I didn’t take a lot of photos while I was behind on my photoblog, so there’s just a few for the end of November, and then most are from the end of December. It was a pretty quiet month socially and I spent a lot of time at work or watching Gilmore Girls while drawing holiday commissions. Toward the end of December, around the house… Three out of five of my roommates, Tiff, Jen and Krista.
Out to dinner at V Street with Greg and Shannon, who moved to Philly this fall from DC. Mikey and Shannon used to be roommates in DC.
Rover with his nose pressed squarely into the couch during a nap.
Typical nanny day – fun with boxes. If the boys are happily playing I try to stand back and let them do their thing. It’s fun to see how they interact without prompting.
Seeing Dev Hynes perform the score to Alex De Corte installation at the ICA.
That same day, a slightly blurry holiday cookie party at my house. Guess I had the wrong settings on.
People really came through with the cookies!
Rover spent the whole night scrounging for crumbs. I’m sure he found a few cookies’ worth.
Jen also surprised Jon with birthday cupcakes
She made them to look like a signature mixed drink that he always makes
Back at work, Leo trying to wrestle. If you lay down at any given point he will full on tackle you.
Out to dinner with some zine lady friends. It was great to catch up with these ladies.
Leo with his older friend Annabelle.
My friend Amanda is also a nanny and happens to watch Annabelle and Mariella, friends of Leo’s family, so play dates are a given. Fun for everyone.
Tis the season.
also tis the season. In my studio, probably on a Friday afternoon when I get a lot of studio work done.
The majority of my commission work is pet portraits and cartoon family or friend portraits. It’s fun. It mixes things up.
Our old roommate Guy came to visit for a week. He moved to Chicago this fall and is living a very fascinating life as a live-in aid and roommate to a young painter who lives on the 58th floor of the Trump Tower in Chicago. We mostly asked him for stories about what it’s like to be able to operate with unlimited resources. “Whoa, you take cabs everywhere?” “What’s the most expensive dinner you’ve eaten?” etc. He’s exactly the type of person who should get a job like that – so modest.
The last weekend before heading out of town, Mikey and I were both done with all obligations so we just chilled out – went to the movies, went out to eat, hung around and read books, etc.
We also went to the Winterfest park on a whim since our movie let out nearby. It was cute.
It’s a pop up park on the Delaware with an ice skating rink and fireplaces and rocking chairs and a lot of lights. They had a pop up park this summer with a bunch of hammocks. It’s nice that they incorporate a lot of free stuff alongside things you can pay for. We went and just bought hot chocolate but I’m sure you could also spend a lot there.
The weekend before Christmas, I headed to Michigan to visit family. My older brother has lived abroad for the past seven years but just moved to Chicago this fall with his girlfriend Ivy. It was good to have him around for a holiday. The first morning in Paw Paw, my mom took us to the new Farm House Bakery store which is a good little bulk food store and amish bakery, then we went to a local diner that I had actually never been to before. Here’s Abe and Ivy.
It was unseasonably warm for Christmas week in Michigan. In the 40’s and raining for most of it.
Wrapping presents the evening before Christmas. Here Abe and Ivy are wrapping this giant pan in the shape of a sea turtle. We have a standing tradition where if it will be really obvious what something is when it’s wrapped, we try to obscure the shape in a funny way.
My nephews, Tommy and Asher, on Christmas morning, playing with a board game they got from Santa. Such brothers.
A lot of family time revolves around the little dudes. They’re the only kids so they get a lot of attention.
Thomas reading the tags and handing out presents to everyone.
Christmas morning brunch at my mom’s house.
Thomas is a total video game kid, so my brother was showing him this online game that teaches kids logic for coding. It was kind of crazy how quickly Thomas was picking up on the language and working through the logic. I think he’s definitely going to have a brain for that sort of thing when he’s older.
Later in the afternoon we headed over to my dad’s house for Christmas with him and his wife.
We started out by making two pies from scratch, and then ate snacks and played with the kids some more.
Asher in a cat tunnel.
Playing one-sided dodgeball.
So much screaming and laughing.
Present time – again.
My dad’s wife, Sue.
Asher and his mom, my oldest sister Rachel. After presents, they headed home because the boys were exhausted and we spent the rest of the night watching movies.
The next day, a quiet morning at my mom’s house. I mostly worked on commission stuff since the day before I was around people nonstop all day – not something I’m used to!
Later in the afternoon, though, my dad swung by to pick me up and we met up to go ice skating. I grew up playing hockey and so did 3 out of 4 of my siblings, as well as my dad. My dad also coached, and my sister and dad both reffed. Total hockey family, but aside from my brother, most of us hadn’t really skated in years. We were all nervous but did okay. I go about once or twice a year, but my sister and had hadn’t been in a long time, and Ivy is just learning.
We had so much fun that we went back for open skate the following day and brought my nephew Asher for his first time out on the ice.
He needed a lot of help just staying on his feet at first but he was getting the hang of it by the end and could skate just holding on to one of my hands. I was impressed!
It was fun to spend quality time with all of my siblings, something that seems to happen more as we get older.
Asher couldn’t stop smiling. They didn’t have hockey skates small enough so he had to learn on figure skates, which are WAY harder to skate on. I have no idea why they give them out at open skates to people who have never skated before. I’m sure it’s what you learn on, but I am terrible on figure skates and can’t skate for the life of me, but hockey skates are like a second nature to me at this point. It’s weird that there would be such a difference.
Later that night, my last night in town, I finally got to see my mom do standup comedy! She retired last year and finally got to pursue stand up comedy, which had always been a major interest of hers. I’m glad retiring was a catalyst for her to go for it! I was super proud of her and thought she did great, but she said it was one of her worst performances. It was also her first time doing 15 minutes so I think she was extra nervous.
I have one other brother, my younger brother Graham. He just moved to China this summer though and it was our first Christmas without him! It was weird to not have him around. My brother’s traded places in terms of who was abroad, I guess.
Overall it was a nice, low-key holiday and a good breather from Philly. Being in the middle of nowhere is always a nice re-set.