Monday, December 30, 2013


This past week, a dream came true for my dad. Ever sine we were of the age when boys would come up in conversation, my dad would make sure to point out that we needed to marry men who could play tennis, in order for him to be able to play tennis with his son-in-laws. Be it a source of bonding, competition, or just good fun (probably all the above), my dad would usually book ended this advice with the adage that 'couples who play together, stay together', encouraging us to find lifelong hobbies that we would have in common with and could do together with our husbands. And he would elaborate that families who had such activities to do together, no matter the personality differences, would be able to more fully enjoy each other's company. Not surprisingly, the activity that my parents do together - everyday, for several hours per day - is tennis. So what happens when we fast forward several years later to where all of us have these chosen men in our lives and we get together in a house that is right next to a tennis court? Yes, that's right, a family tennis tournament. 

After the event, my dad proclaimed that this has been his dream and that it was kind of amazing that it had come true. I thought so too. The men that my sisters and I have chosen are so very different from the other, in so several ways. Some of the commonalities include genuineness and sincerity; another commonality is that they were all down for playing in a tennis tournament on Christmas Day. 

I learned that my tennis game has gotten pretty pitiful and that I need more practice. I also learned that my dad was right - there is something sparkly and refreshing about being able to play together as a family.  It may end up being an annual event (so Joe and Lois, brush up on your tennis game!) 

the pipsqueak wedged in with the men

laying down the rules

Sunday, December 29, 2013


This past week was a whirlwind! Swiftly changing events with deep pockets of calm; my literal and figurative stomach are so full.  

As I go through all the photos from the past few days, I'm listening through NPR's 'The Year in Tiny Desk Concerts' and the sun is coming out after an entire morning and afternoon of grimy rain; now all the raindrops on the window look like tiny crystals. 

It felt a little bit like a Christmas miracle to be able to wake up Christmas morning with my entire family; I can't remember the last time that happened.  We came from near and far to hunker down for four days and hole up in a beach house in Delaware, where none of us had ever been, and with no agenda except to enjoy each other's company. And maybe because of that, if I had to use one word to describe the past few days, it would be 'luxurious'.  It was a luxury to have access to my family at all times and it was a luxury to be able to prepare and eat so many consecutive meals together.  I never take for granted the time I have with my family, and that tight-gripped appreciation of all the moments, makes those moments ring deep.  

We woke up Christmas morning, our first morning, to a slow-paced crawl towards breakfast.  Some of us prepared food, while others relaxed and read books, played with the baby or pattered around the house.  After breakfast we opened presents, dived into stockings and did a lot of grinning at each other. That afternoon (and the next afternoon) was filled with a tennis tournament (more on that later), and in the evening, a yut game (traditional Korean game) after dinner.  It was, in my opinion, pretty much a perfect Christmas day. 


Everyone arrived at different times the day before, on Christmas Eve, and when we were all together I was giddy with joy. Sloane trotted after Monty round and round, Sharon and Paul prepared a fantastic Moroccan themed meal, and we ate, drank and were merry. Here are some photos from that first night: