Friday, December 25, 2009

Here are a few pictures of Emma I've been meaning to share from Brody's 2nd birthday. Brody is a friend's son.

This was a fun playgroup on Tuesday that I hosted. About 10 kids from 1-5 played in the leaves for hours.

Christmas is Here!

Stay tuned for Emma's unwrapping video!

Merry Christmas!

We are having a lovely Christmas day! Although I have missed out on being home when everyone else is there, we are partying til the reindeer come home...

I wanted to mention out loud the people we are missing this year. Christmas seems to be when we feel extra-joyous, and, so, extra-sad that some loved ones are not with us. Know that I am thinking of you "up there" and especially of us here without you. Andy Brown, Angie, Glo (I don't want to leave out a very special dog, Tomo, too). Looking on the bright side, I am so grateful for Aunt Lorene's continued recovery.

Now I'm off to make mashed potatoes for my part of Christmas dinner!

Much much love to all my friends and families

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Latest

Almost a month has past since my last post. Where does the time go? 8 weeks until D-day.

Thanksgiving has come and gone. We had a great time touring New Mexico in the RV. The first night we stayed in a lovely state park just south of Alamagordo called Oliver Lee. I am positive I saw an antelope grazing. The next day, Cloudcroft was lovely and cold. It had a neat museum of things that had basically been held onto by families until someone realized that their remote little town was old enough to warrant a museum. I love all those personal things: someone's baby clothes, a hat, a love letter. It told about a Baby Sanatorium that had been built to nurse infants who were suffering from illnesses related to the extreme heat in the valley. What a concept! No families allowed, just leave your baby there until they're well. Some rich guy tore it down in the 60's to build his own house, rather than renovate it. What a jerk. The best part for us was seeing a tree trunk that Dwight D. Eisenhower carved his full name into when he was just a cadet at military school. He was visiting on a break and did what all kids do to trees! Eventually the tree fell and the landowner donated the signed portion. That was cool to see and touch.
Then we went to Hobbs where we met up with that clan at the music rehearsal. Emma had never seen a grand piano before but really enjoyed "playing" it. Also, she had a great time with Dante (2 years) and baby Violet (4 months), who belong to Alan/Emily and Art/Sarah, respectively. Mom and Tim came in and we met them at the hotel, where Emma got a proper bubble bath and presents! We parked for the night down the street from Ruth Ann's house. Saturday was play time and then lunch which Emma slept through. (That's when the RV really comes in handy! Nick gallantly volunteered to hang out with her while I partied.) At a wonderful concert for and by Ruth Ann and Joshua in the evening, Art and Alan performed a new tune, we saw a slide show loudly narrated by Dante (very cute!), and Joshua sang. It was really nice and well-attended by their friends and colleagues. Then they treated us to a private party at a chinese restaurant. Sunday morning we took off for Carlsbad caverns, which was spectacular, of course. Mom and Tim came too, and we all stayed at the KOA north of Carlsbad. In the evening we went to the Pecos River in Carlsbad for a pontoon boat cruise to look at the Christmas lights. Emma hated every minute of it, but I dreamed of a time when Nick and I might have enjoyed this on a date, and tried to ignore the screams...In the morning we parted ways, heading back home. Snow was predicted for all of southern New Mexico, so no mountain passes for our parents' RV! We stayed at Leasburg Dam/Fort Selden state park, home of some of the Buffalo Soldiers and also home to Douglas Mac Arthur as a child in the 1880s. Tuesday we made it home watching the thermometer climb from 30s to upper 60s as we approached beautiful sunny Tucson. And that was our trip!

Now we're into the Christmas swing of things. I did a cookie swap this morning with my playgroup. I brought peanut butter cookies. (1c pb, 1 c brown sugar, 1 egg -that's it! no mixer, no gluten) I did make it to Mass last night thanks to Doris. It was nice to go without the fuss of bringing Emma. This weekend we're getting a tree. Last year we went all over town to find one that satisfied the artist and the arborist, and ended up getting a beauty from Target! So that's the (less than Christmas-y) tree destination this year. Mel's big company party at her house is this Saturday, so that will be festive too. I'm hosting a very casual Christmas Eve dinner, Mel will have the usual potluck brunch in the morning, and Doris will host Christmas dinner at her house. All the same family, 3 parties. Is this overkill?

I just found out that my old friend Josh and his wife Annalise are expecting a boy, but I'm not sure when he's due. So, for those of you who know Josh, give him a pat on the back. The fun part begins!

Nick went camping with a couple of guys and his brother Chris last weekend on Mt. Lemmon. All downhill hiking, 12 miles-ish, so he came back with calves that had just given up. I've never (really, never!) seen my superman done in by physical labor, so it was quite funny to watch him try to walk downstairs! The man is human...

I think that's all the news.