Now that things are back to normal after the holidays, I should really be posting again. At the very least, I have lots of pictures.
We spent Christmas in Chapel Hill, as we both have every year since 2003, when we were engaged (and Justin has almost every year of his life). The drive down was great. It's a 10-hour drive according to Mapquest; we did it in 11 hours, including two stops to eat/nurse Auletta and traffic most of the way from DC to Fredericksburg. We left early in the morning, and Auletta slept all the way from New Haven to somewhere around Stafford, Virginia, which is north of Fredericksburg. She is awesome in the car. As you can guess, we drove like bats out of hell whenever we had the chance.
Gomma is still hanging in there. She got to meet Auletta and is still well enough to appreciate seeing her first great-grandchild--she said several times how cute she is, and it's not easy for her to get sentences out, period (it is clear she's still capable of forming thoughts, but it takes a lot of effort to express them). And of course the rest of the extended family got to meet Auletta too. Once again, I didn't get to hold her very much because everyone else was bogarting the baby. She is in a wonderful cuddly stage where she's getting more substantial but is still easy to hold and snuggly, so I can't blame them.
On the way back we stopped in Charlottesville for a night, which was long enough for me to see my friend Heidi and her family, Laura, and all the people at Incarnation I haven't seen since May. I love the drive north on 29 when, just past Lynchburg, you get your first glimpse of the Blue Ridge, and then right as we crossed the Albemarle County line, the sun broke through the trees, angels started singing, etc. Even in the bleak midwinter, it's beautiful. I miss Virginia dreadfully, but that's another post in itself. Oh, we stopped at a great barbecue place in North Carolina on the way to Charlottesville--barbecue, sweet tea, hush puppies, the works. I think whatever weight I gained over the holidays happened there. Yum.
The drive the following day from Charlottesville to New Haven took almost as long as the drive from New Haven to Chapel Hill, because of rain and traffic--Auletta was good, but she was eating at least every three hours day and night for the next few days (she's starting to go five or six hours on average at night), so that was trying, but at least we were home. On the drive back I got the call from my family that my grandmother had passed away. It wasn't really a surprise--I went out to Seattle in June on short notice because we thought then her health was declining rapidly, but she started doing better and was all right until she had a stroke on Christmas Eve--but I feel badly that she never got to meet her first great-granddaughter. We had a tough choice this Christmas, with two grandmothers who were probably not going to make it another year, and we've been so occupied with Gomma's cancer that it never really occurred to me my own grandmother would die first, simply of being old. The memorial service will be in March, when we visit Seattle for Justin's Christmas break. I will work on a tribute to her here--she was a quiet but amazing woman, and probably the best role model I'll ever have.
Since we got back we've been hanging out at home. Justin's exams are this month, so he is (supposed to be) studying for them, and we've been following the early primaries, which is more interesting than actually voting in them. (We're not registered in Connecticut yet and primaries aren't open here--one reason Lamont defeated Lieberman in the 2006 primary--which as independents we both find annoying, so we might not vote. But this year the nominees might not be a forgone conclusion by Super Tuesday, so our vote would, like, count and stuff. I am kind of excited that as of this week, it seems possible the nominees on each side will be the ones I would have chosen and will give us a positive choice instead of a decision between a giant douche and a turd sandwich.)
I'll try to post pictures every day this week. All the kids are doing it.
1 month ago