Monday, January 9, 2017

New Year 2017

Us.Here is our short note for our latest New Year celebration. This year we met the new 2017 year with close family. And as always, traditionally at my parents. There was Alёna and I, mom and dad, Lina and Lenny and of course Anna and Arosha.

With grandparents.Arosha has agreed to take a day nap on the last day of the year — typically he doesn’t take naps — so he could finally stay up to actually meet the new year. Last year he fell asleep minutes before and we couldn’t wake him up. This year he stayed up way past the midnight. Anna went to sleep at her regular time, but woke up right after midnight — probably from all our cheering.

Laughter.It ended up being quite fortunate as they could open all their presents together. My dad always performs the role of Santa giving out the presents from under the tree. For Alёna and I we got a new 4th generation Apple TV — our 3rd one has bit the dust and that’s how we watch all of our TV and a manual juicer press. And we also got ourselves yet another Instagram calendar for this year that has also became a tradition.

Lina and Lenny.Kids — I don’t know where to begin. They got a ton of stuff. They got a huge set of play-doe, 2 different kinds of clay, some kinetic sand and paper edger scissor set for their crafts. They got a whole bunch of board-games and toys. Santa Clause even knew that Arosha really wanted a green lightsaber. Yup, he even got the color right. Not sure how he knew.

Kids.They also go a whole bunch of new clothing. Arosha couldn’t care less — I used to be same exact way — clothing was the least exciting present ever. Anna, however, is totally different. She starts awing and oowing all over her new stuff and starts trying it all out on herself. No wonder she learned how to put on shoes way before she turned 2. Women.

С мамой.We also got a new 128GB 9.7″ iPad Pro — the newest version — for my parents. Their iPad 2 is really antique by now and they tend to use it fairly consistently. And then there was a miscellany of different clothing for everyone.

I kind of started from the end though. Every New Year we start with family portraiture. I bring up my equipment, set up lights and we do numerous pictures of us in different configurations. This year I got lazy and used only one flash through an umbrella and it shows. The shadows on one side of some faces turned out to be really harsh. Note to self — do not be lazy.

Generations.We also forgot to take any pictures of our dinner table. We have a set of traditional New Year dishes that we do every year. We had french meet — meat with cheese melted on top — with potatoes, holodets — a kind of a frozen soup, shuba — translates as fur-coat, but is really a layered salad with layer of herring on the bottom, eggplant tomatoes — like some tapa which consists of a slice of fried eggplant with a slice of tomato on top with mayo and garlic, funcheza — my mom’s signature dish that is everyone’s favorite and multitude of other things. And of course no Russian New Year goes without Olivie salad.

And that’s pretty much it. It is 2017. Hard to believe how far into the 21st century we have gotten already.
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Sunday, January 3, 2016

New Year 2016

Our kids and us.Good-bye, 2015! Hello, 2016! Be Happy! Be healthy! Be the best year yet!

We celebrated at Danya’s parents. Lina and Lёnya were at his parents’ this year, so it was just us and Alla — Danya’s mom’s friend, who lives in our building.

With dad.The kids got sick the day before. Anюta was more or less O.K., just mild fever, but Arosha had a moderate fever and did not feel very well. It kind of sucks, since he was just sick last week, but what you gonna do? At least he is fine now, not counting minor cough and runny nose.

With mom.I only cooked one salad — the herring under beets. It just so happened that it became my New Year specialty, so I make it each time. Danya’s mom cooked a lot as always. I am so grateful that we can celebrate with them each year (on many levels, including the fact that it’s much easier to be a guest than a host). Alla also brought a few salads, so there was plenty of food, and I could not even try everything. It goes without saying that everything was delicious.

Arosha.We drank Bellini to say good-bye to 2015 and Veuve Clicquo Champagne to meet 2016. I am not a big fan of sparkling wines, but those two I really enjoy.

Dinner table. Small portion.The children went to bed close to 9 after getting their presents a few hours earlier. We really ought to cut the number of presents we get them, because I think that due to sheer quantity of gifts, they appreciate each one less. We’ll see if we’ll be able to control ourselves more next year.

