Happy New Year!
I hope that you all had glorious holidays. After my last entry, I decided to dedicate myself to having a good time with my family. I travelled to Minneapolis a few days ahead of my parents with the intent to move my things from storage at my friend Timmy's to a POD, but that was thwarted by my European bank account...seems they prefer to rent to people with a US account, or at least I couldn't find anyone willing to help me figure out a way around this. So, plan aborted, I had a nice dinner with my friend Tim at Punch (Meryl Streep's favourite pizza place!), I got to have a lazy day with KB&D, do a little shopping, and got my hair cut (I now look EXACTLY like my avatar, except real). Extra bonus...I got to chat with Soni at Maude because she had scheduled an appointment for the same time. It has become our tradition that she (and my friend Anne if she's around) come to Maude and we have our own little version of Barbershop. Soni even brought wine, so we had a tipple while we were beautified. I was having dinner at the Lex with KB&D that night, so Amy blew out my curls and made me look like Ava Gardner. I snazzed up in my lace cocktail dress and my new vavavoom patent leather pumps and turned quite a few heads. (I've chosen to ignore the frumpy woman at Haskell's who gave me the skunk eye, and instead have focused on the people at the Lex said nice things. Frumpy Haskell's Lady was wearing dockers and a turtleneck. What does she know of hubba hubba?) The Girls and I had a lovely night out, and I had a delicious Maker's Mark Manhattan to celebrate my evening.
Christmas with my brother and sister-in-law and their family was good, made better by the fact that we stayed down the street at a hotel. There is much commotion and hullaballoo during the holidays at their house, so it was nice to have a retreat for some peace and quiet. Gave us space, gave them space, and I had my own bathroom with no kid goop in the sink. And cable to watch late night tv in bed. We made kolaches (a good batch this year), played games, drank some wine, and watched a fabulous show of family slides my brother compiled of all the slides my parents had been taking since their wedding trip. (Bob has thoughtfully given me jpg versions of all the pictures so I can selectively humiliate myself here going forward. You can thank him in the comments when I show you the one in the plaid patchwork smock top.) Bob made delicious soups for Christmas Eve, and we made manicotti for Christmas dinner...I made the meat filling and added an eighth of a teaspoon of cayenne, which my mother psychologically converted to a tablespoon to make it over-spiced. Bless her sensitive tongue.
Returned to Iowa for a few days with Mom and Dad, and then was joined by Bob and two nephews (oldest nephew had to stay behind for swim team practice and sister-in-law had to work), and had two more days of Scrabble and Clue and Hearts and talking smart. Very fun. On Saturday, Bob and the boys drove me to Rochester in the thick fog, where I eventually caught an extremely delayed flight to Chicago. Spent Saturday with Bethany, eating delicious Thai food and watching Dreamgirls. Flew home Sunday with a group of missionaries on their way to Kenya, who filled the flight with rampant nervous talking and a group prayer. Seriously, these girls were marvelling over the luxurious flight masks and "dress socks" in their seat packs, worried about why the plane took off to the west when London was to the east, wanted to watch the movies while we were sitting on the tarmac, played with their reading lights the ENTIRE flight, speculated about whether the hair on the nice Orthodox woman sitting across the aisle was a wig (uh, yes, that's what Orthodox women wear in public, girls,) told each other the same lame-o stories about three times because they didn't know each other well, and punctuated the start, end and turbulence of the flight with hand-holding-eyes-closed-hallelujah-praise-Jesus group prayer. (We just want to thank you for giving us this opportunity to do your good work, and just ask that you grant us a safe journey, oh Lord, in your holy name we pray, just as you taught us when you gave you precious blood to save us from sin and death. We are just so grateful to have this chance to share your glory with the people of Kenya...Give me the crying baby any day.)
Needless to say, I got very little sleep, so I drove the hour from Heathrow with the windows down and the music blaring in the 40 degree temps at dawn. Allowed myself a two hour nap, and then got up and spent the rest of the day willing myself to stay awake until 10pm. (I made it, except for a bit of head bobbing around dinner time.) Got to work on time today, had dinner with my friend Kat tonight to catch up, and am now going to stop in to catch up on all the blogging I've missed the last few weeks.
Back to normal schedules tomorrow.