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Jackie and her cohort Drew had their first real taste of snow after several inches fell in Raleigh last night and this morning. Of course, 20 minutes of getting the little ones ready led to only 15 minutes of good sledding before the youngsters got cold and ornery, but we really had a blast. I’m proud to say that Jackie and I held our own in head-to-head racing with the Blair duo from down the street.

Big thanks to Sarah B. for scoring sleds and snow boots for us to use — it wasn’t easy for new parents to find these high-demand items in the Triangle yesterday, but she came through for us.


Well, the child’s birthday and Christmas will be combined for the rest of her life, so I might as well do the same with the blog post that documents year one.

The Jones family, minus Baxter (who doesn’t travel well), went west for the Christmas holiday. Since we’ve been married, and because our parents live pretty far away from each other, Katie and I alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings every year. In 2009, we spent the week of Christmas with the Burns crew in Waynesville.

It was a snowy, relaxing holiday week, and we even got to catch up with the some friends in Asheville one night. Most of the time though, we hung out with Katie’s family indoors, waiting for Jackie to do something funny/cute/interesting. Nana taught her a few tricks during the week, including the sliding-rear-end-stair-descent (featured in the video below). And, no one entertained her or intrigued her more than PopPop when he donned his mechanical Santa hat (also in the video).

We also celebrated Jackie’s first birthday (on the 23rd), which she shares with her Aunt Holly (who surprised us by arriving the night before). It was a blast, except for the fact that my parents and brother and sister-in-law couldn’t make the party due to the snow and ice that blanketed the western part of North Carolina. We were able to visit them to start the new year — I’ll post pictures from our trip to Boone as soon as I have time to go through them.

The small cake (for Jackie) and the big cake (for the rest of us) came from The Sisters McMullen Bakery in downtown Asheville. I can’t rave about them enough, and trust me, I’ve had my share of sweet treats in my 32 years.

Jackie was funny about eating her cake, as you can see for yourself in the video below. I like to think she’s a civilized child — it wasn’t until she was given a fork that she really started to dig in. This was her first taste of refined sugar and she didn’t seem too fond of it.

There are a slew of fantastic pictures from our holiday, but I’ll have to put them in a future post when I have more time.

Robah made the trip with us to western North Carolina for Christmas. It was a lot of fun for me to see a dog born on Emerald Isle frolic in 18 inches of snow.

Baxter had to stay home, but don’t feel too bad for him. While Robah and I were out in the snow, Baxter was snuggled up in a bed at home, where Sarah was looking after him.

The first 20 seconds of the clip below show the fun part of his time in the winter wonderland. The last part of the video shows the scariest moment of our holidays. The 112-pound dog from the beach thought he could walk across a frozen pond. I closed the camera after I realized he was in trouble and thought I would have to go in after him, but it was much more traumatic for me than it was for him — he hopped right out of the frigid water and continued his romp through the snow.

I was convinced that the effects of hypothermia would set in at any minute. He wasn’t a bit bothered by the ordeal. That’s Robah for you…whatta good boy.

Jackie is no longer a baby now that she is walking here, there, and everywhere. Before Christmas she had a breakthrough — 12 or 14 consecutive steps. A few days after Christmas, with burgeoning confidence, she was walking anytime she had the chance. Nowadays, it’s not unusual to see her do a lap around our foursquare house with a sippy cup in one hand and a maraca shaking in the other. Here’s some video from December 29, 2009.

Image from Raleigh

Urban dirt-biking

I took this post-apocalyptic picture outside Jones Barber Shop in Raleigh last year.