Illy coffee machine.I got a good number of gifts myself — winter hat, shampoo, t-shirt, jewelry box and a coffee machine. The latter one is a present from Danya. I like coffee, but I especially enjoy cappuccino. This machine makes a wonderful espresso and steams milk into a perfect foam. I’ve made myself a few cups since getting it, and they are delicious!

Tear-off calendar from our Instagram stream.Danya’s parents tried the coffee today too, and both of them liked it. The funny thing is that Arosha likes the cappuccino I make for him as well. I use very little espresso and add lots of milk, some sugar and sprinkle it with cinnamon. Yum!

Hermes Apple Watch strap.Danya got a new wrist band for his Apple Watch (he seems to like it) and UGG slippers, which are a bit small, so we’re exchanging them, and a nice pair of winter pants and a wooden bow tie (he picked it out himself, but it is partially sponsored by his sister). And of course Danya ordered a traditional page-a-day calendar with pictures from our Instagram stream. He got one for his parents as well.

Fraction of gifts for kids.I also got a chance to Face Time with my parents this year. We gave my mom our old iPad when she left, and now we talk almost every day. It is so nice! It was cool to not just wish them Happy New Year, but see their holiday tree and holiday table and holiday looks.

Arosha's globe.And on the January 1st Lina, Lёnya and Lёnya’s parents came over to Daniel’s parents. Us and Alla joined too. We had a nice dinner and played a few of Arosha’s new games. It was fun, although I know it was tiresome for Danya’s parents to host a party for two days in a row.

Huge wall map of the World.All in all, it was a nice, relatively quiet holiday. I hope that we all will enjoy 2016!

Us.
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Friday, January 16, 2015

New Year 2015

Our not so little family unit.The new year is here. We’re living in the future. 2015! Hard to believe. Last year just flew by. Year after year. Kids are growing, we’re getting older. Yet New Year is our favorite holiday — the family gets together, remembers all the good things from the year past and hoping for the next one to be good.

Little Santa.Usually we have a full table filled with some of our favorite dishes. The traditional things are salad Olivie, funchёza, french meat (beef with melted cheese), shuba (salad with beats and herring), holodets (frozen solid soup) and many others.

Grandpa and grandson.For many years now we have a tradition — I bring over all my camera gear, set up light and we take family portraits. It’s nice to see all our previous ones. The changes on the kids are the most noticeable.

Grandma and granddaughter.This year there was nine of us — dad and mom, Lina and Lёnya, aunt Lilya, Anюta, Arosha, Alёna and I. It’s always great to be surrounded by your closest family. The only better year that I remember is when Alёna’s mom was visiting us and met new year with us.

Kids.Anna went to sleep two hours past her usual time. Arosha tried hard to stay up, but got too tired about half an hour before New Year. Last year he used to go to bed at 10pm or so, so he met New Year with us, but now he typically goes to bed at 8pm. First of all he has to wake up for school at 7am and he stopped sleeping during the day. That is, by the way, one of the biggest things that happened last year — he started school.

With my son.After 12 o’clock and all the champagne drinking we put dad into Santa business. We load all our presents under the tree and my dad reads the names and gives the gifts out. The whole list is too long. Short summary — Harry’s shaving kits for dad and Lenny, CODE mechanical keyboard for my dad, modern electronic scale for mom, beautiful Swarovski watch for Alёna, Swarovski figurine for mom, Swarovski necklace for Lina, Blizzard gift certificate for Hearthstone cards and Nikon 50mm F/1.8G lens for me and many many other things.

With my beautiful wife.Also we got ourselves yet another calendar made from our 2014 Instagram photos from Prinstagram. Arosha and Anюta got a good number of toys, games and candy. Anюta doesn’t really get New Year yet, and Arosha couldn’t come up with something that he really wanted. So in addition to all the toys we got him a ticket to circus — Arosha, Alёna and I will go.

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

New Year Gifts

It’s already been 3 weeks since the New Year and we still haven’t made a short “gifts” post that we wanted to make. As always there was a ton of gifts. Here are just some of the ones that we got.

