Leading up to the holidays, I spent much more time than I expecting putting together the Japan albums for my grandparents, so went into all the travel feeling rushed and unprepared. Fortunately, we visited our respective parents on consecutive weekend, not back to back as we did last year, so there was a little time for breath-catching in-between.
Also to recuperate, because Christmas Eve dinner was attended by twenty-nine people. Crowded and noisy hardly begins to describe it. But, for all that it was trying for introverts, it was still fun. The high point was the newest adult standing up and singing the Polish national anthem, which new guests tend to be told is a requirement but no-one has ever done. She brought down the house and wins everything forever.
She also knitted us these cephalopods ("from spun awesome", as Chad said):
who would be fabulous even if their tentacles weren't posable.
We got lots of welcome, useful, and unexpected things, but not many of them lend themselves to pictures—I mean, we really needed a roasting pan after the liquid turkey episode, but do you all need to see it? No. So just one more picture, of this . . . guy . . . who I'm using as a holder of my business cards, from Chad's sister (whose partner did the knitting and singing):
Isn't he great? Indescribable, but great.
(I took a bunch of other pictures of my office at the same time, and will post them eventually.)
Anyway, twenty-nine people on Christmas Eve, early dinner on Christmas Day and then the drive home, Chad's folks up for dinner on Boxing Day, collapse for a day, then drive out to my parents' on Friday night ahead of a small storm. We had a nice quiet visit and, at the family party on Sunday, got lots of advice on home improvement stuff (we're contemplating converting the garage into a library/office. Built-in floor-to-ceiling bookcases, baby!). Came home on Monday to find eight inches of new snow on the driveway, which the dog sitter had valiantly waded through. After naps, we went to a neighborhood New Year's party, at which I bowled a 189 on their new Wii. New Year's Day I basically sat around in a stupor of screwed-up sleep cycles and watched more snow fall.
Then we had a couple of bitterly cold days, which meant that the snow slid off the garage roof veeeeery slowly, as seen on Friday afternoon:
It warmed up this weekend, and I ran more errands than I should have (among other things, replacing my iPod—sweet music, mine again!) and watched more football ditto (go, Giants!). And since I am badly abusing parentheses, I think it's time to go do something else.