Look who came to visit! Miss Riley Grace Huff herself!
The whole Huff family traversed to DC to spend the New Year's week with us, and we loved having them. It was a delightful trip with plenty of snacking and relaxing. We also went and saw Avatar, which was our one trip out of the house. The movie was good -- we saw it in 3D, which was especially cool. We'd planned to go to the zoo one day, but being that it was so very cold, we just stayed bundled up in the house instead. I love having people in my house to feed and host! It is my very favorite thing in the world, and you are all welcome here anytime!
Also, Riley loves all of her Aunts and Uncles. She tackled Chris with a running leap of a hug, as you can see.
Riley is a very good helper. When we opened presents, she helped us open each gift. Steven is opening the gift Mom and Dad got for us -- a backyard fire pit! It will be very fun to use this summer. I am already planning a marshmallow roast. :)
Dad helped me tune my cello and taught me the beginning of a new piece.
And Riley helped us find the sheet music to print out and practice!
There was plenty of reading and computer browsing. This is how my family does down time.
But most importantly for a family from Georgia, there was snow. More than I imagine they'd seen in a while. :)
It was very fun to watch Riley experience the snow, although I'm not sure she enjoyed the "coldness" aspect.
And she was too cute in her pink jacket to resist taking a photo shoot with everyone. Here's her mom and dad, my brother Jon and his wife Mandy:
And Nana and Pop (my parents):
And her Aunt Heather and Uncle Steven! It feels so weird to be "Aunt Heather" but I am starting to really enjoy the gig. :) Also, I was honored to hear from her dad (my brother Jon) that me and Riley sort of resemble each other. (This is quite a nice compliment since she is overwhelmingly adorable.)
There was much snow throwing.
And there was even more video game-playing. Here we are knocking out some Guitar Hero tunes, and while I didn't manage to get a picture of this, Steven can verify that the family banded together and conquered all eight levels of the original Mario Brothers Nintendo game.
They split up the levels: Matt took Level 8-1, Steven did Level 8-2 with "the jump," and then Jon took Level 8-3 through the castle, just to the part with the Hammer Turtle People, at which point the game was paused, and Steven took the controls to "dance" with the hammer turtle and sneak past Bowser to win the game. Chris also deserves mention for his googling-and-guidance of the route through all of those green warp pipes in the final level. They stayed up till near midnight to get it done, and somebody snapped a cell phone picture of their triumphant victory. Let's see if I can find it for you...
Ah yes, here we are:
Winners, all around.
On their last day, the family decided to take a walk to the neighborhood playground.
Unfortunately, it was barely 20 degrees out that day, so we didn't last very long in the frigid air.
I went back to the house and grabbed every woollen item I could find, to garb my sweet Southern family for the coldness.
Ah, much better.
And upon return to the house, there was more snow-throwing. :)
I didn't manage to take any pictures of all the meals, but the dining room table got plenty of good use, and I think my roast-turkey-timing skills are getting a bit better. The key? Start early. :)
We made resolutions around the dinner table and then rang in the new year watching Dick Clark and drinking bubbly fruit juice. My resolution? Run a 10K. I could probably make a list of resolutions a mile long (and I might in a few days, you never know), but for now, that's my immediate next goal.
Happy New Year everyone, and thanks for visiting Mom, Dad, Jon, Mandy, Riley, Matt and Chris! We loved getting to see you and spend time with you all!