Wusthof Classic knives.For Alena we finally got a really nice yet small set of knives to replace some “As seen on TV” mega set that we had. Instead of getting a ton of cheap useless knives we got a set of 4 with the main knife being Wusthof Classic Chef’s Knife. The difference between what we had and this knife is immense. It becomes very obvious by just holding it — the weight, the balance. Alena is very happy with them. Now we need to master the art of sharpening.

Swords.For Arosha we got a spinning top and a sword. He keeps playing with “swimming noodles” made out of foam and uses them as swords. So we thought he would like an actual toy sword. And he did. It’s a very nicely made foam sword. Later on we got another one in the mail that we ordered for New Year, but it didn’t come in time. We also didn’t think it was good enough. But he likes this foamy thing too, so we kept it. He also got a ton of games and toys from grandparents.

Japanese winter socks.And I got a set of AMG pedal covers that I posted about before and expanded my collection of designer, Japan made, winter socks. The pair with Elk I had since last winter, the rest are new. I love them. Worm, cozy and spices up your look nicely. J.Crew has a really nice selection, but the good ones are often out of stock.

And the last, but not least is a tear-off calendar made by Social Print Studio from our Instagram photographs taken during 2013. I printed one of these as a gift for Alena last year and Arosha, Alena and I enjoyed it a lot. The first thing Arosha would do every morning would go and tear a page off to see what the next one is. Calendar prints out in a random order, so you never know what kind of memory it’s going to bring up the next day.

Tear-off calendar from Social Prints Studio.This year however they added a feature where they would come out in sorted order and a person could rearrange them any way they wanted. However “Randomize” function was gone. Doing 365 random shifts would not be a small task and without random order it would take out half the fun. So I sent a good number of requests via Twitter to them and they kept saying that it was going to be back.

Time was running out and I started considering writing a Chrome plug-in to just do it myself, but it seemed like a big waste of time since it was a much easier thing to do on the backend. And when I was about to give up hope I got a Twitter message that “Randomize” was back! I ordered the calendar the same day and I received in on December 31st, right on time. It came out great — just like last year. So we’re shooting Instagram as much as we can to have a new set of 365 pictures for the next year. What an awesome product from SPS.

Arosha with his new sword.I slightly regret not doing this for the last couple of years. Maybe we need to do some catch up on the ones that stand out and we still use daily from previous New Years.
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Saturday, January 11, 2014

New Year 2014

Our little family unit. Featuring little and little little units.When Arosha was celebrating his first New Year, we had a lot of people to share it with. Anna’s first New Year was much more low key — just the four of us and Daniel’s parents.

Aunt Lilya got out of the hospital a few days before the year end and did not feel well enough to come, Lina and Lёonya were celebrating with his parents, Ignat, Vika and Alisa were celebrating with Ignat’s mom who came to visit from Moscow. My family is in Minsk…

Grandparents.I cooked herring “shuba” and olivie — luckily Anechka took a good nap while Danya and Arosha went to Kings Plaza to get one last gift (Swarowski figurine for grandma) and to ride an escalator. Arosha really wanted to help with cooking, so I asked him to peel some eggs, and he did it with great pleasure!

Danya’s mom made New Year staples — holodets, funchoza, “French” meat, oven roasted potatoes, fried eggplant with tomatoes and fried shrimp.

Danya’s dad bought a really nice bottle of French champagne — Veuve Cliequot. We had a cheaper champagne too the next day, and I can say that I much preferred the good brand one.

Our tree.We went to Danya’s parents at around 7pm and started off with some pictures. I like this new tradition of ours! By the time we were done, it was around 3 hours since last Anechka’s nap, so she got really fussy and started crying. I am surprised she lasted that long! I guess, she knew that it was important to be on family pictures.

I nursed her and she went to sleep peacefully. We started our dinner, and toasted the leaving year with some wine. I am very grateful to 2013. We got the best gift a family can get — a brand new life, our beautiful and healthy daughter.

