Happy New Year!

Ok, so I kind of fell off the posting-every-weekday blogging bandwagon toward the end of last year.  I tried but it didn’t quite work out some days…  That’s just how it goes when the holidays roll around.  Some things were not blogged that should probably be chronicled and I’ll see what I can do about getting them wrapped up.  No promises though.  I’m starting 2011 out stress free (at least for the first day).

On that note, let’s talk about New Year’s Eve!

For the past two days I felt like I was fighting a cold and had been super tired so we decided to keep our celebration low-key.  My boys really wanted to see their cousins and I did have a 10-pack of party hats/horns/leis that needed to be used so we invited Big Red and the boys over.  We also had a huge pack of mini-fireworks that the kids were dying to set off in the street.  Big Red brought over some fire wood, sparklers, chips/dip and some hummus.  It was an instant party!

J lit a nice fire in the fire bowl.  There’s just something about a roaring fire during the winter that makes everything feel festive.  When the temperatures dropped around midnight the heat felt so good!  Kindly ignore the crap at the bottom of our pool.  The wind blew tons of mulch and other debris into the water.  It needs a good vacuuming.  J, if you’re reading this can you add “clean the pool” to your list?  Pretty please?  🙂

When Big Red arrived he noticed my pisco in an Easter-Island-Head-shaped bottle on our bar.  He was intrigued since he had never heard of such a liquor much less tasted a pisco sour.  When I took a study abroad trip to Chile during my MBA studies at the University of Houston I imbibed great amounts of pisco sours.  Yum!  So I offered to make us all a round.  Here’s the recipe I used:

Pisco Sour

2 oz. pisco

1 oz. fresh lime juice

1 oz. simple syrup

1 egg white

dash of bitters

Shake vigorously in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Strain into a glass and enjoy!

We headed out front to light fireworks after the drinks were made.  The boys could hardly contain their excitement.  J was the pyro-hero in their eyes.  It was so cute watching them jump for joy and scream with delight.  Simple pleasures are the best, are they not?

The sparklers were a hit as well.  Have I told you how much I love the fireworks setting on my point-and-shoot camera?  I LOVE it!  Look at those photos!  So cool!

After all of the pyro toys were exhausted we headed back inside to snack on some more goodies and wait for the ball to drop.  We rang in the new year watching Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest and toasting with a yummy bottle of Moet Chandon champagne that Big Red gave us for Christmas.  The boys split a bottle of sparkling grape juice.

As you can see, we got a new television for Christmas.  We’re in the process of relocating all of our A/V equipment so our living room looks kind of crazy with wires and stuff all over the place.

Then the kids mauled Big Red before becoming so exhausted they passed out…

From our family to yours, we wish you a blessed 2011 filled with happiness, good friends, good health and simple pleasures!

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Demise of a Christmas Tree

This was me on New Year’s Eve.  Our friends, Ricardo and Karenita, hosted a beach bonfire.  It was a family-friendly way to spend the evening.  The night was gorgeous!  It was clear, cool, with little wind and no clouds.

There were many other bonfires up and down the beach that night.  We were treated to an illegal fireworks display thanks to the people next to us.  We really enjoyed it until the police put a smack down on them…

Their next prank brought the fire department running…

They rigged up a little hot air balloon with a few craft sticks, a candle, some string and a plastic bag.  They launched their contraption at the water’s edge.  It glowed beautifully as the gentle breeze lifted up and away.  We watched it until it disappeared high in the atmosphere behind some wispy clouds.  The boys thought it was the coolest thing ever.

But then the fire department showed up, truck and all…  The SBFD went to each beach party and said that they didn’t care who did it and didn’t want to know but they did not want to see another hot air balloon go up.  If the wind shifted and the thing fell on the city then there would be real problems.  They had a point.

J remembered making those homemade hot air balloons when he was in school.  A teacher took his class out to a field in the middle of the city and taught everyone how to make them.  Times have changed a bit, it would seem.

So, the demise of the Christmas tree!  Right!

When I found out about the bonfire and heard that the hosts were bringing a Christmas tree to burn, my thoughts immediately went to our wilted, dried out tree.  I insisted that J disrobe the tree while I prepared dinner.  The thought of it lying in a sad heap on the street until the city came to pick it up just did not seem right.  Why not send it up in a blaze of glory?

We chucked the nude tree in the back of J’s truck and headed to the beach after dinner (we had black-eyed peas, of course).  At the very end of the evening, J tossed it onto the fire.  The flames engulfed our tree in no time.  It burned very quickly and very hot then it was gone.  Almost in the blink of an eye.

I think we should do this with all of our Christmas trees from now on.

It seems like the proper way to send off a tree that has served us well.

After the fire, we came home and let the boys toss colored smoke bombs into the street.  Second to the hot air balloon, they thought it was the coolest thing ever…

Happy New Year!

New Year’s Eve was spent at Auntie Jo’s house party.  We were the token hip, older couple with kids.  At what point did I go from being a twentysomething party goer to one half of a hip older couple?!  Argh!  It was a fun night nonetheless.

I discovered the goodness that is vodka and Juicy Juice.  Random, I know!  We found out that our kids can hang at an adult party until 1 AM without one single meltdown.  We also got to check out my ex-stepbrother’s gigantic side/torso tattoo.   I can’t believe he actually got one.  It looks like Little Red Riding Hood kneeling next to a white tiger under a tree.  Kids these days…  Why do they need to tat themselves up?  I’m sure the tattoo has some deep, angst-ridden meaning but I fail to see it.

It was a very  different way for our family to ring in the new year.  I hope this means that 2009 will be a better year than 2008.  And I hope your 2009 is amazing!

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