i slept in my old bedroom at my parents place but it didn't feel like my room anymore. hailey slept by the far end of the twin bed but woke up around 6-7am for her breakfast and morning bathroom trip to the backyard. she jumped back onto the bed and slept until 10am, licking my face and walking on my head in order to get me to wake up. the only other person at home was my mother, who'd been up this morning continuing to clean up the house for the dinner party. i let hailey out in the backyard where she was hopping around in the deep snow that continued to fall. trying to photograph a black dog in white snow was a real technical challenge.

my father came home from the cafe earlier than expected, bringing my 2nd aunt and great uncle with him. my sister came home at that time as well. i went out and helped my father clear the wall of plowed snow blocking the driveway. i went out once more before sunset to shovel the rest of the sidewalk and to brush the snow off of the bushes. hailey, unaccustomed to strangers, kept on barking at my 2nd and great uncle. i gave her a compressed rawhide bone to chew on, which she devoured completely after working on it for 40 minutes.

my aunt and uncle were the first to arrive sometime after 6pm. instead of waiting for my godmother and her two sons jack and alex, we began eating. we made the first batch of steamed mussels which were finished quickly and represented something new to the usual repertoire of holiday foods. we held off on carving the turkey until my godmother arrived, but when almost an hour had passed and they were still missing, my mother gave them a call. that's when they showed up. hailey intensified her barking when alex lunged at her as a joke. i grabbed a hold of her in the kitchen, trying to calm her down. then suddenly for no apparent reason alex kicked down the metal pet gate in some attempt to get hailey to stop barking. he broke the gate with such force it bent the metal bar. the gate detached from the door frame and actually hit my mother instead of the dog. everyone saw what happened except apparently my mother, who thought maybe the dog had somehow ripped the door off its hinges. it happened so quickly and unexpectedly, nobody said anything and we all pretended like nothing happened. we ended up locking hailey in one of the bedrooms, where she quietly went to sleep. the evening turned from a friendly gathering of family and friends into something quite strange and awkward. i was in a daze as to what just happened but continued eating despite having lost my appetite. i couldn't even bear to take anymore photos, i just wanted the evening to end as soon as possible. my relationship with alex have always been good, but this is the first time i've seen this seriously evil side to his personality.

my sister left soon after eating, to go over to her friend's house. she wanted to take some of the flan but i told her no (i didn't make them for her friend, but i left one in the fridge anyway). after my godmother and her sons left, and my father dropped off my great uncle back in cambridge, we let hailey back out. she was much calmer now with less people around, and even fell asleep on the couch as we chatted. my father ended up driving my 2nd aunt and i back to cambridge.

i could've stayed in belmont another night, especially with so much leftover food, but i wanted to return home and make sure the sidewalk was shoveled in case my upstair neighbors were also gone this weekend. to my relief, there wasn't a foot of snow waiting for me when i got back. my roommate wasn't home yet, i assumed still stuck in traffic returning from NYC. when he did get back around midnight, i kept to my bedroom. i don't need anymore drama tonight, i'll hear about his stories tomorrow.