Category Archives: Family

Prelude to Easter

Rebecca, Catherine, Esme and I are out in Townsend, Massachusetts for the weekend. We’re staying at Rebecca’s parents’ house and spending Easter with them. It’s always great to get away for a little bit and be with people who mean a lot to you. Today, after a brief shopping trip around the North Shore, we headed up to Townsend. Our first order of business was coloring some Easter eggs. This year we had a batch of incredible colors. Just look!

Easter eggs

Easter eggs

After coloring the eggs, we all drove out to Ashby to visit Trap Falls. It’s always been a favorite spot of ours. There’s a little picnic area, a rushing stream, sunlight pleasantly filtering through pine trees, a short hiking trail and rocks to climb, and of course, the Falls. Here you can see Catherine and Grandpa sitting up above the falls.

Catherine and Grandpa at the Falls

Catherine and Grandpa at the Falls

After our trip to the falls, we made a quick stop at home to do a quick bit of net fishing in the pond behind the house. We didn’t come up with much except a few salamanders!



We then headed out to dinner at Griffing’s Side Trax, formerly known as the Riverside, a restaurant just across the border in Brookline, New Hampshire. Good service, very kind friendly, delicious food. Catherine ordered exactly what she wanted (mashed potatoes and apple sauce) and had no complaints. Esme had no complaints about the pork loin Nonni shared with her! We all headed home stuffed and ready for bed.

You can see all the photos from the day in the gallery.

Tomorrow will be church at TCCUCC, then Easter dinner here at the Lowes’ house. Corey and Vicky will be coming out tomorrow, too!

For those of you who celebrate Easter, I hope that you’re able to enjoy the day, and that it will be one of rest, peace, and remembrance of the miracle of Christ’s resurrection.

Nice Pre-Busy-Weekend Afternoon

This is going to be a busy weekend – tomorrow I am heading into Cambridge for WordCamp Boston. I’ll be there from early in the morning until probably late in the evening, learning about WordPress for work (and I’m sure I’ll pick up a few things for personal use, too, wink wink). On Sunday I’ll be getting up veeery early to go in to work to assist the team with some maintenance tasks.

Today, however, I got out of work early (to compensate for the work on Sunday), and so I went home and picked up Catherine and Esme, to get them out of the house for a few hours so Rebecca could have a few moments to herself. We headed down to Jordan’s Furniture to hang out. If you’re not from around here, you need to understand that although it is at its core a furniture store, it also has some non-furniture stuff inside: an IMAX theater, a continuous light/water/music show, a trapeze school, a candy store and ice cream shop, and more. In fact, it’s a fun way to kill a few hours for zero cost.

The Light and Water Show

The Light and Water Show

After Jordan’s, we drove back up to the North Shore Mall to our favorite eatery, Chipotle, where we met Rebecca for dinner. Everyone enjoyed their meal and it was a nice way to spend the late afternoon together.

You can see some more photos from our afternoon in the gallery.

The 2000s: Decade In Review

Rebecca and I have now lived in at least part of five decades: the 70s, the 80s, the 90s, the ’00s, and now we’re on the first day of the ’10s! It seems somewhat appropriate that this most recent decade was the 00’s, as in many ways we were starting over from scratch. This was the decade when our adult lives started to form, the decade when many of the foundational moments happened. Now, let’s review.

2000 – The Start of Something Beautiful

The start of a new decade! Rebecca and I finished our junior years at Gordon College and went into our senior years. We had started hanging out in the last semester of our junior year, corresponded over the summer, and then started dating the first semester of our senior year. That first date will forever be commemorated as 091600! May of 2000 was also when I first started my job at CBD – full-time co-op during the summer, part time during my senior year.

2001 – Goodbye Gordon

We graduated from Gordon in May of 2001, I with a BS in Computer Science, Rebecca with a BA in History. I moved to Woburn and started working full-time at CBD. Rebecca moved back to Townsend and started working at the Tsongas Industrial History Center.

2002 – Wedding Bells

Rebecca and I got engaged in 2002, at a Cranberries concert in Boston. We spent the next five months planning our wedding, and were married on October 26, 2002. We had a beautiful reception at Townsend Congregational Church’s brand-new reception hall, and flew off on a honeymoon that took us to sights in Spain: Malaga, Marbella, Seville, Ronda, and also into the British Territory of Gibraltar.

2003 – Travel!

