Monday, January 7, 2008

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year! We were Command Central for the holiday festivities -- it was fantastic to have both of our families here to celebrate in our home. Rob, Madeline and I lit the advent candles at church on Christmas Eve and then had a feast afterwards at our house with Christmas carols, Beef Wellington, champagne and Gram's homemade rice pudding. Everyone was there -- the Vlachs, the Wiebmers, Mollie's boyfriend, Kenny, and my stepfather, Craig. 

The next day was Christmas. Madeline had a ball peeling paper off her gifts and playing with her new toys. She quickly wore herself out, and during her morning nap, the Vlach adults exchanged our gifts to each other. That evening, the Wiebmer clan came over, including Kyle, for our lobster dinner and raclette, a tradition that started when we lived in Boston and we would ride bikes to the wharf to pick up fresh seafood. We were elbow deep in lobster juice and butter, with napkins tucked into our collars and newspaper spread out on the table. As a special treat, Kyle's parents and brother stopped over before dinner; we enjoyed meeting them very much.

Rob and I went to a black tie event at the Peoria Country Club on New Year's Eve with our good friends, Dan and Claire. It was fun to put on a fancy dress, paint my nails red and glue on false eyelashes (though I did have a "Liza Minnelli moment," as Claire called it, when one corner of my lashes doubled up on itself and stuck to my eyelid). Kinda like when I looked down at Nancy's going away lunch and realized I'd worn tights with runs that had been patched with clear nail polish. My new mantra since I had Madeline is, "We do the best we can." But mirror checks are still a good idea before running out the door. 

My dad and Ning (Nancy's childhood nickname) live in Beijing now! Ning's Beijing blog is a really fun read -- check it out! It's fascinating to hear about the day-to-day situations they find themselves in, like dipping tofu in pig blood dipping sauce (yikes!), dodging Beijing traffic and ordering Starbucks ("He Ka Fe.)" Not only that, but Nancy can't even see her own blog posts because the Internet is heavily regulated by China's communist government. Sadly, she can't see my blog either, but we're working on getting our web cams up-and-running for live chats.

So that brings us up to speed.  Sorry for my blogging hiatus. The holidays were busier than usual, and Madeline's nap scheduled has changed a bit so I now often find myself with just enough time to shower before she's ready to go again! And, I'm learning to use our new computer (a Mac), which is fabulous, by the way. (Special thanks to my sweet husband and his generous family).

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