January 1, 2011

The smattering of news (Happy New Year!)

We're home and vegging very happily. I love our New Year's Day food tradition: Korean dumpling soup in the morning, Pork & Saurkraut (via the crockpot) for dinner. Since I don't have that many specifically German traditions, having something my Mom made, that's definitely German, makes this feel like a truly bi-cultural day. Normally anything 'cultural' is Korean with the default 'norm' being muddled American culture (i.e., neither of us know for sure where it comes from, it's just there).

Christmas with my family was great. I love playing with my niece and nephew ("Let's play 'cat'. My name is Emmett and I'm very cute...Meow!"). I bought my niece a headband making set and we had a great time with her art-directing while I assembled. For my nephew I bought a rocket that rumbles and counts down from 5 to 0 when you pull a string. He carried it everywhere. One morning, I asked each of them what they think about when they go to sleep. Blonde Niece thought a minute, "Hmm...princesses and castles." My nephew piped up, "My rocket!"

My sister is a phenomenal woman. She casually whipped together a massive "Thanksgiving" dinner for Christmas Eve (my brother and Dad were out of town for Thanksgiving so they asked for turkey and the rest of the traditional food). When I mentioned that I should learn to crochet eventually, she pulled me over and taught me on the spot. We even visited a yarn store so I could continue my new addiction at home. I'm currently making a pair of gray "gauntlets" to match the FABULOUS hat that she'd made for me. It even has little ears on top so I look like a fashionista mouse. Love it. I've had at least 5 people comment on it (favorably) since coming back home.

Dad is settling in to life in Seattle. He's got a cozy little apartment not far from my brother and sister. He's still hunting for a church and working on connecting with people, it's really tough to walk away from 35 years of connections and venture to a new place so far away. I respect him immensely for being willing to pull up his roots and attempt the transplant. As in all things, it will take time to figure out the new life and where he fits in with my brother and sister's worlds (and where he creates his own).

Last night we discussed our highs and lows from 2010. Obviously for Jrex, getting his paper published was a huge high. He couldn't think of a specific low. He joked, "See, I'm becoming an optimist!" I rolled my eyes at him and he cackled in response (yes! Cackled. Bad boy that he is.) Overall the year has felt good, contented and good, but I couldn't really think of a specific high. "I know I'm supposed to say it was my promotion, but I don't really care that much about it. It was just a way to make something happen if I had to be in the same job for another year. For a low, our recent discussions of finances and how we're different from each other have been hard." Maybe he's becoming the bright side guy and I'm becoming the doom and gloom person!

Our toast (as we drank a Spanish 'Goliardo' 'Loureiro 2007' wine that was surprisingly good), "May the coming year be also filled with surprisingly satisfactory experiences. May we find rest in the midst of transition and may we enjoy it all with gusto!"

Anyone else have highs/lows from 2010 to share? Or toasts for the coming year?


otr mama said...

Well, one of my highs was having your family visit this summer. And a special toast to your sister, who sent me a wonderful cd of her family, including you and otr. It made meso homesick for you guys that I had to restrain myself from jumping in the jeep and driving up to see you all. xoxo for this new year.

OTR sister said...

OTR mama, you are welcome to come up and visit! We would love to have you.

2010 highs: Design team summer barbeque, camping trips, the kids meeting Mickey for the first time, Christmas

2010 lows: Being afraid for my friends with life-threatening health and mental health issues.