Well, I sure didn’t mean to go without posting for a couple months, but boy, this has been one heck of a year. 2013 isn’t going in the books as a favorite year by any stretch, but there WERE things to celebrate, most especially the birth of my niece, Emma. We got to meet her this weekend:
She snuggled happily with me for quite a long time, and it was just so wonderful to hold her. I love Emma!
We’re currently in the middle of a massive car trip, during which we’re visiting both sides of the family; we spent Christmas in Ohio with Andrew’s family and are spending New Years in Minnesota with mine; then we’ll briefly stop in Ohio again on the way home. Basically, it’s a 7 hour drive from our house to Andrew’s parents’, then a 12 hour drive from his parents’ to my parents’. So all told, we’ll be spending 38 hours in the car during this trip. And if you think that sounds unpleasant, you’d be right! But driving is the only way we could possibly afford to do this (plane tickets for 3, around the holidays? Big fat nope!), so we’re doing it! Being M’s backseat companion for this whole trip is…well, better than the alternative, which is a very unhappy M, so there’s that :)
Before we left, we celebrated the Solstice, and baked some delicious gingerbread cookies (which we cut with snowflake cutters). It was wonderful to include M in our baking! (Oh, and note the sneak peak at the finished “Extra Yarn” sweater – I’ll have a post about that sometime next year, by which I mean probably tomorrow!)
M got a really great Solstice gift from my brother and his wife (who are both Math Ed professors) – a game called “Inchimals” that helps to teach number concepts!
Then M got to celebrate Christmas at her paternal grandparents’ house:
She got to play ball with her cousin Scarlett:
We wore our matching sweaters for the family Christmas party:
M had a great time snuggling with her grandpa:
And she’s having a really great time hanging out with her other grandpa here in Minnesota:
The first day we were here, we went out snowshoeing – M got to ride on grandpa’s back!
We spent a lot of time out in the snow the first day here, which M loved – and it’s good we did, because the temperature dropped a LOT the next day and we’ve not been able to go out (I don’t want little miss “I won’t wear mittens” getting frostbite!).
Then we went up to Eau Claire, WI, to visit my brother and his wife and their little Emma! M go to play guitar with her uncle:
And she had fun opening up her present from her grandparents:
These are the coolest alphabet blocks – they have braille and fingerspelling on them, too!
She built the most AMAZING tower – it was taller than she was. This picture was taken one block before the one that brought the tower down:
We gave Emma a Skwish for Christmas, and she seemed to really like it! She held it while we took pictures of the granddaughters with their grandparents.
We still have a few more days here in MN, and then we’ll be back to OH, and then back home. I didn’t really meet any of my goals for 2013 (remember My “8 in 2013” goals? I accomplished exactly zero of them – though I did sew something for M, and that will be another post soon!), but 2014 is due to be a big year: I’ll be (finally!) finishing my dissertation, getting my Ph.D, and starting my first “grown-up” job (as a full-time Lecturer in the writing program at my university – I accepted the offer a few weeks ago!). So here’s looking forward. We’ll see what life brings. Happy New Year, everyone!