrated dish, and you need to ease into Christmas dinner, no?
Right, Christmas Dinner. The truth is, I did not take a lot of photos. This is the first time my girls have had a Christmas with Josh and that was the focus of this Navy family. Normally, I tell him from a world away how his babies are learning to walk, talk, and open gifts. Normally, Santa eludes him. But you see, this time, he was there for the light in their eyes, for the cookies, for their squeals. I got a little lost in that somewhere.
Dinner: Prime rib, Yorkshire pudding, roasted vegetables, pureed vegetable gravy. Who cares? What mattered was Daddy at a Christmas table. A Christmas novelty.
Night came. Morning followed. I was out with the dogs again.
A little impatience enters every life; mine caught here. Don't hold it against me.
And then it was done. For my baby girls, and their magical age, I wish I could hold on. This clock, lower right corner, how do I stop the freaking thing?