Arosha really wanted to open gifts, so taking his age into account we did not make him wait until midnight, but let him start the process at 10. Last year d. Boris changed into Granfather Frost, but this year we thought that Arosha will see right through the charade. Instead t. Oksana suggested that we should distract him, while she will ring the doorbell and leave a bag of gifts at the door. We did just that. Arosha was slightly disappointed that Grandfather Frost was too busy to pay a visit, but later on he said that it was actually a good thing since he (Arosha) did not learn a poem for Grandfather Frost. Traditionally children have to recite a poem to Grandfather Frost to get gifts, but I had no luck with our smart, but stubborn son, who did not want to memorize any poems.

Alёna and Anюta.To be honest, by the time the New Year has come I was really tired. Without guests the celebration is not as exciting, plus lately I am chronically sleep deprived. We toasted the incoming 2014 year of the wooden horse and proceeded to open all the gifts.

My gift to Danya sucked — I got him leather gloves which did not fit well even though I bought two sizes, and UGG sleepers which had an odd fit as well. He got car pedal covers for the car from his parents, fancy socks from Linka (both gifts he picked up himself), and a bar of nice soap from t. Lilya.

I got a set of good German knives from Danya (so far I am really liking them), cast iron grilling pan from Lina and Lёnya (I picked it myself and it’s great), a daily calendar with our Instagram pictures from Danya (every day Arosha tears off a picture), clothes from Danya’s parents and soap from t. Lilya.

Alёna and Arosha.Arosha and Anechka got a whole bunch of toys from everyone, including Zhanna (Danya’s mom co-worker). The one Arosha plays with the most at home at the moment is a foam sword which Danya picked out for him on Amazon.

We did not know it yet, but Arosha was coming down with an upper respiratory tract infection, so he was really tired by the time the gift-gifting was over. I have decided to go home to sleep even though we could have stayed at Danya’s parents. I know that Anechka and Arosha are early risers, and I wanted to give Danya’s parents an opportunity to get a good rest.

It’s a good thing that we did leave, since Arosha was coughing and waking up a lot that night. Now, 11 days later he is still sick, although in much better condition. In addition he got double otitis, had a fever for 4 days straight (never happened before) and was prescribed antibiotics for the first time in his life. At first he stopped eating at all, but then he ate chicken soup for 7 days, by his own will. I had to cook it 3 times.

Little helper.Even though we tried to separate them as much as possible, Anechka got sick too. She has a bronchiolitis now, but she seems to be slowly getting well.

Anyhow, I hope this coming year will be happy, healthy and lucky! Cheers!

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year 2013!

Our little family unit.Вот и наступил Новый 2013 Год. Честно говоря, не очень чувствовалось предпраздничное настроение. Может быть из-за того, что в этом году, так же как и в прошлом, совершенно не было снега?

А отметили мы очень хорошо. Традиционно у Даниных родителей. Кроме них с нами там были тётя Лиля, Лина с Лёней и Игнат с Викой и Алиской. Вобщем, народа собралось довольно много. Еды наготовили просто ужас сколько — одних салатов, наверное, штук 10 если не больше, плюс три горячих блюда, плюс блинчики с икрой, плюс холодное! Вобщем, я даже всё и не попробовала.

Кстати о еде. Лично я готовила три салата (пока Даня и Арошка гуляли), и получилась очень удачная шуба. Чтобы не забыть в чём секрет, быстро напишу какие были слои: картошка, майонез, селёдка (но тонким слоем!), сладкий лук, майонез, морковка, яйцо, майонез, свёкла, майонез.

Papa and mama.Начали ужин мы где-то в 20:30, но не в полном составе. Лёня работал допоздна, и они с Линой пришли уже после 22 часов. Пили шампанское, провожали старый год, вспоминали что в нём было хорошего (плохое-то какой смысл вспоминать). Главное, что вспомнилось, это отпуска, рефинансирование квартиры, ну и в принципе отсутствие каких-либо новых серьёзных болезней. Арошка с Алиской тоже пили “шампанское”. Мы хотели купить им десткую безалкогольную версию, но не нашли; суррогатом послужил газированый розовый лимонад. Алиска-то, конечно, знала что именно она пьёт, а вот Ароша думал, что в фужере у него было то, что надо. Пластиковые фужеры для детей мы купили заранее, Арошка сам выбирал — себе зелёный, Алиске красный.

