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A winter spa break!

keyhole.jpgWell, maybe not a real spa, but where we were was at least as good. We spent the past week at Aunt Lonnie's house, Cortney's Godmother, in Harbor Springs, and what a relaxing week it was. We shopped with aunt Lonnie for baby things in the quaint shops in Petoskey; were joined by Curtis and Patty the next day and had lunch at our favorite Petoskey sub bar, The Noggin Room; newyearseve05.jpgWere joined by Cortney's parents the next day and drove up to Mackinaw City for fantastic fried perch at the Keyhole bar, and picked up fudge and caramel corn while we were there; opened champagne and lots of hilarious gifts on New Year's Eve; rang in the New Year with Dick Clark wannabees; built a snowman (Curtis and Jon); enjoyed burgers at Bar Harbor in Harbor Springs; snowman.jpgand drove to Bay Harbor for window shopping and ice cream; and spent plenty of "down time" reading, napping, and playing video games. Speaking of New Year's Eve - they added a leap second this year, did anyone notice? We're still trying to get acclimated... oh wait, maybe that's just the frustration of having to return to work, chores, and other duties after a week in a winter paradise.  Yeah, I guess that's it.

 Thank you again and again to Aunt Lonnie and to Cortney's mom and dad for a wonderful place to stay, for wonderful meals over and over, and for great company.

 Happy New Year to all!



Christmas Eve found us at our traditional holiday haunt - Kerrytown in Ann Arbor - buying food for the evening's dinner and snacking on breakfast, lunch, and seafood at the xmaseve05.jpgKorean lunch counter there. Possibly an odd tradition, but a solid one just the same. Then, after finishing our wrapping, we carted presents and ourselves over to the Hiller's for good company and great food.  Traditionally, dinner included cabbage rolls, oyster stew, and whipped cream (zebra) cake. After singing in the beautiful candlelight communion service at eleven at our church, we went home to bed - for a few hours.

Since we're still children at heart, Christmas still starts at the crack of dawn in our world.xmasbreakfast.jpg This year that had us driving, dogs and all, to Cortney's parents' house before seven in the morning in a fog so thick we could not see the bridges we were driving under on the expressway. What we won't do for Santa Clause. After stockings (complete with oranges and our ages in loose change), and following a great breakfast casserole, we opened gifts and listened to Christmas music. And who wouldn't look forward to the Christmas afternoon nap, curled up on the floor, surrounded by wrapping paper, bows, and empty boxes and draped over your new all metal fire engine. octunes.jpgOh wait, that's out of "A Christmas Story." But we did nap before the traditional dinner of tenderloin and yorkshire pudding.  Traditions, traditions. At home again, we lit a fire and watched Rudolph and Frosty while the dogs collapsed in exhaustion.

And, since we could never have too much Christmas, we continued the next day with gifts and dinner with the other half of the family. We had a wonderful dinner and relaxed around the table, opening gifts and sharing stories and opinions about movies.

So what next?  We're going to Disney World! Or Harbor Springs, whichever is colder, and we know the answer to that one!  We look forward to being there by tomorrow evening for much needed rest and relaxation.


And... we have a thumb sucker.

We had our third doctor's appointment this morning.  Most of it is just becoming routine - they check Cortney's blood pressure, weight, and measurements, then they answer questions and, finally, listen to the baby's heartbeat.  This morning's appointment was not so routine when they were unable to find said heartbeat with the doppler.  The doctor was very reasuring - she kept telling us that she could clearly hear the baby moving around, but it all sounded like the ocean tides to us.  ultrasound-2005-12-19.jpgEvidently they fully understand the heightened concerns of first time parents, though, because she brought in the ultrasound machine on the wheely cart and, because Raspberry had been into playing hide and seek, we were treated to a very special second look.  The doctor kept pointing out locational characteristics, saying "here's the head...there's the tummy...see the strong heartbeat," but the changes between the last ultrasound (at eight weeks) and this one (now at fourteen) were awesome and no tour guide was needed.  At eight weeks we thought we had a tiny bean named Raspberry... at fourteen we now have a fully formed human, complete with thumb sucking!  In fact, we have a stubborn thumb sucker.  Every time the doctor would push against Cortney's tummy with the wand we could clearly see Raspberry get agitated and push back with fully formed arms until the wand stopped moving, at which time all settled and the thumb went back in the mouth.  We will stock up on pacifiers now.


Yes, it really is almost 4am...

Why are we up and alert at four in the morning?  We blame it on Steve (and we mean that in the nicest way possible).  We were all prepared to pick Steve up at the airport at 11:30 on Friday (today, yesterday, whatever...), and were very excited to see him, but then he called Cortney at work this afternoon to let her know that his plane has been inexplicably delayed by over an hour.  So poor Steve was stuck in his layover in the Denver airport while we were stuck trying to figure out what woud keep us up and running until we could pick him up at 12:45 am.  So we went out for dinner with Kristin and Matt, as had been originally planned, and then had them over so that Matt could beat us all at Mario Party 7.  Curtis joined the party at 11:30, which was when Cortney checked the flight information online, only to find out that the flight had been delayed again for mechanical difficulties and would arrive at 1:58am.  So at 1:40 off we went to the airport but, after getting Steve and waiting for luggage, we were all on our second (or third?) winds and we were all hungry (Cortney is eating for two...), so we hit an all-night Koney Island and then a Denny's, both of which were too full and too smokey.  Instead we hit the local Kroger and stocked up on eggs, bacon, cheese, hashbrowns and OJ and made our own breakfast at home (Jon is a fantastic cook).  So yes, it really is almost four in the morning and, yes, we are all still awake, but we are, finally, on our way to bed, including the safely arrived Steve.


Snow, snow, and more snow...

Well, the snow started early this morning and has only just begun to taper off, and we coudln't be happier!  When we woke up this morning large, fluffy, white flakes were filling the air, and had already added substantially to the mess of snow still in the streets from last weekend and last night, so we decided to pay hookey.  It felt like a Saturday.  We got up and turned on the now decorated Christmas tree and made our favorite weekend breakfast - eggs with cheese and bacon.  Then we putzed around in our pajamas for a while before we went out for errands in the afternoon, snow still coming down!  Luckily the right people were keeping up with the road care because we had special dinner plans with family we rarely see, plans that required a forty-five minute drive to Howell.  But all went off well, including a fabulous dinner with great conversation and lots of memories, and now are safe and sound in our warm home looking at the beauty of a winter wonderland - just in time for Steve to arrive from Seattle where he really misses the snow.