Our journey continues

We were at a one-year-old’s birthday party on Saturday evening. A small family event and with Zoom for those that couldn’t be there. The birthday girl’s aunt made the cake and, at one point in the evening, surrounded by screaming children, we found ourselves talking about colors and aesthetics. There were too many artistically-minded people in that house is what I’m getting at. But look at this beautiful cake.

That’s homemade. The snowflakes are edible. The tablecloth was seen as both a conflicting and a complimenting color, depending on your shot composition. At some point, to keep the cake away from impulsive three-year-olds and adults, it was moved to a secret location. (The back deck.) This gave us some different, softer, lighting options.

And that’s what you talk about when grandparents are watching 3- and 7- year olds run through sugar highs.

It was a delicious cake. The cupcake was for the birthday girl, who is the calm in the storm. Even her smashed cupcake was dainty, dignified and not especially messy.

She’s wearing a hat The Yankee made. Her parents call her Hazelnut, and so now she has a hat made to look like a hazelnut. There are leaves on top, and everything, as you’ll soon see.

Yesterday, we went for a run before holiday festivities. It was an easy, and awfully chilly, four-miler. Here are The Yankee and my godsisters-in-law (just go with it) at the sign marking the highest point in Delaware.

And I also ran from Delaware into Pennsylvania. That’s at least the fourth state line I’ve run across, but it seems like there’s one or two more I am forgetting in that list.

And last night we had New Jersey Christmas. This is usually the last of our family Christmas parties, but this year it came first, because everything is upside down. We had a delightful evening, from the scrumptious appetizers to the hearty homemade lasagna, to the lovely company. Our hosts and my in-laws are lifelong friends. My mother-in-law and the hostess were in nursing school together. My father-in-law and our host have known one another since elementary school. Our hosts met at my in-laws’ wedding. They are each godparents for the other. And they more-or-less raised their kids together, too.

They open presents there by age. Meaning I’m closer to the end of the line than the beginning. I distract myself from that thought by paying close attention to the kids enjoying their new toys. I got a shirt and a nice jacket in a big box that was decorated with a classically whimsical Santa.

We also received a few neat ornaments, because you can never go wrong with thoughtful ornaments.

Oh, and here’s another shot of Hazel, wearing her Hazelnut hat, at her grandparents’ home. Note the leaves on top. Handmade with love, by her god-aunt.

This one is a little blurry, but look at the smile on that kid’s face.

Also, now that she’s one, she has quickly moved into self-taking mode.

At the end of the night we said our goodbyes and climbed into my in-laws car and continued our trip. Here we are on the Cuomo Bridge, crossing the Hudson River, and having just entered New York.

But that’s only a quick cut across the corner for us. Tonight, and for the next several days, we are in Connecticut — our sixth state since Thursday.

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