Happy New Year, everyone!
That picture up there is my two kids plus my baby nephew, all sitting on a sled in my own backyard. I am really obsessed with taking pictures of the three of them together.
Case in point(s)…
It’s like I can’t get enough shots of the three of them together. I can not help myself.
I was delighted to have my sister, her husband, and my sweet baby nephew all stay at my house for a week over the Christmas holidays. They were originally only going to stay till after a family party on the 26th, but a snow storm in Indianapolis made it reasonable for them to delay their return home by two days. I could not have been more thrilled. Yay, more visiting time! And some downtime, after several days of family gatherings.
My sister is one of my very best friends, and her husband has been Rob’s and my friend since college (he and Rob actually went to high school together, though they didn’t really know each other then.) They are family with whom I feel so close that they seem like those friends who are so close that they feel like family. It’s a pretty sweet deal if you can get it. ;)
Christmas was pretty great. Having company was pretty great.
Oh! I got to make Joseph’s Christmas stocking. I was so excited to do it. (Can you tell I’m in love with this kid?) After some discussion with my sister, we settled on this striped piece of vintage fabric I’d gotten from my grandmother’s fabric stash. It reminds me of the colors of those fruity candy canes. Now, I am a peppermint candy cane purist, and I kind of think the fruity ones are a crime against nature, but still, I thought this was cheerful and Christmasy, crime against nature or not.
I have spent some time in between Christmas and now working on editing pictures. We take so many, and it takes a little time to process them. It’s an ongoing project, and one I hope to move more towards scrapbooking or digital photobooking again in 2013. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Okay, fast forward to New Year’s Eve. Our friends, Aaron and Serena, and their two girls, came down to spend the night at our house. We have a tradition of spending New Year’s together, and I’m glad we were able to do it again this year. (I am all about the hosting this season, apparently! I have been in my element.) The kids exchanged Christmas gifts, and we did a little craft project. We did make-your-own pizzas for dinner, and Serena made a chocolate cake with her very amazing chocolate frosting. I want to eat that frosting by itself.
We all four called the home of other good friends who were having a New Year’s Eve on their own at home.
We gave the kids noisemakers and silly New Year’s hats and masks at about 9:00. We put them all to bed around 10:30 I think. Nate and the older of the two girls had a sleepover on his bedroom floor, and I had to keep going in there and shooshing them. It made me smile, and reminded me of sleepovers with family friends when I was a kid.
The kids eventually all (mostly) went to sleep, and I made myself a white Russian (Kahlua, vodka, cream.) It was yummers. I tried a wine first, but it gave me an allergic reaction so I had to switch to the hard stuff. Woe is me! We tried to find the NYC ball-drop being shown in Central time, but no dice. Watched episodes of Portlandia instead, and switched over to dumb Chicago televised party thing for the countdown. Kissed, took pictures, toasted with a sweet sparkling wine. It was good.
We ended up staying up way way way late (at least for me it was way late.) I was the first one to go to bed, and it was 2:30! I regretted it when Lily demanded my presence at 4:00, and then I had to re-shoosh the two older kids at 6:00 when they thought maybe they’d get up for the day (denied.) So, I was all tired from staying up too late, but it was time spent with friends, and really nothing that a good couple cups of coffee couldn’t see me through. So that’s what I did. And it was good.
We took the kids to an open gym on New Year’s Day, and they had a good time. Nate did gigantic jumps off the tumble track into the pit. Lily has apparently forgotten how to jump fearlessly off the track into the pit, and instead would jump wildly down the track and then turn around and scoot herself over the edge. Silly girl.
Today was Rob’s first day back at work after quite a long Christmas break. He’d been home since the 21st. I missed him a lot today!
I took the kids to my friend’s house for a playdate (and coffee for the grownups!) I am loving the age that my kids are, now. They could both play and keep themselves amused (which they did!) for good big chunks of time, and I don’t have to really worry about Lily going up and down the stairs anymore. The friends have a really nice dog, named Sophie, which Lily ADORES. She just laughs and laughs at the dog, and says, “Ohhhhh, Sophie!!!!” So cute.
