We celebrated Christmas with the Fiala’s a bit early this year. We had Christmas at Oktoberfest in Cincinnati. It was a great time with family and German beers and food and music. We made great memories and loved seeing Thadd‘s place in the city. We got to go to the Great American Ballpark and see the Red‘s play twice. We went on a steamboat ride too! We loved the weiner dog races, as well as the barrel and beer stein races. Jeannette also got to meet up with an old friend from MIT at the festival – it was the place to be! There was fun polka music and we would be remiss to not mention the great festival food again. We had LOTS of strudel, brats with sauerkraut, and cream puffs.
We have video of every wiener dog race heat – they were super cute and funny – but here is just one and also some of the barrel and stein races too.
We missed photographing some of the fun memories of making cookies and putting together puzzles with Grandpa (we were too busy making cookies and putting together puzzles) but here are some of our pictures. You can check out more photos of the fun on Thadd’s blog, or on Shannon and John’s, or on Mr. Allen’s.
Happy Birthday to Josh! Thanks everybody for helping us celebrate his birthday, even from so far away!
Josh’s actual Birth Day. (Not really, this is a few days later… after the blizzard of ’78 was over and Josh & Judi could go home.) So this is George, Big Brother Thadd & Josh:
Baby Josh & the Fam:
Here Josh says, “I am 4!” (I wanted to put a pic with Shan in! Jackie & Grandma & Grandpa Mates are helping to celebrate the big FOUR.)
Here Josh says, “I am 4 (x 8)!” Ha.
Becky got this awesome Celtics green tee for Josh!
And now Josh won’t be so cold with these great gifts from Mom & Dad!
And these South Africa guidebooks will be so useful! Thanks again Mom & Dad!
Watch out Dave! Josh is going to beat you in shuffleboard now! (Thanks Mom & Dad Allen!)
Manhattan is thrilled for Josh’s birthday.
As is Magellan.
Thanks again for the gifts and cards and phone calls and texts and Facebook wall posts. It was a great birthday. We finished it off playing Josh’s new Wii game (the shuffleboard and darts are our new favorites!), and cooking a great dinner that was made even better thanks to a Christmas gift from Shan – Argentinian wine, carted across the globe in her backpack! A great way to celebrate 32 years.
This was our first Christmas holiday not spent with our families. We’ve missed our families dearly and been conscious of not having them nearby. As a part of keeping our spirits up, we have been really deliberate with thinking about our first Christmas doing our own married couple thing, getting to start our own traditions. So while we are missing all our family and friends back in the Midwest and Northwest and San Francisco, we are enjoying our first solo married couple Christmas too.
We began our tradition-making with Josh wrapping his last minute gifts that arrived today while we drank Starry Nights and watched White Christmas. We also opened presents with our Fiala half of the Fiallen family over Skype! George, Judi, Shannon and Thadd are in California for Christmas. It was great to be able to see their faces and exchange gifts with them “in person” even though we couldn’t be there with them.
More pictures of our Tree and our Skyping follow the jump!