Who Got Who What

Update: We just learned that Chop Suey Books here in Richmond (in Carytown) is having a sale this Saturday with 10% off all local books (including signed copies of ours). Just wanted to save you some money if you’re still in the market for it. 

Yup, it’s time for the annual gifts-we-got-each-other post. Allow me to do some voice exercises. Mimimimi. Ok. Onnn the first day of Christmassss, my true love gave to meeeee… well, we’ll get to that in a moment. In general we like to treat the holidays as an awesome time to spend with friends and family while being grateful for what we have, so it’s really not all about gifts at our house (people over things and all that). But our tradition is to make Clara a few handmade items – like her fridge and her latchboard – and then we get each other a few “tokens” of our affection (we usually spend around $100 on each other over a few different items, give or take). But before we get to those, let’s recap Clara receiving the play fridge that we made for her.

If you saw our Instagram pics on Christmas morning you already got a taste of how happy the bean was about what Santa brought her. Of all the stuff that we had set out for her that morning (we moved everything into the living room so it’d be near the tree to “open”) – the things she loved the most were the play eggs. Which makes sense, since she had specifically asked Santa for “eggs and ice cream.” No joke.

And of course, since she was so hilarious last year, we video taped the whole thing.

So here’s a little edited-down and subtitled version of how the morning went. It started off a bit rocky when she wondered where her Santa balloon was (the grocery store only had a snowman this year) but things picked up when the eggs were discovered…

After about 20 minutes of play kitchen time, we migrated back over to the Christmas tree to see what else was in store for us. Note: about 70% of those presents were for or from friends/family members since we usually just exchange a few things each.

Clara ripped through a couple of gifts from other family members – stickers, markers, clothes, Legos, and a warm winter hat that she already calls her “pigtails” (thanks to those long braids on the sides).

And Burger got a bag full of his favorite bone treats among a few other tasty delights. He loves them so much he even got out of bed before noon for them. What a guy.

When the “kids” were sufficiently distracted by their bounty, Sherry and I took a moment to exchange ours. Sherry picked up on my recent declaration that I need new t-shirts and gifted me a nice stack of tees from Fab.com (my recent go-to source for them). I love Virginia, mazes, bikes, and NY, so it was pretty cool that they all had some meaning while still just being comfy T-shirts that made me want to hug my wife with gratitude for not buying me a tie.

Sherry’s recently been toying with the idea of getting a tattoo (I’m 99% sure she’s just messing with me), so (you know, to mess with her back) I got her some temporary ones from Tattly just for fun.

I even threw in a kids’ monster pack for Clara to enjoy with us. That ended up being the biggest hit, and within a few minutes we were all sporting matching ink on our arms.

I also got her one of these porcelain cottage lanterns from Ballard Designs that she mentioned in her lady-gift roundup (they’re no longer available, but they’re similar to these). I got her the big one and my sister and mom got her the other two smaller ones. Could white ceramic buildings be the new white ceramic animal? Sherry cooed over them for a while, and now they live on our mantel so I’d venture to say they were a hit.

Sherry’s very good at dropping specific hints (think emails entitled “think Santa knows that I love this?”) so I astutely picked up on the notion that she’d love this colorful pillow from House of Pillows on Etsy.

And last but not least, it wouldn’t be Christmas without Sherry getting some earrings. So I got her these emerald-colored ones from Kendra Scott (they look a little more teal in this picture than they are in real life). She loves that they’re giant and colorful and I love that they look like arrowheads. Everyone wins.

The picture above is actually at my mom and dad’s house, where we moseyed over to after our small-family-present-opening activities wrapped up (Christmas pun!) at our place. Over there we had a casual Christmas lunch with my parents, sisters, brother-in-laws, nephews, and even my aunt, uncle, cousins and their kids came down for the day from Northern Virginia. And yes, there was more present opening.

Clara’s favorite gift from “second Christmas” were these Make-A-Face stickers from her cousin Elsa.

It actually may be my new favorite present too, because watching the faces Clara puts together is HIGH-larious. Above you can see Sherry helping her with the placement of that first eye, but we soon learned that it’s far more fun to let her do it all. So we help her get the stickers off the sticker page, but the placement on the faces is all hers:

But like any Christmas, the best part was the family time that we got to spend through it all. Here’s Clara clocking some quality girl time with her cousin Elsa.

And here we are after discovering that we were accidentally dressed somewhat similarly. Minus the fur boots.

And perhaps the most amusing /unusual part of the day was the makeshift indoor playground that my dad set up in his garage to help keep all of the little kids occupied (there were 6 kids under the age five here, mind you) and out of the lunch-maker’s way in the house. As weird as it looks, it was a great way to let them burn off some energy (yes that’s a slow slide leading to an empty baby pool). So if ever you mistake us for being super classy or remarkably fancy, just remember this was part of our Christmas. And it was totally awesome.

That was pretty much how our Christmas looked. And you already got the drill about Christmas dinner at our house on Monday.

So, how’d your holidays go? What did you give/get? Did any special family events occur (we learned two of our cousins are pregnant!) or were any new traditions started?


  1. Amelinda says

    I LOVE the video of Clara, she is so well spoken :) Weird question: how did you set up the camera to take the pictures of the faces Clara made? They don’t look like you just stood above them and took pictures, but they’re great! Also, it was a pretty great Christmas for me, I got engaged. Pretty much the best year ever.

