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On New Year’s Day, I was thinking how different this year has been from pretty much every other New Year’s Day going back just about as far as I can remember.  Usually, New Year’s Day means the Huge Family Party, in which we pull out all the stops to entertain about forty of our nearest and dearest.  This means that we would have pulled ourselves out of bed early after days of cooking and cleaning (plus one night of revelry), ready to face a tight schedule of more cooking, cleaning, arranging, and then entertaining.  It would be a great party, a great way to start the new year, and definitely worth it.  However, it would also be a lot of stress and everyone would fall into bed at the end of the night totally exhausted.

This New Year’s, I got up in plenty of time to make it to Mass at my home parish, ate breakfast at home, and then headed over to the Family Homestead in time to see Indy and Rosie off to the Bengal’s game.  After a little while of hanging out, the rest of us headed off together to watch Tin Tin, which was awesome.  When we came out, we decided to see how many of us we could squeeze into the instant photo booth.  The answer was five (see evidence above).  The Duchess, Sae, and I were on the bottom, and AnniPotts and Fleur were on top.  I’m particularly proud of the picture on the bottom, where I managed to get at least half of my face into the frame.

After the movie, we headed home and cooked a quick dinner of pork chops, sweet potato fries, green beans and salad, and ate together around the big table.  Then there was dishes, and then I headed home again.  It was a little surreal to be heading away from my parents’ house on New Years Day, so early and so rested, but it was nice.

The night before was very nice too.  Mariah had her annual New Year’s Eve Party, complete with breaking a pinata in the front yard.  The pinata this year was the most adorable dinosaur, with big brown eyes, and a long neck that made him look disconcertingly like a llama.  And how can you hit a llama?  It’s just not possible.  It was a good thing it was dark, and we were blindfolded, otherwise we might have been totally defeated by The Cute.  Still, somehow we were able to overcome.  😀

After the pinata was properly subdued, we all headed back inside for more fun until we crowded up stairs (that’s where the tv is) to watch the ball drop in Times Square and toast the New Year.  Then, of course, there were noisemakers and poppers on the front porch.  But there was more.  I had gone into the house, and was tidying up the upstairs room when PM came to get me.  While he was gone in the wilds of Indiana the past year, he was apparently so lonely that he resorted to ballroom lessons.  I had told him that I wanted to learn Hustle (which is his favorite), and he had decided that I was going to have a lesson right then.  I’m always up for dancing, so I followed him downstairs to Mariah’s dining room, where I got my first Hustle lesson.  And then, since turn-about is fair play, I taught him some East Coast swing.  And then all the girls who had been watching wanted to learn swing too.  So I ended up starting off my New Year by beginning to learn a new dance, and then giving swing dancing lessons in my sister’s dining room.  Not a bad start, that.

Now I am in the midst of my last week at Job1 and Job2.  Tomorrow is my last day at Job2, and I’ve gathered that there is going to be some sort of good-bye luncheon.  No one has actually told me this, but they keep accidentally copying me on the e-mails.  Then I’ll take down the things on my bulletin board, return the cup I borrowed from one of them when mine disappeared, make a few last contract files, and say good-bye.

I really hate good-byes.