Aunt Lilya.Мы решили не дожидаться полночи, и вручить детям подарки пораньше, пока они еще не такие уставшие. Д. Боря переоделся в костюм Деда Мороза и с мешком подарков позвонил в дверь. Алиска сразу поняла в чём дело — она еще до представления услышала, что мы планируем сделать. Ароша не был уверен кого же именно он видит. Видно, в его детскую душу закрались смутные сомнения, потому что он практически сразу же начал спрашивать: “А где наш дедушка? А где наш дедушка?”, и успокоился только тогда, когда мы сказали ему, что дедушка устал и прилёг отдохнуть. Алиска была очень рада подаркам, а Арошка пока что был к ним довольно равнодушен (все подарки были запакованы в праздничную бумагу). Единственное, к чему он сразу проявил интерес — это конфеты. К его счастью, в коробочке оказались не только нелюбимые шоколадные, но и вкусные карамельки с леденцами.

Alisa, Ignat, Vika.В этом году Арошка дождался-таки 12 часов. Правда, едва-едва. За 5 минут до Нового Года он совсем подкис и начал проситься спать, но я взяла его на руки и под мои рассказы он встретил его вместе со всеми. Спали мы у Даниных родителей, так что после питья шампанского мы сразу отправились укладываться. Несмотря на поздний час, мне пришлось просидеть с Арошкой почти до часа ночи (я пробовала выйти пораньше пару раз, но он вставал на кроватке, сильно плакал и звал меня).

Mama and Lina.Потом раздавали подарки взрослым. Я в этом году, как и хотела, получила кучу всего полезного для кухни — чугунный казан (La Crueset signature enamel cast iron dutch oven), чугунную же сковородку, рисоварку для сладкого тайского риса, разные стаканы (а то у нас их всего 2 дома оставалось), многоразовую пробку для бутылок. Еще мне досталась маечка, зеркальце, качественное мыло, фигурка змеи, календари. Дане подарили разноцветные носки (он сам хотел) и линзу для фотоаппарата (некоторые из мелочей, перечисленных как мои подарки, были для нас обоих).

Даниному папе мы подарили iPhone, чему он был очень рад, а Даниной маме пару тёплых тапочек от Ugg (к сожалению они ей не подошли, так что мы сейчас в процессе подбора нового подарка). Лине с Лёней от всех нас достался пылесос Dyson, т. Лиле мы подарили сковородку, а Вике с Игнатом соковыжималку. Арошке мы в этом году угадали с подарком — набор для игры с пластилином ему очень понравился, и детские (не игрушечные) вилка с ложкой тоже оказались очень удобными (еще мы подарили ему книгу про одного из полюбившихся ему героев, слонёнка Бабара, но не могу сказать, что он ей сильно впечатлён).

Alena and Daniel.Спать мы пошли где-то в 2:30. Арошка, несмотря на позднюю укладку, встал в 7:30.

А вообще хочется пожелать нам всем счастливого 2013 года. Пусть все будут здоровы, пусть сбудутся заветные мечты (или хотя бы одна мечта), пусть будут интересные путешествия, пусть будет много удачных и радостных дней. Побольше нам любви, терпения, доброты.
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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 is Here

Grandpa, grandma and Arosha.Another year is behind, another year is ahead. I am sure it will bring a lot of happy moments, a lot of opportunities to be good and to do good, a lot of sweet dreams, and hugs, and smiles. I am sure it will bring some sad moments, some worries, some things that we’d rather avoid. There is no light without darkness, and I can only hope that I’ll be wise enough to appreciate all things, both good and not so good, that life throws my way.

I wanted 2011 to be nice and quiet, and that’s pretty much what we’ve got — no life-changing events or moving to new apartments — although it was not completely uneventful either.