  2. says

    Umm totally loving the make shift indoor playground for the kids! What a great idea!!! My daughter would totally love those face stickers! Our holiday was busy busy running around (and we had a very grumpy toddler)… but it was nice to see our families! Next year I want everyone to come here but I suppose that’s not very fair now is it?!

  3. Karen F says

    awww, glad you all had a great Christmas! Thanks for sharing that video with us – very cute! I love Clara’s word “lasturday”, and think it should be a real word!

    So, did you go to John’s parents during the day, and then everyone came over to your place later for dinner?

    Also, it’s very sweet and awesome that John’s dad set up that play area in the garage. My parents have 9 grandkids (mine are 2 of the youngest) so they are kinda over doing things like that, although I wish they still did, like they did when the older grandkids were little! Now my mom has breakable items everywhere, and I’m constantly following my kids to make sure they don’t accidentally break one of Grandma’s things. The irony is that my mom broke a wine glass herself on Christmas!

  4. Anika says

    It’s awesome getting to peek into the family part of your lives every so often – looks like christmas was a great success. I can’t believe how big clara looks in the video and all the pictures; where did the time go!? Also, I think I may have to try Sherry’s tactics of directly emailing “santa” a wish list, ha. Thanks for sharing with us Petersiks!

  5. Chris Froberg says

    Love the sweet video of Clara – what a fun thing to cherish. We taped our Xmas morning with our 3 little ones (ages 5,3, and 1) – and they love to watch it already. You both are amazing parents – Clara is one lucky girl.

  6. Heather says

    The video of Clara is adorable! I can’t get over how much she talks – she’s definitely the firstborn and not babytalked lol!

    • says

      The two black cabinets are just storage and they actually got a new stove and fridge for each other for the holidays, so those are waiting in the garage to be sold on Craigslist.


  7. Debbie says

    We only exchanged one gift each this year, I got a new land rover (an upgrade to my older model range rover) & the BF got the maserati he wanted. we already knew we were getting these gifts since they had to be order well in advance & trucked/shipped in (literally) from other parts of the country/world. I wasnt actually supposed to get my rover until after the first of the year, but apparently it arrived early & i was surprised to find it in our driveway christmas morning w/ a big ol stupid bow on it (an inside joke since the BF knows how much i hate that), but he INSISTED to the point of throwing a hissy fit that we drive it to my family get together w/ the bow still on top. i relented since, even though the maserati was delivered for xmas, that is not a ND winter car so he just gets to park it in his fleet until summer. we were backing out of the driveway when another car coming from the other direction slams on its brakes & the driver jumps out waving his arms like a crazy person pointing to the roof of the rover because he was sure we left a present on the top of our car thanks to that damn bow. i was both mortified & vindicated.

  8. says

    Not finished reading yet, but I love, love Clara’s pajamas. I wish that they were for grown-ups!

    I think it will be so great one day when Clara realizes the truth about Santa and realizes that you guys actually made the play kitchen and fridge for her.

    • hjc says

      Alexis – Why would you need grown-up pajamas? From your picture, you’re obviously just a kid! :-)

    • Anya says

      That was my favorite part too! I definitely laughed out loud. Clara is just too cute. You must be proud parents, what an awesome kiddo!

  9. Lisa says

    You need to do a post specifically on John’s feet. His big toe is so separated from the rest of them. Note the first photo where he’s pointing to the refrigerator, and another post where he’s standing on the windowsill in your laundry room. It would make for some interesting reading. And then you could end it with him putting on some fur boots :)

    • says

      Oh yes, I call that his “parking space” – because there’s room for my big toe to park in there. The funny thing is that his best friend growing up had the same feet, so John 1) thought it was normal, and 2) theorized that it might have happened since they both wore flip flops a lot. Hahah!


    • says

      My mom has the same “space” between her big toe and second toe and SWEARS it’s from wearing flip flops growing up. So, I was never allowed to wear them until I bought my first pair…in college. My family is crazy. And now I wear flip flops in the winter for quick things like getting mail or going to the car. I figure I’m making up for lost time.

    • says

      I tried not to comment but I just can’t help myself! haha Seriously, I wrote a comment cancelled it, closed your blog and yet here I am again.

      Have to ask, does John know his big toe has been discussed?

      And, for the record, his toe is totally normal…maybe everyone else’s toes are off ;)

    • Erin says

      Oh no! I’ve lived in Florida, wearing flip flops my whole life and never thought anything about my feet. Now I’m having a toe complex after reading these comments!

    • says

      I don’t think it’s just flip flops — it’s from not wearing constricting shoes. I either didn’t wear shoes as a kid or wore ones that were big for me (I still do this as an adult, much to the chagrin of shoe managers everywhere). I also did a lot of dance. Anyway, all my toes are pretty well spaced from this. If you give your toes room to spread out, they’ll spread out.

    • Lori Wojciechowski says

      My whole family has toes like this, so I always thought it was normal growing up. It wasn’t until college I learned it was not normal.

  10. Christy W. says

    Oh man, those Clara faces! THE best! I especially like Lady Lemon Cheeks and Not-so-sure Nelly (below Lemon Cheeks). And the video! Thanks so much for sharing this stuff. You guys are cool. Totes!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *