Back to normal

Well, Vivian and I are parents now, and we’re slowly adjusting as life gets back to “normal,” whatever that is now. Hannah seems to be a pretty good sleeper, able to zonk out for a couple hours when we drop into a chili party. We’ve both gotten pretty good at changing diapers, making bottles, and figuring whether our baby wants food, changing, or cuddles. It’s been a joy, but now that Vivian’s recovering, we’re slowly returning to the real world outside our home in Bellevue.

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On Friday night, I took a much-needed trip up to JNO for some swing dancing. (Vivian was still not up for it, but hopefully will be in a couple weeks, just in time for the Christmas party.) We have live music courtesy of The UNO Big Band, and I had the chance to play with my new camera some more and capture several snapshots that I never could with my smaller point-and-shoot.

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On Sunday night, we brought Hannah out for her first public appearance at Eric and Ben’s annual Chili Throwdown event. Vivian and I have attended this culinary competition for the past three years now, so we knew we couldn’t miss it. She slept like a pro throughout the entire event, but it was fun to introduce her to everyone who happened to stop by her little car seat/carrier

I created my own last-minute entry — a concoction I dubbed “bacon cheeseburger” chili. Naturally, it contained everything a good cheeseburger would have — cheese, ground beef, onion, mustard, relish, tomatoes, and one special ingredient for one special person: KETCHUP! I tailored this chili for the “most unique” category, which I’m sure it could have won if it hadn’t been eliminated. Eric said it sparked a lot of “discussion as to whether it was actually chili or not. I mean it contained all the usual ingredients, save for one: chili powder. It didn’t win any awards either way, but it was fun to make (and eat).

This year’s winners were Bri for best non-chili entry (potato soup), Adri for third place, Julia for second, and C.J. for both spiciest chili and first place. Congrats, guys!

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Oh, did anybody notice that it’s December already? That means Vivian and I had to run out and grab a Christmas tree. We’re in the process of decorating now. We also had to get our Christmas letters taken care of, and that meant getting a new family picture with Hannah! Tamra was kind enough to take some picture of us when she was over for a baby-holding session on Sunday.

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