Is It Still Fall?

Nice To Meet You


Exactly ten years ago today, Stephen and I met face to face for the first time. After 1.5 years of emailing back and forth (and a bit of phone chatting, though we never exchanged photos), meeting up in Waterloo Station in London felt surreal but nice (name that film).

The story is long but I will sum up: The UK school where we both got our TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) certificates had a hand in introducing us (though Stephen took the course three years before I did). Sophie, a mutual friend, also played a role, though the main common ground at that point was our mutual love of Japan.


Walking around London that December 28th was freezing but lovely (we had about ten dates in one!), and at one point the cheeky (but sweet!) Stephen informed me that his hands were cold - hinting that holding hands would probably be a good idea.

It was. (Fortunately my friend Stephanie had ditched us way before this to do some shopping, or she probably would've gagged a bit.)

And here we are, ten years on, still holding hands - though we've reversed roles as mine are the ones usually freezing now.

Lord willin' and the creek don't rise, we'll still be keeping each other warm when we're 100!

Happy Christmas!



On Second Thoughts - Revised Christmas List

I'm not sure the flamethrower does a great job, but check out this Tango electric car that can not only hit 60 in 4 seconds, but does a great job when it hits snow drifts when accelerating from the back of a garage.

All I Want For Christmas

If the weather outside is frightful, then perhaps this is the answer. It beats shoveling...

Merry Christmas Eve!

Matthew-bean just blew his nose, looked at the tissue, and shouted, "Snot! It's pretty!"

Merry/Happy Holidays/Christmas Eve/Christmas from the land flowing with snow (and snot).

We love all of you and wish we could send each and every one of you a cookie - because we heart you that much. Give yourselves hugs and kisses from the four of us beans.

Madison Children's Museum












Downtown Madison

Before the snow hit a couple of weeks ago, I took the beans into downtown Madison for a quick walkabout. And even though it was before the snow and ice had set up residence, man, it was freezing, folks. So we mostly hid out in a coffee shop, saw the capitol building for about half a second, and then stumbled upon the Madison Children's Museum (pics below). By this time our parking space was about to run out of money, and my tummy was rumbling, so we only spent a short time in the lobby hanging out with the trucks. I'm planning on taking them back soon for some more quality time seeing the rest of the exhibits.

Capitol building...


State Street...


Random city bus (photo taken for the beans' sake)...


Children's museum (two beans at the far end)...




Check out that concentration...


Yellow school buses ("cooh bah") make everyone happy...

Wisconsin Winter-ing

Tried to get a few shots of the beans in front of Mimi and Pop's Christmas tree, but anyway...

Without flash...


With flash...


Mimi and Matthew making a snowperson...


Night view...




Matthew-bean got stuck! Help!


A hawk in my parents' back yard (he was having some lunch - a smaller bird)...


This is quite the adventure for a Florida girl like me - still not used to the icy roads and icy parking lots. I almost couldn't even walk the boys from the car into playgroup today, we were sliding around so much - the parking lot was one huge ice blob. We had fun inside with our little friends anyway, and back home, we had soup for lunch that warmed up our tummies.

Matthew still asks every day if we can get on the plane and go back to Japan, and we keep telling him that we will definitely go back someday! His language skills are coming on so well, and Joel's, too. The littlest bean is now stringing words together, like "Read, Mimi!" and "More, please!"

My mom is going down to Florida this weekend for a friend's son's wedding and Matthew really wants to go with her! He wants to see Great-Aunt Lorrie and Auntie Teresa again (and I'm sure everyone else there as well - he just can't remember everyone's name!).

Newest M Quotes

This morning: Reading Byron Barton's Trains and I knew the train station was coming up soon (which Matthew loves to see), so I asked the bean if he knew what was next. He replied, "The next page." Got me there.

This evening: Joel kept saying "Jimmy" over and over, so I told M and J that that was Pop's name and asked them if they knew what Mimi's real name was. Matthew promptly replied, "Mom!"

Woke up early at Holly's house (not the same Holly that just got married) and this was the scene on the floor (sweet!)...


Met "Uncle Donna" for coffee before our morning flight - we sure do miss our Aunt Wayne.

Detroit airport...

Little bean on the plane...

Stepped off the plane in Madison to cold winds and smiling Mimi and Joel faces! Matthew was such a pleasure to travel with and I can't believe our trip ended over a month ago. Looking forward to the next time!

Snow, Snow, Glorious Snow







You know you are in Wisconsin when.... You get dumped on from on high. And get dumped on we were, as one of those Storms of the Century passed through and buried us in 16 inches of white stuff quicker than you can say, "Global warming is a liberal conspiracy."

Actually, the day the snow fell it was not so bad: The air had some moisture still left in it, and the mercury was hovering around zero. That's zero Celcius, or 273 Kelvin for you scientists out there. Fahrenheit is one of those strange non-metric measurements - like pounds, gallons, bushels, pecks and dubloons - which I still cannot get my head around in America. Mr. Webster could have spent his time much more usefully on this rather than tinkering with trivial spelling issues, in my opinion.

Anyway, I digress. And the point is that today has been a lot colder at 17 degrees below. The kids played in the snow yesterday, but today I took Matthew around the block once and the poor little bean had icicle hands and bright red cheeks by the time we got back.

Florida Trip, Day 5 - Orlando

Seems strange to be posting about a Florida trip that we took last month (especially as it was so warm there and we had 17 inches of snow here in WI last night!), but trying to catch up!

Spent the Monday after my friend Holly's wedding in Orlando where I grew up, visiting with my grandparents all day (Mommee Melt and Pa). Matthew had met them already when he was 9 months old, but I think he will remember this visit much better.


Don't they look good to be in their nineties?

Their backyard...








Matthew and I spent the night with my dear friend Holly and her hubby, Dave, and daughter, Miss C. Master C wasn't feeling so well and spent the night at his grandma's, so we missed meeting him but will see him next time.

Storytime before bed...


 

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