k, aren't "twirl" and "whirl" both lovely words? Hello from the air somewhere between Wisconsin and Florida! Tammy, Jamie and I are going to meet Tony there for a kayaking trip to the barrier islands for the weekend. Since I may want to post about our time there, I'm thinkin' it's high time I put an update out here covering the last few months!
Thanksgiving For this lovely holiday, I headed to Raleigh to celebrate with Tom's family. We had fun fixing an incredible meal and just hanging out. I had met baby Elise before Then we were joined by our friend Sam and his wife Hope, and took off for an exploration of some Civil War battlefields. Tom Sr. did the driving honors, and the five of us just really had a blast touring Richmond and learning about the characters and scope of the site of two major battles of the Civil War.
Christmas Christmas was drawn out and lovely with one highlight being that a group of game night folks and my college roommate Jocelyn went to a Handel's Messiah performance at the PAC. We had a great evening kicked off at an Indian Restaurant and ending in a snow bank. Well, nearly ending there - there was a big blizzard that left me and Jocey in a snow drift until some enthusiastic college kids helped us out!
The next weekend saw the congregation of Amy's side of the family the week before Christmas. Nine of us (me, Tom, Amy, Tim, Grandma Beth, Augusta, Chris, Grant and Margo) crammed into my 2-bedroom apartment and really just had a blast. My friend Katie and her daughter Annabelle stopped by on Saturday (Amy and Augusta hadn't yet met little Annabelle). And then Korean food, talking, sledding, x-c skiing, playing with Margo, presents and games - what could be better?! (side note: I received a camera for Christmas last year and took it kayaking this summer. I bought a dry bag for it, but somehow enough moisture collected in it to kill my camera. I was sick about it! I tried to get it repaired locally and online and nothing could be done - the repair cost more than the value of the camera. So imagine my delight when my fabulous boyfriend gave me a camera as a Christmas present: this time one that is WATERPROOF and shockproof! He's been testing the shockproof side of things - I think he's dropped in on solid ice twice now and the camera still works great :). We'll see how it does kayaking in Florida!).
Christmas proper was spent with our families, Tom in Raleigh and me in Eau Claire. My nieces and nephews are just the best small people out there (sorry, everyone else!) and we really just had a lovely time being together, eating great food, laughing, and playing games with the kids. New Year's It's become a tradition! New Year's with Jen and Mustafa in the Twin Cities. This time around, the group was me, Tom, Jonathan from CA, Jen's brother AJ, and Jen and Moosie. Friday we did a guided tour of the Guthrie theater that was just fascinating, and we had fun exploring the city, playing games (ever played Ra? It's a board game that you can play on the iPad!), running around, eating many marvelous things that Jen cooked, and just having a good time with friends we see far too infrequently. Happy News In early January, Tom's boss asked him if he'd like to work on a short term project in Neenah, Wisconsin! Once he confirmed that it would work, he had about three days to pack up his life for the next 6-8 weeks and take off for the northern hinterlands. And golly have we been having a blast. We've used weekends to hang out and catch up with friends within a 7 hour radius. Tom grew up and went to school in Iowa, so one weekend we went down there to see family and friends and get a tour of his college campus and home town - that was the 7 hour one! We've really just had a great time catching up with friends and family. The time has also been filled with game night, church small group, cross country skiing, racquetball, game playing, and...Wednesday Night Date Night. You wouldn't believe how much more fun it is to date someone who lives 15 minutes away vs. 15 hours or whatever it is.
As grateful as I am to the project for bringing him here, I must say that I am NOT grateful for the fact that its intensity kept Tom from being able to join us on this FL trip. Boo! I'm definitely looking forward to the relaxation and good time with awesome people, don't get me wrong. But it sure would be nice if he could be enjoying the warmth and sunshine too. Well, I believe we're beginning our descent. Au Revoir!