Saturday, December 20, 2008

Blake Family Christmas

Blake Family Christmas, originally uploaded by evens.john.

The photo's are up on my Flickr. One down, two to go. The Oyster stew is a hard act to follow!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I lied. There are several pictures from around my birthday that I want to share. I just hadn't taken them yet. On the left is our advent calender (expertly crafted by Kristal).

The most expert thing about it is that it is filled with Lindor truffles! Ithink there are five different varieties but we threw away the package and can't remember what the colors mean. One of them, we reckon the orange wrapped ones, are peanut butter flavor. I don't know why everyone insists on producing a peanut butter variety these days. Perhaps Reese's patent ran out. nevermind, all the other flavors are delicious.

I've always liked the fact that my birthday marks the start of advent. My mom kept up the tradition this year of giving me an advent greetings card on my birthday, which is perfect for me to display at work where a chocolate filled calender would contravene health and safety regulations!

This year, the procession through the calender windows also marks the countdown to are trip to England! Two weeks to go!

Since we won't be at home for Christmas, we are doing minimal decorating. However, I got these lights for cheap at Target the day of Halloween. I did a hopeless job of putting them up the first time, and they kept falling down and tangling up the screen door. On Black Friday I bought myself an early b'day present of a step-ladder, so I was able to hang them properly. Down the street there is a yard with the full compliment of inflatable winter festival characters, and they even blare out festive music. I also discovered a life sized Santa's sleigh and reindeer 'flying' in a beautiful arc a few feet off the ground of another neighborhood yard. I'f I can get a picture of it I'll post it up on Flickr.

Monday, December 08, 2008

On turning 25

Sorry for any readers who have been waiting for a post about my recent Birthday. As followers of this blog will know, I usually like to start off my posts with a photo or two, but for some reason there hasn't been much camera use lately. I completely failed to get any shots of our enormous Thanksgiving feast. Nothing much exciting happened on my birthday actual. Then in the happy chaos of celebrating my birthday AND engagement on Saturday with a night of bowling, the camera once again stayed in my coat pocket.
Since there are no pictures to display, I shall have to fall back on entertaining you all with scintillating prose. So what can I say about clicking over the quarter century mark?
The first thing that comes to mind is that my birthday marked exactly two and a half years since my arrival in this great land. I honestly can't believe it has been so long. Despite being now well integrated into society and having perhaps developed a passable urban Virginia accent, I still frequently feel like a foreigner. While undoubtedly my understanding of the American people has deepened immensely (especially after living through the longest Presidential Election in history with them) I know I will never be fully American. At twenty-five it so happens that I am probably as close as I ever will be to being truly half-and-half, not just by birth but in culture also.
Secondly, becoming engaged has certainly reversed my perspective on age. If there was any fear that I would start to feel old when I reached 25, that was all swept away when I put a ring on my young lady's finger. Now if anything I feel far too young to be taking such a grown up step. However, I'm certainly not too modest to say that I'm very proud of Kristal and myself for taking this step together, and the timing in both our lives feels though it could not have been better.
During a conversation at the bowling alley, we were pondering what age we might live to see. Somebody born at the end of the 19th Century would never have imagined they would live to be 115, but that is exactly what Maria de Jesus dos Santos has done. Who can how old the super-centenarians of the 22nd Century will be, and if any of us will be among them?

In case you haven't heard...

...Kristal and I will be getting married! For the full story on how this came about, head on over to Dawn Stiches.
We are both very happy, excited and in love. Thanks to everyone who has already passed on their message of congratulations.