At home, we’re in the final stages of getting Nate’s Pinewood Derby car ready for Friday. Rob and Nathan shaped it, and painted it. We’ve taken the car (with axles and wheels) to the post office a couple of times to weigh it on the scales. We bought weights, but decided to go back to the hobby shop for different ones that will (hopefully) be easier to attach to the car without a drill press. Anyone local have a drill press? I haven’t used one since 8th grade shop class, but I KNOW it’s the tool that I need. Oh well. :)
Did you all take shop class? When I was in junior high (7th and 8th grade), it was a requirement. Everyone took computers, wood shop, sewing, and cooking, each for half a semester. Everyone also took foreign language, art, and music, each for a third of the year. Complicated grading system, I bet! I’m really grateful that I was exposed to so many different things in school, though. The things I learned back then have actually come in handy quite a lot in my life. Just having a basic understanding of tools has been pretty helpful to me as a homeowner, for instance.
I think I’m ready to start taking Christmas decorations down. I usually keep things up until January 6th (Epiphany), but I’m starting to get tired of looking at some of it. I’m ready for my annual January Clear-the-Surfaces and Snowflakes-in-the-Windows events.
Hey, wanna see a cool picture?
Lily wrote her name. HER NAME. SHE WROTE IT. I know it’s mirrored writing, but people, I did not teach her to write her name or any letters AT ALL. She just up and DID IT. She had been coloring a picture one morning in the middle of December. Nate (in an “I go to school so I know what’s what” voice) told her “Lily, you have to write your name at the top.” And she looked at her paper, and then she produced THIS! If you look, starting at the right, and realizing that she’s making the letters backwards, you can see that there’s an L, an I, another L, and a Y. My jaw just about hit the floor. Nate was pretty impressed too, and asked if he could take it to school to show his teacher. I let him do it, and unfortunately I think it got lost in the shuffle at school. So I’m glad I took a picture. Really glad. She wrote her NAME. I still can’t believe it.
Wanna see another cool picture?
That is me, holding a picture of myself at age 3. My Aunt Lisa (who lives in my grandma’s house now and takes care of her) has started giving away pictures to people. My grandma’s memory is in serious decline…she doesn’t really know who we all are anymore. She’s always held on to things, so she still HAS pretty much EVERYTHING from FOREVER. My aunt does what she can to keep the house from completely filling up with things, but really, a lot of the things don’t matter too much to Grandma anymore. Anyway, there are literally photographs in stacks and bundles and envelopes stuffed everywhere, on every flat surface, on every shelf and table, and in every drawer in the house. Grandma doesn’t get pleasure from ALL of them (not by a long shot), so Aunt Lisa’s starting to give them away. Long story short, this seems like a fine idea. And I got this one handed to me when I stopped by on Christmas night. And Rob took this picture, and I think it’s neat.
Wanna see another couple pictures?
Very proud Auntie Heather and Uncle Rob, in snow, with nephew J…
Nathan in his new-from-Santa, Spiderman balaclava (which my sister insists on calling a Spiderman Baklava)…
Lily in the snow.
Tomorrow I need to print some pictures for family, and get new weights for Nate’s pinewood derby car, and go to the library.
It’s 2013. It feels like a big year for me. I’m turning 37 in less than a week. I think I’m going to dye the tips of my hair purple, for funsies. It’s going to be our 10th wedding anniversary this year, and both of our 20th high school reunions. Those things seem significant. I want to put the photos and the words together more, in some way that is off the computer. I want to be healthier and feel healthier and frankly wear smaller clothes. (It may be trite but it’s the truth!) I want to host more things. I want to be more patient and more present and more proactive.
Not sure how to wrap this up, so I’ll just say goodnight. Goodnight. :)