Friday, January 8, 2010

Christmas Part 2, New Year's Eve, and Softball Saturday

January 8, 2010

We had a wonderfully prolonged Christmas this year, since we had our family celebration on Christmas with Doug's side of the family, and then a week later with my side of the family.
Lisa and her girls came up to visit on New Year's eve, and arrived at around six. I gathered up my kids and my hubby, and we all went over to Jim's house for the festivities. We had a taco/burrito bar set up for dinner--nothing formal, but tasty and filling. We also had a few close friends come join our little family gathering. It was great having Bill and Pat and Michele hanging out with us. Naturally, the evening turned toward karaoke after everyone had let their dinner settle a bit, and almost everyone took a turn at the microphone. After awhile, we broke out the board games and settled into competitive rounds of Scattergories and Sorry.

Just before midnight, we broke out the champagne and sparking apple cider to get ready to toast the New Year. There was Carson Daly, the on-screen countdown,the Ball dropping in Times Square, and then, of course, much clinking of glasses, hugs and kisses, and well-wishes for the year to come. There aren't a lot of people I would rather be with ushering in a New Year.
The next day was our Christmas part 2--the celebration of the cousins. Lisa's family and mine (along with Jim and Kathryn) got to exchange gifts among ourselves. The kids were all pretty excited that they had more presents to open a week after Christmas was over. Afterwards, the discarded paper and ribbons and bows decorated the floor of the living room while the kids all checked out their new toys. We grown-ups got in a little bit of an afternoon nap, which is a bit of a Christmas gift in and of itself.

Earlier in the day, my sister Laura had called to let us know that she would, in fact, be able to come up for the holidays for a quick two day visit, which was a welcome but unexpected surprise. She was traveling with her boyfriend and expected to arrive in the early evening. In the meantime, my kids' dad had plans to have dinner with not just our kids, but all of Lisa's as well. As it turns out, he was brave enough to take all of them (six of 'em) on for an overnight visit. That left us a little time to hang out as adults with Laura and her boyfriend before subjecting him to the firehose that can be our children in full force at Christmas-time.

Laura and her boyfriend Jonathan, Jim and Lisa, and Doug and I all went out to eat dinner at Applebee's. When we were done, we decided to walk across the parking lot to the bowling alley, where we all bowled pitifully but had a grand time doing so. (In all fairness, perhaps you couldn't call Jim's bowling pitiful, but I'm fairly certain that the rest of us fall pretty safely into that category.) Even Doug and Jim, who can be notoriously competitive, managed to scale it back a little and just enjoy the evening, even when it meant laughing at ourselves. Not ready yet to call it a night, we all came back to my place to play a little more Scattegories. We had a lot of fun, but realized the moratorium on competitive spirit only lasts just so long. For some people, playing the game is the fun; for some people, winning the game is the fun. It's probably a good thing we stopped when we did!

The next day was the real highlight of vacation. We decided to have a softball rematch (our first one was after Thanksgiving), and once again, we sent out the word to all of our friends who were in town. We welcomed anyone who wanted to show up, and we had quite a good turn-out. I believe it was close to thirty people, including Grandma, who came out to watch. Lisa and I were team captains again, this time heading up Team Danger and Team A Dingo Ate My Baby (Team Dingo, for short). Lots of strikes (Seven strikes? That's okay, let's try it again.), wild over-throwing to basemen (who were sometimes of the three-feet-tall variety), an abundance of good-natured heckling, and one super collision between Sister Captains later, Team Danger emerged victorious. The game wrapped up with team pictures and then a little jaunt to the adjacent playground for some swinging, monkey bars, and a rousing game of tag.

Later that evening, we dropped in our favorite local pizza place in full force. We had other friends who joined us there, so we definitely filled the house. As always, the pizza at Me 'n Ed's was great, but the time with family and friends was priceless. Thanks to our Facebook posts, we even had people join us we hadn't seen in years--it was so great catching up with every one! Afterwards, my darling daughter Brianna agreed to babysit some of the kids who were in attendance, and the adults went out for a little while to sing karaoke. Bree adores the kids she was watching, and all of the adults had a fabulous time. (We were especially excited that Lisa, David, and Carrie were all in town--that doesn't happen nearly enough!)

Incredible family, incredible friends, incredible couple of days.

1 comment:

  1. So excellent! I can't wait until my kids are old enough to babysit the many nieces and nephews!