My mom spent the beginning of 2011 with us, and this made me very very happy (and extremely sad when she left). Moms are so special! I hope we’ll see each other again in 2012.

The whole family.We went on two great vacations last year. One was Bermuda cruise which we took together with Danya’s parents and Aroshka, and another was our recent trip to Japan (special thanks to Danya’s mom who spent her vacation taking care of Aroshka and made this whole thing possible). All I can say is that exploring the world is one of the best things in life, and I hope we’ll continue doing it in 2012.

I have become an aunt for the second time last year. My sister gave birth to a baby-boy in July, and it is so much fun to see him growing (over Skype, but still), even more so because him and Aroshka are so close in age. I have to be honest, I like it when my older sister asks me for advise — makes me feel smart and all.

Both us and Danya’s parents have refinanced our apartments last year. The rates are even lower now, but I don’t think that it’s worth the hustle to re-do it again. I dream of a big house, with nice backyard which will have real grass and trees, with roomy kitchen, with hardwood floors which we would not have to cover with carpets because of neighbors. It would be nice to have Danya’s parents to live close to us — we really are lucky to live next door to them now.

Us. We look tired.Aroshka has grown so much during the last year! He turned from a bold chubby baby to a tall and slim toddler with beautiful curls and mischievous smile. He learned how to sit, crawl, stand on his own and walk. He’s got 10 new teeth and started to eat solid food. He learned to make so many sounds, and can verbally communicate a lot of things already. I bet that by the next New Year’s eve he’ll be a pretty proficient talker. I love him so much and he makes me happy and proud every single day.

My wonderful husband and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary last year. It was really special — we had a traditional Japanese dinner at ryokan in Kyoto! I wish us many more happy years together. Hopefully, next year we’ll be able to travel again on this date.

I hope that the mighty Dragon will bring a lot of luck and happiness to everyone in 2012!

Dinner table getting set.And just a few words about our celebration. It was pretty low key this year. We went to Danya’s parents (one of Danya’s mom acquaintances joined us since she had nowhere else to go to), and started a holiday dinner at around 19:00. In about an hour Aroshka opened some of his presents and went to sleep.

We watched some TV and greeted 2012 with traditional champagne at 00:00 and then everyone got their presents. For some reason we had really tough time buying presents this year, especially for Danya and d. Borya. They said that they really had everything that they need, which is kind of true. I ended up ordering Danya’s present (leather journal) really late and got it in mail just a few hours before the deadline. I personally got a cool tea brewing gadget, a set of cookware, a summer dress and a box of candies.

Shortly after 12 Alex came for a short while, and around 1 o’clock I went to sleep. We slept over at Danya’s parents’ since we did not want to wake Aroshka up in the middle of the night. Both him and I had (and still have) a mild cold, but luckily he only woke up once during the night.

Alena and Arosha.We spent the majority of January 1st at Danya’s parents. Danya’s friend, Igor, with his wife Tanya and 3 children paid us a visit (at Danya’s parents aparment), and somehow it put me into more holiday mood. Aroshka was excited to see them (their youngest daughter, Anechka, is only 5 days older than Aroshka). I was also happy that they came because we’ve been to their home a few times already, and it was nice to return the hospitality. They are really nice people, and I can only imagine how much work it takes to take care of all of their kids! Lina and Lenya also came for a short while. They were celebrating the New Year with Lenya’s parents this time around, but next year they’ll be joining us, which is good.

By the way, we did not have any snow yet! As far as holiday mood goes, it’s a downer. Should we wish for a white 2013 New Year?
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Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year 2011

Everyone, but Aroshka. Big family.I was planning to do a yearly summary before the year ended, but never got around to it, so I’ll just leave a couple of words about our celebration and the last year itself.

Christmas tree and gifts.Obviosly the most important and life changing thing that happened to us last year was a birth of our son Arosha. When we were greeting 2010 a year ago we already knew how important this year is going to be. Now we can safely say that the pregnancy went well, the birth went well and now Arosha is growing fast and we can see how he is changing and developing new skills on a regular basis. Hopefully in 2011 things will go as well as they did last year.