This was a huge year for travel. As a newly-married, double-income, no-kids couple, we drove and flew all over the place. We visited Portland, Maine, Portland, Oregon, San Francisco, Mount Vernon, Ohio, Boston, Lenox, MA, and more. We took every opportunity we could get, and then some!

2004 – Lying Low

After all of the travel in 2003, 2004 was a bit more subdued. We started paying off the debts that I had accumulated during my pre-married years, but still managed to do a bit of travel. One highlight was taking a camping trip to Niagara Falls with Mark and Kirsten! Yes, you can camp just down the street from all of the casinos and waterfalls because these guys know what they are talking about! We also started making plans for the next few years…

2005 – Russia and the Road Ahead

One of our big plans was to travel to Russia and visit my cousin Kim. We researched, planned, bought plane tickets, got visas, and finally took our trip! We spent nearly two weeks visiting Moscow and Saint Petersburg, meeting Kim’s friends, visiting historic sites, seeing beautiful Russian architecture and culture, and expanding our horizons. We just happened to be there for the Victory Day celebrations, as well as for Orthodox Easter, both of which brought many colorful traditions and celebrations. It was definitely one of the most amazing trips we’ve taken.

2006 – Catherine

One other big plan was to start a family, and on May 26, 2006 we welcomed Catherine Elinor! Catherine charmed us and everyone she met with her “alertness” and general curiosity about the world around her. This was also the year that Rebecca made the decision to become a full-time mama – the job she’d had her eye on for a long time! We were happy to be able to rearrange our anchor finances to make it happen. We spent a lot of time with folks who had come to meet Catherine, or traveling to visit friends and family.

In 2006, we also started looking to buy a house of our own. We looked at many different places, but finally found one we liked right at the end of 2006…

2007 – New House

…and in the beginning of 2007, we went to take a look at it! It was a foreclosure, and on first glance looked a bit small for our needs, but we soon discovered that it had an unfinished basement. So we went ahead and made the purchase! We spent much of 2007 making improvements to the house – painting, furnishing, making small repairs, having the deck redone, and finally having a set of stairs built down to the basement. This paved the way for our basement finishing project in 2008.

2008 – Finishing the basement

In 2008, we spent much of the year on and off working on the new house. The biggest project was finishing the basement. We did most of the work ourselves, with some help from my father-in-law Ken, and some local electricians and plumbers. It was an incredible learning experience with building codes, permits, planning, framing, drywalling, painting, and flooring. When we were finished, we had nearly doubled the square footage of our home and created a place where our family could work, play, craft, code, and be together.

2009 – Esme

The highlight of 2009 was the birth of our second daughter, Esme, on March 5. Suddenly, we had become a family of four! We spent the year getting adjusted to our new life, visiting with family and friends, and watching Esme grow. We also got more involved with our church this year, made some new friends, and took our first big road trip as a family of four.

Looking Ahead

Now it’s time to think about the decade ahead. In the past decade we’ve gotten married, traveled, started a family, bought a house, and learned a lot. In short, we’ve put together the pieces to start building a future. But what does that future hold? We don’t know right now, but we’re excited to figure it out!

How was your decade?

2009: The Year In Review

Here we are at the end of another year. It’s been a wonderful but exhausting one for me and the rest of the Wood household! Here are some of the highlights of the year:

Peter’s big project

In February of 2009, I coordinated the launch of a project at work, one which was the biggest of my career so far. This project had taken up much of the year in 2008, but ultimately culminated in 2009. I also ended up getting pretty burned out from this project, and Rebecca and Catherine put up with plenty of grumpiness from me. Shortly after the project was launched, and coincidentally, we had a layoff at work. Thankfully I was spared from the layoff, but many people I knew were not, and it created added stress for us all.


Rebecca gave birth to Esme on March 5, 2009, just weeks after I completed the aforementioned big project. Interestingly, her pregnancy and this project lasted about the same length of time!. Since then, we have enjoyed watching as Esme grows up, interacts with her big sister and the world around her, and learns new things. Her latest talents are pointing at things, saying the rudiments of some words, crawling, standing, and cruising. She even has a ‘rascally’ attitude when we catch her doing something she’s not supposed to. So cute! It’s true that we have also endured many sleepless nights and the stresses of adjusting to two children, but I feel that it’s a small price to pay for a relatively short time for the privilege of raising these two girls.

