Category Archives: Friends

Welcome, Baby Ericsson!

Tonight, Rebecca, Catherine, Esme and I headed over to Beverly Hospital for the first time as a family since Esme was born. The occasion was to visit our friends the Ericssons, and to meet their new baby boy!

Catherine and baby Ericsson

Catherine and baby Ericsson

Baby boy Ericsson was born on Ash Wednesday, and it appears that the whole Ericsson family is doing well and enjoying their time together. We had a good time visiting them, too. The girls loved getting to see a new baby, and Rebecca and I reminisced about our own experiences in Beverly Hospital’s maternity ward, two years ago with Esme and almost five years ago with Catherine. I even got to take a few photos, more of which you can see in our gallery.

Best wishes and many prayers to the Ericsson family for their new life together.

A Day of Friends and Unicorns

Two great things happened today.

First, we had a wonderful lunch with Jackie. She’s in town on business from the West Coast and we were very glad that she could fit us into her schedule.

While out at lunch, Catherine told me that she wanted to make some decorations during Esme’s nap. “What sort of decorations?” I naively asked. “Unicorn decorations!” Catherine whispered. Well, okay!

So, once back at home, we got to work. My first attempts were pretty crude. Drawing is not my best talent!

Catherine and I collaborated on this last one. Definitely the best unicorn picture of the day!

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! 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 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.

Esme

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 prwphoto.net and check our my portfolio, services, and pricing.

Vineyard

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.

Financial

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!”

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

Deliciousness

Deliciousness

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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!

Summer Road Trip 2009: Part 2: Visiting Friends and Family

I love the Internet (and sites like this blog and Facebook) because it enables me to keep in close contact to friends and family that are spread out over the country and world. But there is nothing quite like seeing loved ones in person, so we cherished the time we spent with them this trip, even if for the shortest of times!

Sorry for the shininess, Jenn!

Sorry for the shininess, Jenn!

Self portrait with Nose and Cheek

Self portrait with Nose and Cheek

Despite the craziness of wedding preparations Jenn and I were able to squeeze in some time together. On Friday night she and I and Esme grabbed some dinner at the American Dreams Diner, or “the Shiny Diner” as it is known among the Bresnans. Amidst mirrors and loud decor we chatted and enjoyed some yummy breakfast burrito-type meals.


We also met up the next day with Jenn’s mom and other bridesmaids at the Westwood Diner. Yes, two diners in two days. The five of us had a great time gabbing and relaxing before heading off to get ready for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

When we bid farewell to New York and New Jersey after the wedding we headed south to the City of Brotherly Love. While in Philadelphia we met up with Gordon pal, Amanda Thomson and her boyfriend Rich. The six of us had dinner at Pietro’s Pizza. The coal fired pizza was delicious and the conversation pleasant. Catherine even took a turn at serving some slices. Regrettably (and you’ll find this hard to believe) we have no photos from the evening. We’ll be sure to take some the next time we meet up!

Rebecca, Esme and Sarah

Rebecca, Esme and Sarah

Catherine and Grandpa

Catherine and Grandpa

Once we hit Ohio the socializing ramped up. We spent a lovely lunchtime in Mansfield with several members of the Carter Clan on Thursday. A visit to the Richland Carousel was enjoyed by all; boys and girls, young and old(er), pregnant and non…

While we loved seeing so many Carters; Dave, Katie, Becky, Luke, Caleb, Sarah and Steve, we missed having Auntie Kirsten and Uncle Mark along for the fun.




On Friday morning we headed to Columbus for a visit with the (recently expanded) Neuharth family. We were thrilled to finally meet baby Elena and, as Heather wrote recently, “When Baby Esme Caroline and Baby Elena Elizabeth were introduced by their mothers on Friday, the two babies smiled at each other. They observed carefully, as though theyโ€™d met before somewhere and were glad to meet again. “

Preparing Lunch

Preparing Lunch

Heather and I and the babies visited the Friday morning Moms group at nearby Sprout Soup while the Dads and Catherine hung out at the playground. After lunch we headed home, sad to leave good friends behind.

All dressed up for W&Ms wedding

All dressed up for W&M's wedding

Catherine and Esme had a great time with Grandma and Grandpa Wood. They splashed in the backyard wading pool, swung on the swing set and had hours of fun playing playdough, Mr. Potato Head and Memory on the breezeway. We all enjoyed good meals together and Peter and I even got some time out- we had a nice date to Ruby Tuesday’s and saw Harry Potter.

Blowing Bubbles!

Blowing Bubbles!

Heading towards home on Sunday we stopped in Mentor, OH to meet up with Melanie. Normally we swing through and visit her at work (and let Catherine run around the Children’s Library) but since she doesn’t work on Sunday we made other plans. The five of us enjoyed a lovely picnic lunch on the grounds of the Eleanor Garfield park right there in Mentor. It was so nice to be joined in our picnic and to have someone new to blow bubbles with! It was also nice to have a traveling picnic somewhere other than at a rest stop on the highway!

I truly wish that we didn’t have to leave anyone behind as we traveled back home. We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family; wherever they may reside! Thank you all so much for your hospitality, great conversation, games, laughs and love. Please darken our doorstep the next time you find yourselves in Massachusetts.

Spring has Sprung

We took advantage of the warmer weather this weekend and spent some time in the great outdoors with friends!

Friday afternoon Catherine, Esme and I met up with our new friends Kirsten and Madeleine at Endicott Park. Amidst every other family with young kids C and M had a fun time swinging, digging in the sand and otherwise exploring the playground. Our plan was to have the Dads come over after work with dinner and we’d all have a picnic. Unfortunately, Peter got stuck at work a little late and missed the picnic part!

After dinner we walked to see the horses, and then to the barn with the chicken and sheep. By then Peter showed up and we spent some time tossing pebbles into the pond. It was a beautiful evening to be outdoors…even the mosquitoes thought so! As the sun set we walked back to the cars and headed home. [more photos here]

Sunday was another bright, sunny day. We took a little jaunt up to Ipswich, picked up Bethany and headed over to Crane Beach for a stroll. It was breezy and chilly, but the sun shone bright and warm. Catherine was thrilled at the feeling of sand between her toes and she wore herself out running up and down the beach. It wasn’t a long visit, but it got me longing for warm summer days at the ocean! [more photos here]

Long Overdue Ohio Trip Report (LOOTR)

We’ve been home a couple weeks now and have yet to report on our excursion westward to Ohio. In hopes of inspiring some of you to visit Central OH, here is a photographic look at our week in the Buckeye State.

Thursday and Friday: Go West, Young Woods!

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Saturday: Lehman’s and Orrville Jumpin’ Punkin’ Train Ride

Sunday: Catherine’s New Dress and the Children’s Garden

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Monday: Columbus Zoo!

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Wednesday: Playground, Leatherlips, Corn and Friends

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Friday: Visiting the Lyttles

Saturday: Heading Home

Retreated

This past weekend, Rebecca, Catherine and I traveled down to Cape Cod to attend our church‘s retreat at the Craigville Conference Center. We had a great time hanging out with and getting to know the folks from our church. The three of us had a nice little private apartment in the bottom of a large four story cottage that housed a number of other families from the church. We had some workshops on the spiritual disciplines, ate all of our meals together, and had plenty of free time for playing games and chatting. The weather wasn’t the nicest, but we still enjoyed it.

Group Photo

You can see the photos from the retreat in our gallery.