Papa and mama with their grandson.With respect to our travel — we had 2 great vacations. Even though both of them will stay in our memories for a long time the road trip through California was amazing. We wanted to visit that beautiful state for quite a while now and I can honestly say that I’m in love with its National Parks and San Francisco area. Alena has been almost 5 months pregnant then, but she did as much hiking as walking as the rest of us.

Alena, Arosha and I.Another big thing for us is Alena’s citizenship. It’s been a long journey and it’s nice to finally put all that behind us. Now we’re a full family of citizens with ability to travel the world. It’s also great that Alena’s mom is currently staying with us until March. They haven’t seen each other in a long time and it’s great to finally have her see how our life is, not to mention all the help we’re getting from her.

Aunt Lilya and Arosha.The celebration itself was our biggest in a good number of years. Last year there were only 5 of us, this time there were 9 of us. Papa, mama, Alena’s mama, Alena, Arosha, Lina, aunt Lilya, Lenny and I. It made the New Year celebration better.

Papa and I.We had a huge dinner — there is no way without it in my mom’s house and this year we had 2 moms. I probably gained 10 pounds at least during these days. We remembered last year — mostly good things, and we all wished the next one will be good to us as well. Family, health and a little bit of stability is all that matters.

After New Year itself my dad took up his traditional role of Ded Moroz. Everone has gotten tons of gifts as always. Ded Moroz was good to me with my wishes.

Dinner table. Part 1 of many.You see, in the beginnning of the evening I had an elaborate setup going for family portraits. Photography has become even a bigger passion for me this year than before. This year I made a wise descision to get Nikon D700 and it’s been a great one at that. The timing was perfect and the camera itself is amazing. Ded Moroz though added a second flash to my arsenal — Nikon SB-600 (a good companion for my SB-800), MC-36 remote control for the camera and a light-tent.

In conclustion I will just repeate again that all one needs for happiness is family, health and some stability. I wish it for all of us and all of you. Happy New Year!
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Alena, Mama, Mama, Lina, Arosha.Вот и пришел Новый 2011 год! Пусть он будет счастливым для всех! Пусть все будут здоровы! Пусть всем улыбается удача!

Согласно китайскому колендарю, 2011 год является годом кролика. ) Я не очень разбираюсь в китайском гороскопе, но мне всегда интересно знать под знаком какого животного пройдёт следующий год. ) Как пошутили на первом канале — в году кролика женщины будут сговорчивее, а мужчины шустрее. Мне хочется, чтобы этот год прошел спокойно, без больших событий и потрясений, чтобы мы просто имели возможность наслаждаться каждым часом, впитывать в себя драгоценные мгновения жизни.

Papa and Arosha.2010 год был лично для меня замечательным. Самым главным событием было, без сомнения, рождение Ароши. Я пока еще новичок в новом искусстве материнства, и даётся пока оно не так легко, как я ожидала, но всё же в целом я ощущаю себя очень счастливым человеком. Как было бы здорово, если бы можно было законсервировать момены абсолютного счаться, которые случаются у меня почти каждый день, когда Ароша радуется маленьким вещам (прыганью в Jumperoo, купанию с Даней, стоянию на ножках, общению с нами)!

Us.Еще очень важным событием 2010 года для меня было получение гражданства. Я так долго этого ждала, и когда вспоминаю об изначальных сложностях, то кажется, что всё это было очень давно, и было ли оно вообще? Память всё же замечательная вещь — она стирает острые углы и черные дыры, и неприятности не кажутся такими уж неприятными, и как-то в общей картине всё преобретает свой смысл. Я, к слову, почти прослезилась во время церемонии натурализации, когда после клятвы судья говорил мне и еще сотне-другой человек о том, какая же замечательная страна Америка, и о том, что она принимает нас с распростёртыми обьятиями. )

Alena and mama.Еще я очень рада общению с мамой. Всё же мы не виделись очень много лет! Если бы звонки в Беларусь не были такими дорогими, я бы чаще ей звонила…