July Road Trip

July saw our first big road trip as a family of four: we drove from Danvers to Stony Point, NY to attend the wedding of our friends Jenn and Matt, where Rebecca was the matron of honor, then on to Philadelphia for some sightseeing, then out to Mount Vernon, Ohio to visit my parents and for the wedding of our friends Will and Michelle, then back to Danvers with stops in Mentor, OH and Rome, NY. We had a great time being together as a family for that whole time, seeing some fascinating sights, and also a wonderful time at the weddings.

Peter R. Wood Photography

This summer, I started my photography business, Peter R. Wood Photography. I had some great clients and I’m looking forward to more in 2010. If you’re interested in getting some great portraits for just $50, head on over to and check our my portfolio, services, and pricing. I started implementing Cloudpay payroll services to manage my payments more efficiently as well.


Every summer, we get to spend time on Martha’s Vineyard at Rebecca’s parents’ summer cottage. This summer was no different, though for money-saving reasons we didn’t make as many trips as we have in the past. We went down for several weekends, the girls went down for a week while I stayed at home, and then we all came down for a week in late September as a family vacation. It’s always a relaxing time, such a nice getaway from every day life, and a welcome respite from the hectic nature of life at home.

Birthdays and Anniversaries

Rebecca turned 30 on January 10, Esme turned 0 on March 5, Catherine turned 3 on May 26, and I turned 31 on October 6. That’s 64 collective years of life experience! Rebecca and I celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary on October 26. On April 1 we celebrated two years of living in our new home. And on May 19 I marked nine years of employment.


The biggest financial accomplishment of the year was paying off my student loan! Now we have our sights set on the car loan and Rebecca’s student loan.

In Closing

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this look back at our year of 2009. If you have any favorite memories you’ve shared with us, please leave a comment. We’d also like to hear about your year, so please feel free to link to your own site or just share your own stories in the comments.

Stay tuned for “2000s: The Decade in Review!”

Christmas Past

We finished up Christmas with the Lowes on Saturday. We woke up and had a lazy morning, playing with the girls, watching TV, having breakfast, making cupcakes…

The ladies in the kitchen

The ladies in the kitchen

We also took the opportunity to sit down for some family Christmas photos:

Ken and Dianne

Ken and Dianne

Ken, Dianne, Catherine and Esme

Ken, Dianne, Catherine and Esme

Rebecca, Peter, Catherine and Esme

Rebecca, Peter, Catherine and Esme

You can see all of the photos from the day after Christmas in our gallery.

In the afternoon, Rebecca’s aunt and uncle Gabi and Tom came over, along with their boys, and Corey and Vicky came back as well for a little post-Christmas get-together. Catherine had a ton of fun with “her brothers” as she calls them (they’re actually first cousins once removed, but since we have a photo of them on our refrigerator and we told her that they’re brothers, she calls them her brothers). We then had to pack our car full of luggage and loot (it really was full to the max) and head home. We stopped at “Pote-cho-le” on the way home, got the essentials unpacked, and since Saturday evening we’ve been in the process of unpacking, sorting out the gifts, deciding what to do with everything, and getting the house cleaned up. The holiday has been tiring, but it’s always good to be with your loved ones, to share some good food and laughs, and have some other people around whose names your kid can call on other than you (COREY! VICKY! NONNI! GRANDPA!!!).

I hope that all of our readers had a great Christmas! Feel free to share your own Christmas stories in our comments, or links to your own blog posts, photos, status updates, etc. If you hadn’t already, you can read about Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, pt. 1, and Christmas Day, pt. 2.

Snowy Service at Dane Street

Today we braved the snow (not too hard thanks to our trusty Subaru and its all-wheel drive) and drove to Dane Street for church this morning. There were a few dozen brave souls there, and we all congregated a bit closer together than usual. Catherine bounced around from pew to pew, hanging out with various friends during the service (as there was no children’s church today).

Catherine with Susie and Kelsey

It may have taken a bit more work to get out than normal, but we wanted to be sure to go, since we’re going to be out in Townsend with Rebecca’s family for Christmas Eve and will be missing our own church’s service. It was a great last Sunday service before Christmas.

More pics here.

Party Weekend!

It’s getting closer to Christmas, and that means more parties! This weekend we trekked to two!

First was the Lowes’ traditional Christmas brunch in Townsend, MA on Saturday. Rebecca’s parents put this event on every year, and it’s one of my favorites. 🙂 Dianne cooks a ton of delicious food, and their house is filled with many friends from Townsend. One of my favorites from this year was the pineapple souffle. Mmmmmhmmm.



It’s also good to catch up with the folks in Townsend, and this year there were three new babies on the scene.

