Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Rounding Out 2009

As I said in my last post, we had a lot going on during the final weeks of 2009. Here's what we were up to.

Christmas Eve was the start of Hannah's first official winter vacation. It was funny to have to explain the concept to her, as she had no idea she was getting a break from school! Hannah and I had some girl time and went to see "The Princess and the Frog," which we both really enjoyed, and then went to get burritos (Hannah's choice). Then we picked up Max from school and Marc joined us at home as we hit the road to go back to Connecticut. We met up with Grandpa John's side of the family at Aunt Carol's house for her traditional Christmas Eve party, and it was great to spend a little time with that side of the family, which seems to be growing by the minute with new cousins-in-law.

On Christmas Day Marc and I left the kids with Grandma Fillis and Grandpa John and started a mini-vacation of our own. We had a traditional Jewish Christmas featuring Chinese food and a movie, "Nine" (I know, two movies in two days! Amazing!) which we both enjoyed. Then we drove to Foxwoods Resort and Casino, where we had reserved a room in the new MGM Grand portion of the giant complex there. The room itself was really nice, and we enjoyed a night away. We had dinner at Alta Strada, which was good, but not as good as this place, and lost a little money on the slot machines. We even checked out the Shrine nightclub (SO not my thing). But my favorite part was room service for breakfast. Any meal I can eat in my pajamas that I don't have to prepare myself or clean up has to rank pretty high on my relaxation list.

So that brings us to the day after Christmas, when the four of us, Marc's parents, and Marc's sister Rachel, her husband and 7-month old twins all went for a photo session at Portrait Simple. The photographer made a great effort to get 10 people, three of them under the age of two, to look at the camera at the same time, if not actually smile. Max was very reluctant to participate, but in the end I think we got some nice photos that capture who we were as a family at this moment in time. Afterward we had a little party to celebrate Max's upcoming birthday.

The following day we reconvened Grandma Fillis's side of the family for one last serving of latkes at our annual Hanukkah party. We had fun catching up with Marc's cousins there as well, and Max loved having Aunt Melinda's home to explore. With this last party, our holiday season was officially over. A fun, but busy, season, to be sure.

Max was able to go to school all last week, which was truly a blessing. While I was at work, Marc took Hannah to the Museum of Fine Arts one day, and then helped her work on a school project the next before picking up Max and driving back to Connecticut for the third time in two weeks with the kids. Hannah was left behind to take a trip to New York City with Grandma Fillis and Grandpa John to see "Mary Poppins" on Broadway (yes, she is the luckiest little girl alive). But this suddenly left me with an evening to myself! So I took full advantage of that by getting Thai food and scheduling a massage. :) While Hannah was gone on Wednesday, I got to continue some "me time" and finally got a much-needed haircut and had a lunch date with Marc. Thursday morning I spent a bit of time at school with Max to read his favorite book ("Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?") to his classmates as a special treat before his birthday. Hannah got home from her trip and we all spent a relatively crazy night in for New Year's Eve. Marc and I enjoyed some proseco given to us by Rachel and Jon, and I have to admit - I was asleep by 9:30. Midnight and I don't know each other well these days.

And that's the last moments of 2009. I know it was a rough year for so many people, but I feel very fortunate. While I'd been dealing with lots of pain issues since April, December brought some progress on that front and I've been feeling a lot better. Marc and I both have good, stable jobs that have afforded us the opportunity to take the kids to Disney World and Storyland, and we've had lots of wonderful times with family and friends. It's been a busy year, but I hope 2010 brings no slowing down. Wishing you all the best for a wonderful new year!

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