Category Archives: Occasions

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 Day, continued

Everyone else is asleep, and I should be getting to sleep too… but I wanted to post a final update on Christmas Day.

Rebecca and Esme took a nice four-hour nap this afternoon, a Christmas present of sorts for the tired Mama who hardly ever has a chance to catch up on sleep. Shortly thereafter, Corey and Vicky arrived for Christmas Dinner! Dianne cooked up some delicious food: ham, cheesy noodles, mashed sweet potato, cranberry sauce, broccoli, brussels sprouts, fresh baked bread. The ham was flavored and stuffed with something green and tasty, but the people who might be able to remind me of what it is are asleep at the moment.

After dinner, we opened up the rest of the presents. Catherine had an interesting way of finding presents. She preferred to start all the way in the back of the tree, and then crawl out from underneath:

Catherine's technique

Catherine's technique

One highlight was this sweater which Rebecca knit for Vicky:

Sweater for Vicky

Sweater for Vicky

After dinner, we enjoyed a dessert of Crème brûlée, prepared by Dianne:

Crème brûlée

Crème brûlée

We’re here in Townsend for tonight and tomorrow, when we’ll have some more festivities with some of the Lowe side of Rebecca’s family. Then we’ll be heading home to unpack and get ready for the new year!

P.S. We have all of the photos from Christmas Day in our gallery.

Christmas Day so far

Catherine was the first of us to wake up this morning, and shortly thereafter she woke me up: “It’s daytime, Papa! It’s Christmas day!” I returned the greeting with a kiss and a little joke: “Merry Kiss-mas!” Catherine went and woke Rebecca and Esme up, and then we all headed downstairs.

Opening stockings was the first order of business.



After stockings, it was the traditional breakfast of waffles. Very filling!

Full of Waffles

Full of Waffles

After breakfast, it was time to start opening presents. Here’s Nonni opening her new printer/scanner/copier.

Multifunction joy

Multifunction joy

Of special note to Build Guild folks was the knitted mustache that Rebecca made for me:



Catherine actually got a bit overwhelmed with the gift opening, so we’re taking a break right now. We’ll have some lunch, possibly some naps, and open the rest of the gifts later. Corey and Vicky will be here later on today for more celebration.

So far it’s been a great Christmas day – and a great first Christmas for Esme!

Papa and Esme

Papa and Esme

Christmas Eve

Being a family with grandparents in two different parts of the country, we tend to spend Christmas in differing locations each year. Every other year we switch between Rebecca’s parents and my parents. This year would normally be a year with my parents, but we won’t be able to see them in person. That’s because they’re visiting my sister and brother-in-law in the Middle East. So as our Christmas Eve is winding down, they’re already celebrating Christmas morning! We really miss having the chance to see them this year, but hopefully we’ll get to see them fairly soon once they get back.

So this year, we’re spending Christmas with Rebecca’s parents. I’m writing from Townsend, Mass right now. Catherine is asleep upstairs, Rebecca, Esme, Ken and Dianne are out at the Christmas eve midnight service, and I’m here at home to watch over Catherine. I’m watching the midnight mass at the Vatican on TV, and uploading some photos from today’s events.

We drove out to Townsend earlier today, and had an hour or so to get our things settled, before we had to get ready to leave again.

Esme in Christmas garb

Esme in Christmas garb

We headed out to Charlton, Mass for the annual Christmas eve get-together for Rebecca’s mom’s side of the family, the Quitadamos. We really enjoyed the chance to see everyone from that side, and the girls definitely had fun with their cousins (first cousins once removed and second cousins alike).

Esme checks out her gifts

Esme checks out her gifts

You can see all of my photos from Christmas Eve.

As this writing has taken me into Christmas Day, I’ll wish you a Merry Christmas! I hope that you are able to spend it with loved ones and in a way that is peaceful and wonderful and meaningful to you. We’ll be spending the next two days here in Townsend, then heading home.

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!


It’s Halloween night and we’re handing out candy here in Danvers. We’re live blogging the experience!

* 6:00pm – We’re open for business! We have Hershey’s, Kit Kats, and Gummy Lifesavers.
* 6:06pm – Skeleton, Monster, and Little Mermaid are the first to arrive
* 6:15pm – We’re chowing down on some lentil-brown rice soup
* 6:30pm – No other trick or treaters so far. We started watching Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.
* 6:45pm – Two cheerleaders and some sort of female ghoul just got some candy. Dr. Horrible just got away with the Wonderflonium.
* 6:55pm – Switched to watching Pocoyo. Six Flags guy and Freddy Krueger just got some candy.
* 7:05pm – mob of six assorted trick or treaters
* 7:13pm – seven guys in half-hearted mask-tumes
* 8:00pm – We had an assortment of other trick-or-treaters, but overall the numbers were just a little over twenty. Nonetheless, we had a good time hanging out in the dining room, watching videos, having dinner and treats, waiting for trick or treaters, and listening to the wind.

Egyptian Catherine

Egyptian Catherine

Finally, some photos of our Halloween evening. Hope your Halloween was happy!

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.

The Girl’s Got the Right Idea

This morning Peter went to give Catherine a kiss and hug before going to work. Here is the conversation that transpired:

P- “Hey Catherine, I’m leaving. Can I have a hug and kiss goodbye?”
C- “Where are you going?”
P- “To work.”
C- “No! You can’t! It’s your BIRTHDAY!

If only everyone thought like that!

Happy Birthday to you, Papa! We’ll celebrate when you get home from work!

Summer Road Trip 2009: Part 1: Weddings

The Wood family headed out on the road once again in mid July on an 11 day, 7 state road trip. Along with seeing new sights and having lots of family time, we were looking forward to the joy of celebrating two weddings.

My dear friend and college apartment-mate, Jennifer and her betrothed, Matthew, were married on July 19th at a cute little church in Harriman State Park in New York. I was honored to be the Matron of Honor and had a wonderful weekend preparing for and celebrating Jenn’s wedding! The weather cooperated nicely (though I did get a wee sunburn), the band was so fun, and the bride and groom couldn’t have been happier. May their marriage be as beautiful as their wedding! (hear, hear!)

Less than a week later our friend Will and his 1st grade crush, Michelle, tied the knot. We attended the wedding with Grandma and Grandpa Wood and we all enjoyed seeing the beautiful interior of St. Vincent de Paul Church for the first time. There were bubbles and chocolates to satisfy the 3 year olds in all of us and Will and Michelle’s story was a beautiful reminder of how God works in our lives. We may have to wait 20some-odd years to know the true importance of the relationships we start today. Many congratulations to the new Mr and Mrs Farnham!

[galleries from the Bresnan/Liddle wedding] 1 2 3
[galleries from the Maloney/Farnham wedding] 1 2

Stay tuned for Part 2: Visiting with Family and Friends