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 Daniеl’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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