Conetta Christmas 2014

Tommy and I drove down to CT on Tuesday to spend Christmas at my parents’ house. In our family Christmas Eve is the big celebration. This year our best family friends and my PopPop joined us for the occasion.
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We spent the day prepping hors d’oeuves, dinner, desserts and drinks. We also got creative to fit fifteen people around one dinner table. We made a T out of the dining room table and a folding table and collected every single chair in the house for seating. Even though we had to mix and match plates, glassware and flatware the end result was still beautiful and cohesive.
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On the dinner menu we had shrimp cocktail, eggplant parmesan, chicken parmesan with spinach, lobsters, salad, stuffed clams and Italian bread. For dessert we had carrot cake, nutella fudge, anisette cookies, all kinds of Italian cookies and chocolate truffles.
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All the food was delicious, but the more exciting part was the people. I hadn’t been “home” in six months which is a really long stretch for me. Dennis was back from school in Rhode Island, the Rocca-Billings-Keogler family came from all over Connecticut and Vermont, and PopPop joined us from up the street. The last time we were all in the same place was at our wedding back in September.
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I am so grateful to call this beautiful and crazy bunch of people my family. We have the most fun together and they make my heart feel so full. Last year, we were all eagerly awaiting Owen’s arrival and this year he is just shy of celebrating his first birthday. Having a baby to run around and play with made Christmas feel extra special this year. He even helped his very talented Dad serenade us with Christmas songs as we waited for dinner to be ready.
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2014 has been an exciting year. Owen was born, Nick graduated high school, Tommy and I got married, my mom and Ian started new jobs, Dennis finished his second undergraduate degree (and landed a research position that will bring him back to school next semester to do a senior thesis while working in the URI labs), Trevor and two friends purchased a brewery, and Casey finished up the last of her classes for her Masters program (she has one semester of student teaching left).
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We toasted all these things and more at dinner. Once we were stuffed full we moved into the living room to open presents and digest a bit before dessert.
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After all the presents were opened, Casey had a surprise for everyone – a gallery showing of the art she made in her painting class this past semester. There were two still lifes, two nudies (her retelling of painting a live nude model in class was a riot), and two self portraits.
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Isn’t she talented? That’s a nudie from the waist down, if you can’t tell. When she finished her showing we reconvened at the table for dessert. Then it was time for the second annual Just Dance showdown. Last year Casey bought Dennis the game Just Dance for his Wii and it made for hours of entertainment after Christmas Eve dinner. This year Dennis and Kristen were once again our resident champions.
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Before we knew it it was time to say goodbye and get ready for bed. Another happy holiday for the books. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!


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