Thursday, January 5, 2012

Holiday Travels and Returns

Michael is, in part, named after a dear uncle
who passed away when Nick was 13.
We have just returned from a nice leisurely visit to the homeland. The trip was filled with Christmas cheer and gift giving, the pinnacle of which was reached on Christmas Day when my first nephew on my side of the family was given to us. Healthy and happy, here is Michael Alexander. We spent lots of time trying to blind him with camera flashes and trying to infect him with our Maryland germs but he held
up well and seems none the worse for wear.

We also attended an extremely joyful wedding of an extremely joyful couple who shocked me with pulling of a very classy potluck reception. What do you picture when I read you the invitation: "potluck reception at the Mennonite hall." Do you share my vision of a large plain room lined with rectangular tables lining one wall covered with crockpots full of mini-weenies? 
Well, we are quite wrong, my friend, quite wrong! It was a lovely building lined with lit up Christmas trees (salvaged from the side of the road by members of the bridal party) an amazing live band, professional grade waiters that turned out to be the bride's 7th grade students and the food...was...the very best food I have ever had at a wedding. It is so good that I am now considering giving birth to my next child (not pregnant, by the way) in South Bend so that I can have casserole meals brought to me by those people. In the spirit of mission and generosity which characterizes this new family the "favors" were donations given in our names to one of three ministries. But the icing on the cake for me (other then the amazing icing on the cake made by the mother of the bride...she also made my wedding cake incidentally) was the corner of dress up clothes where the kids could entertain themselves and get pictures taken in their stellar duds. Too clever.

 We were able to do some visiting with friends, watch many family movies on "the eye of Sauron" as my mother refers to their new large TV, and generally enjoy the great company.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable Christmas visit in spite of tearing the kids away from their toys on Christmas day in order to try to beat Michael Alexander to St. Joe's hospital - he won by three hours. Already an over-achiever.
It was great visit even though I stupidly insisted on NOT bringing the snow gear with us. In the holiday spirit of anti-stuff I believed the forecasters instead of my 27 Michigan winters experience and told John that I did not want to

 to have to track down every mitten and boot and hat since there would be NO SNOW - it's been a warm winter! So dumb. So so so dumb.
It snowed almost every day, temperatures fell into the teens and I shaved off hundreds of goosebumps on my legs. Dumb. On many levels.
Our return trip went well. I knew it had to be smooth because we filled up on our way out of town at the BP on Plymouth. The fancy gas. Gas that is always a good .25/gallon more expensive then the other places because of it's ability to make kids sleep, the Ohio cops turn the other way as you speed by, and the m&m's have negative calories. That is some good gas.
We also managed to escape a major bathroom incident like our last trip. Did I ever share that one with you? Hmmm. That will be on its way - there's enough pee water is under the bridge that I can now laugh at it. Anyway, no bathroom incidents but we were treated to lots more fancy gas on our way home...mostly due to mom's cheesy potatoes I'm thinking.

Proud mommy bringing baby home.
Being home is good. It's a little overwhelming though to walk into multiple phone messages from the church secretary "reminding" you of multiple responsibilities which you have somehow incurred along the way (?). And then there are the library fines. I will tell you a shocking secret: I once paid over $200 in library fines at once. And you thought you were bad? Well, consider that your ego-boost of the day. These fines are not that so I can face them with stolidity.
John is conferencing for the weekend starting tomorrow and as a send off gift from the house we have a busted hose on the washing machine and a leaking dishwasher. So he's been spending the day with the house in gratitude for that thoughtful Christmas miracle.
It has been a great holiday around here...I hope yours was as filled with camaraderie, new life, winter fun, joyful celebrations and, of course, some fancy gas as ours was.


  1. wow that is a beautiful baby! you crack me up with the gas references!

  2. I appreciate the Antoine Dodson reference. Also I hope that at some point we can perhaps get a Pure Maryland post? But I am sure it cannot top:

    Lesbians and Football; now that's pure Michigan.