Hello my darlings!
Long time no post, I know. And look, this one will be a total waste of your time.
We had a really wonderful Thanksgiving with Joel's parents in Monti (including a WAY fun ride on the new Northstar Lightrail -- highly recommend it!) and then got to meet Alley Joel and Cara's new baby, Elizabeth, and then drove down to Rolling Meadows for some post-Thanksgiving family time. Jean flew in, too, and Ellen and her boyfriend came out from the city, and it was so great to all get together. On the way home we stopped briefly in Milwaukee to catch up with Peg and John and Jack and there's nothing like old friends you can just pick right back up with.
I'm super-psyched about the Christmas season this year -- we've got a nice mix of family, adult, and girls-only parties; some old traditions to carry on... and some new ones to start. I am bummed that the Anita Kerr Singers' 1969 album "Spend this Holiday with Me" isn't available except on vinyl, but I DID get to hear it once, to kick my season off right. And my dad made it up to me by handing over one of Grandma Jake's Jane Monheit CDs. Happiness!
Tomorrow night I meet my Wilder Foundation Neighborhood Leadership Program coachee (this is the program I participated in last year; this year, despite my utter lack of experience, I am a "coach") -- she's a young woman from Liberia (and I'm a little embarrassed to admit I just Googled that to see where it was -- and to save you the trouble, it's on the west coast of Africa) who sounds super energetic and enthusiastic (from what I can tell from her 4-page questionnaire). I'm excited to meet her, but nervous because I have to essentially sit down and interview her for maybe 30 minutes. I hope she picks up on our shared enthusiasm and doesn't mind my spazzy ignorance. If she's looking for a cheerleader we'll be a good fit; if she's looking for a wealth of contacts and resources, well... perhaps I can show her how to work the Internets.
OK anyway! The kids were total angels all weekend -- golly do I adore them. And now I must hit the sack -- a great big month is looming.