The holidays have quickly drawn to a close, and I felt reluctant to let the Yuletide Joy pass away into the boring cold winter of just plain January. Of course, we still have one last hurrah in the form of New Year’s Eve, which means fun with friends, as usual.
The first stop on the party train was Katie’s birthday, which actually falls on New Year’s Eve, but we celebrated the Saturday before. Vivian and I made the trek from Bellevue to one of Omaha’s nine or ten Olive Gardens, all of which were packed to the brim with people requiring us to park our car somewhere in the middle of Elkhorn and climb over a few snowy mountains to make our way back. We brought Hannah along, and she seemed to enjoy chowing down on lasagna and chicken Parmesan with the rest of us.
After dinner, we scooted on down to Katie’s house afterward to have cake and participate in everyone’s newest favorite game: Progressive Word-Guessing. This where we all submit words based on a theme (Halloween, Christmas, winter, or whatever we happen to be doing at the moment). We have two teams and for the first round (using Jon’s Droid as a timer) each team member takes a turn trying to get the others to say the word by describing it without saying the word itself. For the next round, we do the same thing only using two words. For the third round, we use only charades, and for the fourth (and rarely reached) round, we have sound effects. It’s been a fairly easy stand-by game requiring only slips of paper, a bowl, and a timer, and is still the only way you can scream “Buddy the Elf” in public.
On New Year’s Eve, our family dropped by Pastor Drew’s house for an evening with their herd of kids and a few other friends from church. We brought an assortment of nibblins’ for dinner, which included addictive quinoa cupcakes made with Parmesan cheese courtesy of Kelly. Hannah enjoyed getting some girl time with the Rietjens kids, who played quietly when they weren’t treating her like a giant doll that they could tackle, dress up, and put to bed at will. The “adults” got to play a series of crazy games based on “minute to win it,” which included stacking chocolate donuts, golf balls, swinging fruit, and shaking our butts. It was a fun and crazy way to finish off the end of the year, and we watched a series of funny YouTube videos as the year concluded, toasting it with Martinelli’s before going home.