New babies!

New babies!

More photos from the brunch here.

Today our friends Zach and Andrea had a Christmas party at their home in Quincy, and we headed down for that as well. We ran into some of the same folks from the Lowes’ party, including the same babies. 🙂 Catherine and Esme enjoyed joining the other kids in the limelight and got plenty of attention from their Uncle Corey.

Corey and his Nieces

Corey and his Nieces

More photos from Zach and Andrea’s party here.

Now we just have a few weeks left before Christmas and all of the get-togethers surrounding it. Nothing planned for next weekend – yet!

Thirty-first at the Ninety-nine

For my Thirty-first birthday, I went out to dinner with Rebecca, Catherine and Esme at one of my favorite restaurants, The 99. Or, I guess just “99” as it’s apparently called now. In addition to a delicious dinner, I enjoyed the company of my three favorite girls, and received some great presents.

Birthday Boy

Birthday Boy

Rebecca bought me a used copy of 1000 Places to See Before You Die. We’ve always looked at the book together in bookstores, thought about all of the places we’d like to go, and reviewed all of the places we *have* been. I’m looking forward to reading it and dreaming of future adventures. As an added bonus, she created a personalized quiz to help guide me through the book. And, she inscribed the book, but it wasn’t the first inscription! It was already inscribed by the previous person who gifted it to the previous owner! Who knows what happened between those two… 😉

I also received an apron designed by Catherine. She did an original drawing and wrote out my name, and then Rebecca turned it into embroidery on the apron. I’m very excited to finally have my own apron, and it’s now hanging up in the kitchen beween Rebecca and Catherine’s aprons.

Papa and Catherine and the Apron

Papa and Catherine and the Apron

When we got home, there was more fun awaiting, as Rebecca and Catherine had made angel food cupcakes for me! They were covered with homemade peach jam… so delicious.

Mmm... cupcakes

Mmm... cupcakes

Thanks to Rebecca, Catherine, and Esme for making it such a great birthday. Thanks to all the other folks, too, who wished me a happy birthday. Hoping this will be a great year!

You can see all of the photos from my birthday events.

August on Martha’s Vineyard

(No, not with the Obamas!)

Catherine and Esme and I spent a week on MV with my parents in August. We had a great time, Esme enjoyed her first Illumination and Fireworks, spent time at the beach and the Flying Horses and the Farmer’s Market. Esme may also be the only person I know who has a friend that is almost exactly 101 years older than her. Wow!

Here’s a few pictures and you can check out the rest of the group here.

Squeezing out the last drops of Summer

With Summer slowly winding down to a close, we’re trying to squeeze out all the outdoor goodness that we can, particularly in terms of outings with the whole family. There is no better way for me to unwind after a day at work than to come home, jump in the car with the ladies and head to a park, beach, or other destination. I wanted to share a few photos from some recent outings.

Papa and Esme at Winagaersheek

Papa and Esme at Wingaersheek

Wingaersheek Beach is a terrific beach up in Gloucester that is normally pretty pricey. But get there late enough in the day, and the ticket booths are closed, so you can go for free. Above, Esme and I pose for a photo on the beach. She loves riding on my shoulders! See more photos from Wingaersheek.

Catherine at the wading pool

Catherine at the wading pool

Bradley Palmer State Park has a very nice wading pool and play area. It’s extremely popular with the kiddos on hot summer days, and the cost is $5 to park, if you’re lucky enough to get in before the lot fills up. Kids can have a ball in the pool while mom and/or dad relax poolside, or join in the fun if they so desire. And there is a playground in the same space, so your little ones can go wild and run from the water directly to the playground and back. We took a picnic up there and had a blast in the pool. See more photos from the Bradley Palmer Wading Pool.

Catherine climbs a tree

Catherine climbs a tree

Today we took a trip up to Manchester-by-the-Sea. Our intent was to visit Coolidge Reservation and the Ocean Lawn, but the 10-slot parking lot was filled up, so we turned around and went back to downtown Manchester where we had a picnic at Masconomo Park. The park is situated right on the waterfront, and has a great grassy area, a nice playground, some really cool climbing trees, and views of the Manchester harbor. It’s also dangerously close to Captain Dusty’s, a local ice cream shop, to which we made a delicious trip. Try the “Groovy Smoothie” if you go there. It’s $4.99, but worth every penny for its deliciousness. See more photos from Masconomo Park.

There are still a few weeks of summer left, so who knows what adventures we may still have?