Our New Year tree with tons of gifts.Год кролика мы встретили расширенным составом — нас было, считая Арошу, аж 9 человек! Еда, как всегда, была очень вкусной (Данина мама и Лина приготовили фунчозу, мясо по-французски, запечённую в духовке картошку, 7 разных салатиков, мы с мамой принесли курицу, селёдку под шубой, оливье и цветную капусту, тётя Лиля напекла луковых и кабачковых оладушек, а Лёня прикупил печенья и конфет к чаю). Всё прошло тихо, мирно, по-семейному. ) Вобщем, как в “ладушках” — попили, поели, домой полетели. )

Us.После официального наступления Нового года, д. Боря сыграл роль Деда Мороза и раздал всем подарки. Подарков было много!!! Все старались порадовать друг друга. ) Лично я получила в подарок 2 кофточки, майку, тёплые сапожки, фен, соль для ванны, мыло и стеклянного зайца. Ароша получил в подарок целую кучу игрушек и спортивный костюмчик (он, конечно, всю встречу Нового Года проспал, чему все были очень рады). ) Вобщем, надеюсь, как встретили, так и проведём!
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Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year 2010

Наша ёлка.My favorite and biggest family holiday of the year is behind us, yet again. Year after year, decade after decade.

Папа и Мама.This time Lina, for the first time ever was not celebrating it with us. She greeted the new year with Lenny and his family.

Папа и тётя Лиля.Before the New Year we ate a god knows how many course dinner — my mom can never help herself and cook a little. Talked about the last year and the last decade1. The last decade probably had the largest number of changes that affected my life the most — meeting my wife being the biggest of them all.

Даня и Алёна.It was a good year, a good decade and I really hope our family can enjoy many more.

  1. Yes, I know that the actual decade is not yet over, but for the sake of turning over 2 digits, it is. []
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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Мысли Вслух

New books, including the one written by Daniel's dad.Хочется пару слов написать о жизни, да всё как-то руки не доходят. Попробую исправить ситуацию.

A few hours before meeting New Year 2009.Новый 2009 Год, как уже писал Даня, мы встретили дома у его родителей. Было хорошо, по-семейному, много подарков замечательных получила, но как ни странно настроение было какое-то неновогоднее. Это не значит, что оно было плохим или грустным — напротив, очень даже замечательным, но не праздничым. Может, старею, может, дело в отстутсвии снега, а может просто год на год не приходится? Continue Reading
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Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year Gifts

Shiseido Zen perfume. My gift to Alena for New Year.The New Year celebration flew by in an instance, as everything else seems to do. First thing we know we’re eating dinner and then hour by hour goes by and it’s time to count down the last ten seconds of the year.

Casio Pathfinder PAW1500T-7V. Alena's gift to me on New Year.At midnight exactly we pop the bottle of champaign open, shoot some firecrackers and poppers and then toast the new year. After a small desert my favorite parts starts — gift giving and receiving. We had a mountain of gifts under our Christmas tree.

Casio Baby G Sweet Poison BG2000BC-1 watch for Alena.We all got a lot of stuff. Alena got a perfume that she wanted — Shiseido Zen and a pair of sports wrist watches for mountain climbing and such. I got Casio Pathfinder 1500, the one with titanium bracelet. The watch has a lot of functions — compass, altimeter, barometer, temperature sensor beside other things.

Our full collection — Voyager, DS9 and TNG.My parents and Lina got us a whole bunch of Star Trek seasons of Voyager and The Next Generations. Now we a full set of each.

Some colorful pottery from my aunt.Linka also got us some towels with custom embroidered names. And my aunt got as some very colorful serving dishes. Good holiday with a lot of fun New Year is. My favorite. Too bad it is over so quickly.
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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year 2009

Happy New Year 2009!To our family & friends.

We spent a part of our weekend trying to come up with a card for New Year to congratulate all of you with an incoming 2009. We want to wish you, first of all, great health as with good health we can achieve anything else we set our mind to. And after that we wish you to reach or get closer to reaching your dreams in the new year. Have a happy New Year!

P.S. We hope you like our photo card — we took the photo ourselves.
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